Nigerian Elites and the Boko Haram Menace (Part 2) By Odusote Oluwakayode
Click the link to start from Part 1, Read: Nigerian Elites and the Boko Haram Menace (Part 1)
When we talk of the elites and the selfish use of capacities, it does not only lay with the North, the South and her leaders have played devastating roles in this regard. One of such roles as reported by the Punch newspaper has it that detained leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Mr. Henry Okah, insisted that President Goodluck Jonathan’s agents sponsored the March 15, 2010 and October 1, 2010 bombings in Warri and Abuja respectively for political considerations.
The allegations as reported first came to light in an interview Okah granted Arabic satellite television, Aljazeera, in October 2010, weeks after the blast. In the interview, he blamed the attacks on Jonathan’s aides and claimed he was arrested for refusing to influence MEND, to retract its claim of responsibility. Further revelations by Okah have it that the March 2010 car bomb blast (which he said occurred on March 14, 2010) at the Government House Annex, Warri, where South-South governors were attending an amnesty meeting, was intended to pave the way for the removal of Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, and his replacement by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe.
He revealed also that the Independence Day bombing, which claimed 10 lives, 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. Some of the aspirants then were Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida and Alh. Atiku Abubakar. He alleged that Jonathan was upset when MEND claimed responsibility for the October 1 attack, against a plan to blame it on Northern elements.
He stated, “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.
According to Okah “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 claims 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 hold them in custody until after the elections.”
It was during this period that the chairman of Daar communications, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi who was the National Director of IBB Campaign got arrested and interrogated by security operatives over his involvement in the October 1st explosions. Raymond Dokpesi however denied allegations leveled against him and claimed it was an exercise to witch hunt threats to Goodluck Jonathan’s presidential bid.
The BRACED economic summit of the South-South was also revealing, when the NSA, Owoye Azazi attributed the security challenges to the undemocratic and sentimental depositions of the ruling PDP in choosing their candidates for elective offices. Expectedly, his revelation was greeted with criticism, mostly from the members of the PDP.
The revelations, attacks and bombings have continued and the poor masses are the worst hit. The Elites are having a field day planning “Chess” moves to “Check” each other. Their war is not limited to bombings and assassinations, the system of governance have also come under attack just as we recently witnessed in the Judiciary over the sack of the PCA Justice Ayo Salami and his subsequent reinstatement after nine months of various committee and counter committee reports. Ironically, when he was sacked, the President, Goodluck Jonathan swiftly acted on the recommendation of the NJC without considering if such recommendation was in the National interest or not. The reinstatement of Salami on Friday 11th of May, 2012 has been marred by deliberate sluggish attitude of the president whose claim has been laid to making consultations. The consultations he never made when he was advised to sack Salami.
Some of the rank and file of the Judiciary has been compromised to destroying the system of Justice, Truth and fairness. There are serious allegations that Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Ibrahim Auta who handed the verdict of execution to Late Ken-SaroWiwa along with Eight other Ogoni Activists and the NBA president Mr.Joseph Daudu who incidentally was also the government’s lead prosecutor during the trial of Saro Wiwa and some other high ranking Judicial officers are the galvanizers of opposition to Salami’s reinstatement. Must the President be forced to doing the right things? Laughable events and chapters in the history of a developing nation.
Based on the foregoing, do we then conclude that the Boko Haram menace is guided by political reasons to sway political considerations?
As a nation, Nigerians are sad and they silently groan at the spate of bad leadership, insecurity, unemployment, poverty, bad roads, poor health care services, poor infrastructural facilities and epileptic power supply amongst many other defects.
We need to accept that Boko Haram is only the latest, and certainly not the only prophet of terror in this country. Many of the agents of these groups are being manipulated and taken advantage of. They have been brainwashed to the extent that they don’t tolerate other citizens irrespective of jingles on unity and peaceful co-existence. Segun Gbadegesin in his article, ‘dialoguing towards Security asserted that ‘the devil finds work for the idle hand. A gainfully employed citizen will most probably be the last to volunteer as a suicide bomber. The reason is clear; he has something to look up to, a future that is worth waiting upon, a dream that is worth entertaining. He or she will not succumb to a tempting proposal of N50, 000 in exchange for serving as a bomb courier because poverty does not stare him in the face and he can imagine making multiples of that amount over a life time’.
So the master minds of our problems are our leaders. They manipulate and deliberately shrink national resources for their selfish interest while leaving the mass populace to grapple with the brunt, making it easy to use at will, the idle hands whose lively hood is made dependent on their elitists gestures.
They carry out their games by not providing sound education which is the efficient means to gainful employment and escape from the thorns of poverty, they deliberately strangle good jobs which are the effective means of living a purposeful life, they killed Entrepreneurship, which is the beauty of accomplishment etc.
The leadership and political will to create a system that will coordinate development and growth in all strata of our National life is in solitary.
Our leaders are living the opposite of Henry Bougham’s words ‘Education makes a people Easy to lead, Difficult to Drive, Easy to Govern BUT Impossible to Enslave’.
Till we, I mean we the poor populace wake up from our slumber, we’ll still gnash and grapple as we are caught in the middle of an Elite war in the quest for Political and Economic power.
I am @ActionKay on twitter
15th May, 2012