Boko Haram Conspiracy Theories And Common sense By Aminu Yusuf Roni.
“It is a thousand times better to have commonsense without education than to have education without commonsense.”
-Robert Green Ingersoll.
“Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.”
– Winston Churchill
In recent days, as the so-called Boko Haram Islamists are busy marauding our lands, killing our brothers and sisters, abducting our sisters, bombing our temples, some mindless thinkers have it on their ways by sitting down, precisely on the fence, watching and- to the worst- concocting useless, baseless and nonsensical propagandas: conspiracy theories, about the Boko Haram insurgency. One may wonder if those propagandists are not around back in 2009, or that they sympathise with or support the terrorists…Why don’t our (political) elders speak? are they afraid or do they enjoy the “scenes”? I have an idiomatic question for them: cat got your tongue? The silence of our “elders” is very worrisome, considering their influence on the lives of many youths; the main recruits for the Boko Haram are youths.
What we are seeing today is untold. Nobody ever imagine Nigeria in a war-of-sorts after the civil war. We must- boys, girls, men and women- rise up to oppose it. We must abhor and discourage those “ghosts”, lest we will be wiped out. We must “accept” the Boko Haram fighters as they are, not as we cowardly believe. Commonsensically, Boko Haram is an Islamic organisation that is willing to dethrone any non-Islamic government and supplant it with an Islamic one; based on Sharia law. They also want to make sure that everyone is, and must be, a Muslim peacefully or otherwise, forgetting the Quranic verse of “No compulsion in religion” and that of “To you, your way. To me, mine.” They would tell you that there are verses that support their cause: they should go back to the history, the Quran and feed themselves more…if they are truthful. I am a Muslim, I am never and will never be against Sharia law, but not the Sharia type of Islamic fundamentalists, the one that is diluted with egoistic elements; I’d love a pure, just Sharia law as dictated by the Prophet Muhammad pbuh. Remember, the Prophet Muhammad pbuh once said, in an authentic Hadith:
“Beware of going to extremes (in religion), for those before you were only destroyed through excessiveness”.
So why should we be subjected to extreme, excessive torture, on the altar of innovative, Islamic law? The Boko Haram ideology is full of madness.
In essence, we must believe that Boko Haram exist; Boko Haram are independent; Boko Haram are Muslims; Boko Haram are jihadists, just as we believe in the formation and existence of AlQaeda, Al-Shabbab and Taliban. We cannot face our “enemies”, Boko Haram or not, when we cannot recognise them as they are. You cannot kill a rat, mistaking it for a ram; you would end up getting gored to death.
Conversely, we are sometimes left to ask, and answer, some questions. Take Maiduguri, why is it that, mostly, prior to the Boko Haram attacks the soldiers either go away or run when they sight the insurgents? How do they manage to come to the towns through all the so-called checkpoints, still unnoticed? Are they supported by some bigwigs in the military or in the government? We have a lot of questions to ask the authorities, which we shall answer haplessly. This current administration is incompetent and clueless. The President is not doing his job as a Commander-In-Chief of Armed Forces. That is the ugly truth. But it is dangerous to blame someone in this way.
As someone summarised, those theories are as folBoko Haram is a Northern agenda to discredit President Jonathan; Boko Haram is a Southern agenda to reduce the Northern population; Boko Haram is a Muslim agenda to islamize Nigeria; Boko Haram is sponsored by CAN to give Islam a bad name; Boko Haram is sponsored by Buhari and others so as to make Nigeria ungovernable (for Jonathan); Boko Haram is sponsored by Jonathan to assist America break Nigeria.
That Boko Haram is a Northern agenda to discredit President Jonathan.
This is generally advocated by those from the southern part of Nigeria. In their opinion, and with reference to some inciting comments made by some prominent elites in the North during the political tussle of the 2011 general election, that there’d be violence if President Goodluck Jonathan succeed as a president; claiming to, also, make Nigeria ungovernable for him, Northerners are clearly working their tail off to fulfil their “promise”; no matter whose ox may be gored. How careless was this allegation! So do those guys from the South really know, apart from what they are hearing from the beguiled media, what was really happening in those affected areas; Maiduguri, Adamawa, Yobe, Taraba, Bauchi, Kaduna, Kano et cetera? I strongly believe they don’t. Had they know, they’d have not say anything close to “Boko Haram is a Northern agenda to discredit President Jonathan”, for good. How can a Northerner, no matter how [power] greedy he might be, create a force that would be flensing skin of lives out of his people, for five good years; intentionally or not? What about attacks on and unsettling threats to the royal fathers of the region? Let us be honest: who can do that? And if we insist, why hasn’t anybody expose them? I believe, if such thing is to happen (God forbid!), an influential complicity must be involved- is [not] any of them tired of the killings, to be able to thwart it? Or are they not politicians, whom defection is widespread among- can’t they leave the Boko-backers camp and decamp to the Jonathan side, at least for political gains?
To add it more whimsically, they are moved to so blindly believe- out of downright hatred for- General Muhammadu Buhari was the responsible founder, funder of Boko Haram. Had they forgotten Muhammad Yusuf? Perhaps because Muhammadu was emblematic of Muhammad (removing the last ‘u’ to give you Muhammad; the first name of the Boko Haram founder. Perhaps we are confused). A person who advocates for democracy, being a Boko Haram- a group against democracy- member/leader? What an unreasonable paradox! Even the threats they posed to him, Buhari, that they’d kill him for his infidelity, is not considered as a proof that he has nothing to do with the dreaded sect. Nothing is more dangerous.
That Boko Haram is a Southern agenda to reduce the Northern population.
Another nonsensical propaganda. What do Southerners get to do with Boko Haram, assuming that they really, as alleged, want to reduce the Northern population? There are many easier options for that, but using the Boko Haram should not be something we’d believe. We are speaking as if the Boko Haram don’t attack Southerners. For instance, they, at several occasions, attacked the Southerners-dominated Sabon Gari of Kano. Could that be the handiwork of Southerners, to reduce the Southerners’ population in the densely populated Kano? Could that means they wanted to get rid of their brethren in Kano? Why not Nasarawa, Tarauni or Na’ibawa at that time?
However, I leave for those who are subscribed to the theory of “Boko Haram is a Southern agenda to reduce the Northern population” to explain why the Boko Haram fighters kill some Igbo and Yoruba traders they come across. I personally find this hilarious, something to comically laugh at.
That Boko Haram is a Muslim agenda to Islamize Nigeria.
Really? Well, to be candid, Boko Haram want to impose “oppressive”, unislamic Sharia law on us; another term for Islamizing Nigeria. But to say Muslims- generalised like this- are responsible for the Boko Haram to make Nigeria an Islamic state is quite baseless and absurd. It is born out of bitter rancour for the Muslims. Believe it or not, many Muslims in Nigeria wouldn’t like the application of the Sharia law in their public or private lives; many just feign the support. So why do we think that “Boko Haram is a Muslim agenda to islamize Nigeria” when we know the brutality they are perpetrating on Islamic scholars, traditional leaders, mosques and towns that are largely comprised of Muslims? Can a son, no matter how suicidal, choose to continuously attack and maim his relatives just to Islamize a “mere” state like Nigeria? Can the Muslims keep quiet when they are been killed on a daily basis, if they are responsible for the creation of the best-of-beasts called Boko Haram? Hold on, which Muslims are they talking about; those under the leadership of His Eminence Saad Abubakar III? Or those bearing the fellowship with Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI)? But the Boko Haram guys have been calling them, their organisations and their leaders infidels, and have been threatening them all the while. It is unbelievable that “Boko Haram is a Muslim agenda to Islamize Nigeria”. This is against rational basis. The perception of this theory as genuine is as worrisome and uncalled for.
That Boko Haram is sponsored by CAN to give Islam a bad name.
Truth has it that the president of Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oristejafor, is somehow responsible for the creation of this fallacy. Pastor Ayo’s irresponsible involvements, in irreconcilable politics of Nigeria, earn the sacrosanct association a very bad name in the public eyes. However, this does not give us license to blame CAN for Boko Haram activities. Not when the insurgents are busy killing Christians and burning their places of worship. Even if CAN created Boko Haram, who are after the secular state of Nigeria, to give Islam a bad name, then it is safe to say that CAN is no longer a Christians organisation rather an Islamic organisation trying to give space for Islamic Sharia law, but hiding under veneer of Christianity. What a juxtaposition between an empirical evidence and the contrary! You have Men of God, who are obliged to bring people to Christ, responsible for the killings of their counterparts just to give Islam a bad name. Absurd. Incongruous.
That Boko Haram is sponsored by Buhari and others so as to make Nigeria ungovernable (for Jonathan).
Just like the ” Boko Haram is a Northern agenda to discredit President Jonathan” argument, this sounds stupid. The Buhari who challenged Boko Haram and called them coward? The Buhari who condemned the activities of Boko Haram? It is very laughable to think that someone will clandestinely connive with Boko Haram, and shout against them openly. No matter how much we will hate someone, labeling them as having things to do with an inhumane organisation like Boko Haram is a grave injustice; a condemnable unscrupulousness. Whether he is in APC or PDP, it is an attack on his personal self.
That Boko Haram is sponsored by Jonathan to assist America break Nigeria.
To remind myself of J.P Clark I’d first comment with “America, their America”. America has, among many, a problem: America’s unnecessary meddling in other states’ affairs. That, I think, birthed this theory. America’s oppressive involvement in not-my-problem matters were smoothly noticed by almost every, informed, folks. America might have been willing to break Nigeria for their economic or political benefits. Yes. It is accurately possible. Yet, we cannot expect the president of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, to be helping the break-up of the nation he is ruling, the nation he desperately want to continue ruling come 2015. Why’d he help to break it up? At least, no Nigerian politician would pillage and enjoy his plunder very well in a broken nation. As we know majority of politicians in Nigeria put personal interest above national interest. There is no way to assume that President Jonathan is assisting the America- if they are truly planning to break Nigeria. How can he benefit from the break-up more than he’d if he succeed as a president, come 2015? How much would he get, that he’d not easily loot as a president of an intact Nigeria. Enough of this. This is 21st century. Let us shine our eyes.
All these misconceptions are as a result of misinformation and a sheer ignorance about the Boko Haram, their motives and plans against us and our collective coexistence and peace. Watch their videos, you will tell more. Listen to their gambits, informed you will be. We must accept this:
One, Boko Haram started, ghostly, back in 2002 and later received public attention sometimes in 2009; the time they began to wage war on the state(s). Two, Boko Haram are Muslims who see themselves as jihadists, those who fight the the non-Islamic beings and state(s) in the cause of Allah; having some Quranic verses misinterpreted purposely or otherwise. Three, Boko Haram fighters don’t limit their attacks on non-Muslims; everyone, Muslim or not, who is against their ideologies is Kafir, therefore his “blood is permitted”. Four, the Jonathan administration is not doing, and has not done, enough or nothing to tackle the insurgency; even in the outset. Exempli gratia, the Federal Government proposed a fresh dialogue with the Boko Haram members and asked them to send their delegates to Kaduna, where they should address their grievances. Unfortunately, the Federal Government deceived them and arrested their representatives. Had the Federal Government acted upon that lifetime opportunity, many lives would have been spared by now, and the insurgency would have been jotted down on a, almost, forgotten piece of history. Lastly, there might be some important people within or outside the government who are supporting the Boko Haram in one way or the other. We cannot dismiss this. But to foolishly think or believe that
Boko Haram is a Northern agenda to discredit President Jonathan, Boko Haram is a Southern agenda to reduce the Northern population, Boko Haram is a Muslim agenda to islamize Nigeria, Boko Haram is sponsored by CAN to give Islam a bad name, Boko Haram is sponsored by Buhari and others so as to make Nigeria ungovernable (for Jonathan) or that Boko Haram is sponsored by Jonathan to assist America break Nigeria is nauseating and disappointing. It is something without rhyme or reason. It is high time we rose from the ashes. We must face the ugly truth and act upon it. Those leaders that are forcing these beliefs on us are cowards and selfish who not only “know” their families-only, but are having security guards everywhere around them: at office, road, home and meetings. We are just as hopeless and defenseless as newly-hatched chickens. The outcome always affects us, the poor. As I always say, and agree: whether the egg crashes on the coconut or the coconut crashes on the egg, it is the egg that suffers. God bless and save Nigeria.
Aminu Yusuf Roni.
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