Boko Haram Sponsors: Season Of Allegations, Season Of Denials By Odusote Oluwakayode
In the midst of the painful carnage going on in some parts of the northern states; drenched in the uncertainty of a solution, the nation was startled with Dr. Stephen Davis’s damning revelation, alleging that the former Governor of Borno state Alli Modu Sheriff and former Chief of Army staff Azubuike Ihejirika are the sponsors of the terror group known as Boko Haram. He alleged an unnamed senior official of the Central Bank of Nigeria and a collaborator based in Egypt also. Why he didn’t mention the names of the alleged collaborators, we may not yet know. If his allegations are facts or farce, the truth is only yet to be known to most Nigerians.
This is the latest in the sad odyssey of our present democratic experience. Justifying his allegations as a fact may not be yet reasonable because the landscape is highly tensed with series of manipulations by the politicians but the news may not be that surprising to most keen watchers of our political development.
Series of allegations had trailed incidences of terror without any concrete investigation to unravel the mystery surrounding the sponsors of such insurgency. Before the excesses of Boko Haram got bloated, the militancy of the Niger Delta youths was the burden Nigeria bore till the initiative of former president Shehu Yar’adua gave birth to the amnesty programme which ended the incessant pipeline vandalization – acts perpetuated in the guise of agitations. However, In the permutation for an amnesty, one of the numerous criminal groups that existed then, the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta called the federal government’s gesture fraudulent.
If it could be recalled, the first allegation of sponsoring an explosion came from Henry Okah, the leader of MEND. In his allegation, which was first granted to Aljazeera, he said the March 15, 2010 and October 1, 2010 bombings in Warri and Abuja respectively were for political considerations. He was reported to have said that “The purpose of the 14 March 2010 bombing in my opinion was to create an atmosphere of insecurity in Niger Delta where President Goodluck Jonathan at that time, was fighting to oust the governor Mr. Emmanuel Uduaghan whom President Goodluck Jonathan intended to replace with his Minister for Niger Delta, Mr Godsday Orubebe”. On the Independence Day bombing, which claimed 10 lives, Okah said it was meant to sway public opinion against the North and some of its leaders who were planning to run against Jonathan in the April 2011 presidential election.
“The bombings of 1 October 2010 were also intended by President Goodluck Jonathan government to create anti-North sentiments nationwide in order to galvanize support from other sections of Nigeria against other Northern candidates in the Presidential election.
“Under the arrangement, MEND, I believe, was not to claim responsibility for the bombings which the Nigerian government hoped to pin on General Babangida and other Northern elements. The claim of responsibility by the central group for a bombing, possibly carried out by a faction of MEND, punctured the plans of President Goodluck Jonathan to round up his opposition and holds them in custody until after the elections.”
The nation felt the amnesty would end militancy, unfortunately, since the Boko Haram menace started; the government hasn’t found the will to contain its activities due to a reason best known to it. Before the revelation by Dr. Stephen, a name alleged to be sponsoring terror activities is that of Senator Alli Ndume’s, he is a serving member of Nigeria’s National Assembly. These revelations either manipulated or not may not be the last. The nation may need to be ready for more shocking revelations. Boko Haram is not a religious problem but a political one. – There can’t be smoke without fire.
What happened to the allegations of Henry Okah – The Government described it as “false”, and Dr. Stephen Davis’s? The alleged collaborators denied.
The large population of innocent citizens are burdened with news of deaths; blood flows freely on street, roads and villages; children becoming orphan, wives becoming widows, husbands becoming widowers, sons becoming child soldiers and daughters becoming sex instruments.
These children that suffer the selfishness of sponsors of insurgency and unrest do not belong to the elite group; they are the children of the poor. They are being raised with hope of living a better life than their parents had. These are children that think hope in a tomorrow. In that tomorrow, they hope to serve their fatherland, a fatherland that offers less. In this situation,
If the sponsors and the insurgents would just think deep, if leaders would just be selfless, these bloods being shed mercilessly has potential to contribute to the world. In a world where nations aspire to outgrow each other in the field of science and engineering by equipping institutions and empowering citizens, ours has chosen to kill knowledge, expertise and creativity and inventions
Self political interest will never grow the nation. The moment a politician begins to feel that he wants office to himself, to expand territory with a willingness to get it at all cost, to keep it when gotten and transfer ownership to his blood line when death calls, his usefulness is gone. It will be pleasant when decisions to hold political office is not regarded as a do or die, infact the world is full of great men and women that had done exceedingly great work for public life without aspiring to taste political office.
The attainment of elective or public office should not be seen as a mandate to clear a family and generation unborn from the list of poverty. I do not think it’s appropriate that any man should let himself regard his political career as a means of livelihood, or as his sole occupation in life; this belief breeds the exact challenge we face as a nation
Where is the conscience in all this madness? Where is the pride of selflessness and where is the satisfaction of service? Politics is for service and the players should never be carried away into taking it to the extreme. The moment it is taken to the extreme, then, he begins to think differently. At this moment, the voice of the people will no longer be the voice of God; and when the ears are dead to reason, the worst happens – misdirection of steps. Deafness to the people’s voice breeds different dangers.
There is every reason for all citizen or politician to be ambitious. An honorable ambition to enter into public life must be noble. There is no crime in seeking re-election; re-election must however be subjected to the people’s endorsement. Sponsoring violence is a sacrifice of the conscience of truth, values and principles; and what is morally held to be true and honest.
Above all, when a politician reflects and make up his mind that he will pay no heed to selfish and greedy intentions or lust, but will do what he honestly deems best and right for the governed without regard to how his actions may affect his prospects, not only does he become infinitely more useful as a leader, but he leaves an evergreen memory in the minds of men. Unlike the sponsors of evil, he is freed from the harassing torment which is the exclusive portion of him who covets every resource of political and democratic dividends.
After all, President Goodluck Jonathan once said the extremist Boko Haram sect has succeeded in infiltrating his government, planting its members in government agencies and security outfits. “Some continue to dip their hands and eat with you and you won’t even know the person who will point a gun at you or plant a bomb behind your house”.
When will the sponsors be exposed and made to face justice?
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