Boko Haram: The Hard Questions, By Musa Tanko
My first contact with the North Eastern Nigeria was in 2003 when I secured admission with the University of Maiduguri for a one year remedial program; after which I was placed in the Physics program of the same University in 2004.
For over eight years I stayed in maiduguri visiting my native Lafia once in a while during period. After my four years study I took a teaching job the Elkanemi College of Islamic Theology in Maiduguri. I left in November 2012 yielding to the pressure from my family.
During my study I stayed partially on campus and mostly off campus especially in the early of it. Within that period I enjoyed the hospitality of an uncle in whose home I stayed till my graduation. So, virtually I experienced YERWA (as Maiduguri is fondly called) in its peaceful traditional state in the peak of the chaos that engulf it.
Several commentators wrote on the emergence of Boko Haram and ideology it stood for; some got it right while many are far from it.
From the very beginning of this madness some of us sense government complexity in the whole of the saga. From how it begins in 2002 in yobe desert to the time it blown out in 2009 if you check you will see the hidden hands of the government.
– When they were attacked in 2002, President Obasanjo then prevented a complete annihilation of the sect members there by giving them an opportunity to recuperate.
– When President Yar’adua ordered for their killing their captured leaders were summarily killed to avoid exposing their financiers.
– Now that they have declared war on all of us they are being held and pursue with kid-glove.
Many a conspiracy theory concerning Boko Haram is in circulation with different parties pointing accusing finger to one another.
We the Nigerian citizens who owe our security of life and property to the Federal Government have no one to accuse in the complexity than Federal Government in its entirety. With all its components and arms. No one is free from this accusation.
Even the state Governors of the affected state should not think they are exonerated in this. They are part and parcel of the component that should guaranteed our safety and security.
Some month back the Governor of Borno state Alhaji Kashim Shattimah was quoted saying that our attackers (Boko Haram) are well equipped and better motivated than our military. His comments drove many condemnation and commendation. I for one commended him for such bravery. Because it took lot of courage for a government official in Africa to admit a foul from his side. The lack of sophisticated weapon by our military in this fight is not something new. It is a reality we are living with.
Recently, Adamawa state Governor Murtala Nyako wrote a memo to Northern Governors educating them on the Genocidal tendencies of the Federal government toward the people of
Northern Nigeria. Nyako used the memo to ask some relevant questions in relation to Boko Haram.
Even though the questions are relevant and need to be answered to the satisfactory of those asking them I will hereby say the timing is late. The memo is long overdue.
But what is more important here is the message not the messenger. Let’s dwell on the message and forget the messenger.
Three of the North Eastern state have been under state of Emergency for almost a year now. All the nook and cranny of these is adorn with military hardware and personnel. In all of these state curfew and restriction of movement is in place. Despite all these the atrocity against the innocent citizens of these state continued.
Lots of questions were asked through the famous memo. These questions must be answered to our satisfaction. We will keep asking these questions until we get a satisfactory answer; otherwise we will be left with no option than to conclude that our rightful protectors are our attackers and annihilators.
1. How comes our attackers move about unchallenged in states under emergency rule with curfew in place?
2. How come our attackers move with a large convoy of vehicles passing through military manned checkpoints?
3. How come our attackers operate for many hours unhindered by our military when they are all over the place?
4. How come the location of our attackers is know and yet they can not be attacked?
5. How come most of the soldiers killed were found to have sustained bullet wounds on the back? It is either they were fleeing a superior fire or they were killed by a colleague.
6. How come the house where our attackers were found in Ojora Lagos was reported to be owned by Delta state Government?
7. How come a serving Senator is found to have hand in the mess involving our attackers?
8. How come the intensity of the attack increase always when something of National interest is in the offing?
9. How come the President’s media aid (Reno Omokiri) is falsely linking prominent sons of Northern Nigeria with our attackers under strange aliases?
10. How come the Presidency is reluctant in naming the financiers of our attackers despite their knowledge of them?
11. How come the house where Chadians (believed to be our attackers) were arrested belongs to the Bayelsa state Government?
12. How come a police officer was recently arrested trying to detonate a bomb in a church at Akwanga in Nasarawa state?
These and several other questions raised in different forum must be answered to our satisfaction.
Our presidency is managed by people we campaigned for and elected in 2011 hoping to see change and transformation as a result. They came with lots of promises and humility, we succumb to their yearning with all beliefs and trust putting aside all religion and ethnic sentiments as expected of a patriotic citizen.
However, the recent happenings have dented our hope and corrupted our trust for the Government. We no longer see them as our protectors but rather our attackers and annihilators.
Tens of us were killed in Nyanya and they danced in kano and cut cake in Ibadan. Hundreds of our sisters were abducted by our attackers and we are yet to see a meaningful response from the Government.
We will continue to think this way until all the questions raised are fully answered to our satisfaction.
No amount of name calling and intimidation will stop from fighting further.
Musa Tanko @musamtanko
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