Boko Haram And The Futility Of Military Solutions By Tope Adesipo
The overwhelming ineffectiveness Jonathan’s Government in protecting the ordinary Nigerians against the murderous attacks of Boko Haram was clear to the very least fascinated onlooker. by the time that Government woke up to its responsibilities, Boko Haram had already established local control in parts of the North-East, the group systematically attacked people, drove out opponents while the military was often conspicuous by its absence those times. close to the elections however, the military suddenly found their rhythm. more money in billions of dollars borrowed, weapons were bought and they succeeded in lunching various offensive that somewhat ensures Nigeria regains her lost territories, before then, Boko haram approach of capturing territories and declaring caliphate is something that is strange. the group modus operandi have always been known to be cowardly such daring approach was not part of it. despite successes recorded in regaining territories in that time, suicide bombings continued. Muhammadu Buhari of the APC was voted in with the hope of immediately ending the killings sadly, reports this morning has it that 406 Nigerians have so far been killed by Boko Haram since Buhari was sworn as the president of Nigeria. the killings have become a norm in the last 6years but this is significant because Buhari a former military ruler came to power on the back of much promise of quickly dealing with the insurgents. President Buhari who declared to an expectant Nation on May 29 that he would move the military command to Maiduguri and it shall remain there until Boko Haram is “completely subdued”. This is because “victory cannot be achieved by basing the command and control centre in Abuja”. what he he meant is ineffective military action is what is responsible all along for the seemingly unending carnage of Boko Haram since 2009. i believe it is now clear to him that military actions alone may not end the menace
Despite the fact that killings have gone on, it is indeed refreshing that the government is searching for other solutions and not ruling out options including negotiations with the violent sect. this is a welcome development as i believe the conventional military approach will continue to be an exercise in futility. there has to be an holistic approach towards ending this insurgency. it is clear now that it is not a question of weapons and hardware as we have even over borrowed money in the last 6years to continue to buy weapons. Buhari can not afford to labor under the belief that the nebulous war on terrorism could be won with the right amount of firepower. that if they could simply kill all terrorists or at least the leading ones it would end terrorism – as if terrorism was an elite and exclusive club with strict list of adherents. such investments of illusions brings zero returns. We must realize that the reactionary and religious credo of Boko Haram started far much earlier than when it came to public prominence in 2009.Boko Haram over the years, gained mass follower-ship due to the deprivation of mass majority of the people in the midst of stupendous natural and human resources.Nigerians live in conditions of unbelievable poverty and oppression, this is why the fundamental preaching of sect like Boko Haram is always met with sympathies from the extreme downtrodden section of the masses who are easily susceptible to the believe of having a blissful haven as against the current world dominated by Satan.
Around 2009 when the sect campaign came into limelight, their modus operandi was based on the courageous preaching of their leader Muhammed Yusuf and occassional attacks on the ruling elite and the police and miltary. But the false militaristic strategy of suppressing the insurgent of Late President Yar’Adua and his Armed forces, culminated into the summary execution of Yusuf and some others in a characteristic ruling elite fashion of attacking the messenger as against the message that action has now boomeranged into the big inferno we have now that is currently threatening to consume the Nigerian state.the Killing of Yusuf and what Boko haram developed to after that, has proved that every effort to forcibly suppress a political/religious idea/movement has always ended in futility; more often than none, the idea/movement being forcibly suppressed always emerged much stronger in the wake of forcible/militaristic suppression. What that showed is that by fighting an ideology that feels off anger and resentments you will be creating more and more anger in fact, the contemporary war against terrorism internationally and the upsurge of Boko Haram phenomenon graphically confirm the truism of this proposition the “War against terrorism” waged by the US and it’s allies in the wake of Sept 11 attack on the World trade center has led to a domination of the world’s political space with terrorist organization than we had pre 9/11. The Globe is now dominated by various terrorist organizations more than ever before.
The US invaded Afghanistan not just to find the perpetrators of the 9|11 attacks and bring them to justice, but to also dismantle alQaeda and topple the Taliban regime , replacing it with a compliant government. they soon find out that invading a hostile group’s country and removing it from power did not mean the same thing as establishing peace. with the Taliban lunching a recruitment drive and subsequent insurgency in 2003. since then, the Taliban have been steadily reestablishing their control over Afghanistan aided by popular anger towards western forces for war crimes, which has helped recruit fighters. even with the killing of Osama Bin Laden aside being symbolic is meaningless in value. for those who thinks once Shekau the leader of the Boko haram is killed then it means Boko haram have been decimated and Boko haram is on the part of defeat are also investing illusions. since Osama’s death, terrorism have continued unabated. inability of purely military or police actions in Nigeria to solve this crisis has already been seen. The state failed in 2009 to crush Boko Haram by summarily executing its initial leader, Mohammed Yusuf, after he had been arrested and paraded before cameras, indeed it eventually came back even stronger.
What the Buhari government must do is to engage the idea being propounded by Boko haram and encourage building of mass based defensive mechanism in the communities while also importantly, developing an anti-terror policy that would take into considerations the factors that actually drive Islamic extremism and terrorist actions. resentments to western polices,depressing economic and social conditions, lack of education, extreme poverty etc…
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