DasukiGate: The Real Terror! By Ogundana Michael Rotimi
Boko Haram was tagged the world most deadly terrorist group in 2014. According to The Global Terrorism Index, Boko Haram killed more people- 6,644 in terror attacks in 2014 than any other terrorist group in the world. The Islamic State, ISIL, which is based in Syria and Iraq, follows closely behind, at 6,073 deaths through terrorism in 2014.
Figure 1: © static.visionofhumanity.org
The Global Terrorism Index is an annual report by the New York City-based Institute for Economics and Peace. It tracks global deaths from terror attacks, which it defines as “an intentional act of violence or threat of violence by a non-state actor.”
In confirming this figure, the highly respected Nigeria Security Tracker, compiled by the U.S.-based Council on Foreign Relations, found that over 6,000 people were killed in clashes between Boko Haram and Nigerian forces in 2014.
From 2013 through 2014, the death toll from terrorism-related attacks climbed drastically in Nigeria, increasing by 300 percent. It was the largest increase in terrorist deaths ever recorded by any country.
Regrettably, Nigeria is second of just the five countries that suffer the bulk of terrorist acts in 2014. The rest countries are: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria – accounting for 78 percent of all fatalities in 2014. Iraq bears the heaviest burden with 9,929 terrorist fatalities in 2014.
Putting the consequences of this terror together, Boko Haram activities in the north eastern part of Nigeria have been reported to be responsible for dead of about 13,000 people, damage of properties worth billions of naira and the displacement of over 3 million Nigerians.
Truth be told, I agree with all these facts. They are genuine, they are actually what Abubakar Shekau, the Boko Haram leader stands for and the world already knows him for that.
However, what do you say about those that had the opportunity to stop this terror, those that were in charge of the administration when Boko Haram was unveiling its devilish act, those that had all it takes to put an end to the insurgency before it escalated but blatantly refused to do so? How do you categorize such act? Isn’t it terror itself?
After the report of the presidential committee that looked into the details of the arms procurement activities of the last administration was released, and Sambo Dasuki the former National Security Adviser (NSA) was arrested due to shady deals discovered by the committee, it became apparent that the negligence to combat and defeat the insurgency was a deliberate act in the face of ending corruption.
It was meant to be the office of the NSA and not the office of a Money Disbursing Agent (MDA), but it was the latter that it stood for during the last administration.
The revelations so far from the on-going investigation of the arms procurement scam during the last administration have confirmed the hypothesis of so many – the lack of political will to defeat Boko Haram.
Funds meant for arms procurement were shared among some political elites and fortunate folks close to the administration. While innocent Nigerians were being killed by Boko Haram, school children were being abducted, properties were being damaged and millions were being displayed.
Pathetic as it were, the NSA after denying the military especially the soldiers at the forefront of the war arms to confront the insurgency, on a global platform he called them cowards and when they revolted against the malicious act they were compelled to pass through, he charged them for mutiny and sort to kill them. There is no terror greater than this!
The point is, there is no terror anywhere greater than the #DasukiGate. Because, the reported most deadly terrorist group- Boko Haram, could have been overcome had #DasukiGate not existed. #DasukiGate was indirectly responsible for the loss and the pains Boko Haram caused the people.
Had #DasukiGate not existed, and the funds meant for arms procurement were judiciously utilized, the Boko Haram terror would have been easily curtailed, contained and defeated.
Had #DasukiGate not existed, Boko Haram would have not attained the rank of the world most deadly terrorist group in 2014.
Had #DasukiGate not existed, Boko Haram may have been defeated or rendered completely powerless.
#DasukiGate was the real terror indirectly behind the death of innocent Nigerians. It was the real terror responsible for the loss of lives of Nigerian gallant soldiers on the battle front against the Boko Haram insurgency. It was the real terror connected to the abduction of our men, women and children and for the displacement of persons from their abodes.
#DasukiGate is the world most deadly terrorist group in 2014 not Boko Haram.
With the #DasukiGate in place, government actions and decisions only benefitted a set of people close to the presidency while public interest came second. Scarce resources meant for all were diverted away from the poor and disadvantaged and shared among a few elites.
Meanwhile, while the investigations and the prosecution go on, I hope this prosecution will be different from many other investigations and prosecutions we have had in the past that ended up in trash bins.
Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation, largest economy and biggest oil producer, but astounding levels of corruption have left it without basic developments and infrastructures.
It is high time we called on our politicians and public officials to be accountable for their actions. Hence, starting with #DasukiGate is not a bad start.
God Bless Nigeria
Ogundana Michael Rotimi, is a Nigerian Biochemist, Socio-economic & Political Commentator and Public Speaker. He tweets @MickeySunny.