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Boko Harram: Beyond the State of Emergency

Tunde Ali
Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan

Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan

By Dr. Tunde Ali, Nigeria internal security is in disarray. Boko Harram have exposed the incompetence of President Jonathan’s administration to provide reasonable security of live and property to the Nigerian people as promised when he was sworn into office. The job of the government is not only to promote and protect the welfare of its people; it is its constitutional and primary duty to defend people against internal and external aggressors. This is the essence of the “social contract”, unfortunately the present regime of JGL have failed woefully in fulfilling this obligation.

These inalienable rights are foreign and continue to elude the Nigerian people; the state of insecurity has forced the people to live a life characterized by fear. The leader is confused and the led are paranoid. Insecurity continues to challenge the sanctity of our nation state as well as the sacrifice of our past heroes. This state of insecurity is caused by Boko Harram insurgency, kidnappers, armed robbers, etc. The most notorious is the Boko Harram, who continues to target innocent citizens including children, students, Christians and Muslims as the object of their terror.  This insurgent have and continues to perpetrate monumental atrocities. Religion of Islam is being wrongly used to create atmosphere of pandemonium through systemic terror, killing, and destruction.

Boko Haram is really a ‘harram’ organization. Its origin, composition and activities made this conclusion accurate. It is an association of merciless, blood thirst, spineless and deluded assassins who needed to be rooted-out from our nation.  Investigation revealed that this demonic organization was set up around 2002 by a Maiduguri based quasi-political dynamite to promote his political ambition using religion of Islam as a front and shield. Regrettably before the so-called ‘dynamite’ was blown out of his political schemes, Boko Harram has grown ridiculously powerful using the ministry of religion affairs (which was created in disguise for this reason)  to torment and plague the innocent citizens with endless catastrophe.

Within short period of time the Boko Harram has become a dragon; well rooted, well known and well armed. Rumor had it that the organization enjoy the moral and financial support of some notable Northern leaders, some of whom had in the past threatened ‘blood bathe’ if they lose in the presidential general election.  The organization markedly registered its onslaught presence in states such as Yobe, Adamawa, Katsina, Plateau, Benue and the FCT-Abuja among others.

President Good luck Jonathan admitted that members of the extremist Boko Haram sect have succeeded in infiltrating his government, planting its members in government agencies and security outfits. He said that “the deadly sect has become Nigeria’s biggest security challenge, operating in an amorphous manner and bombing innocent Nigerians at random, even in churches and mosques”.

Three years after the organization have repeatedly carried out gruesome killings in different states of the nation, President Jonathan pacified them with amnesty if they will lay down their arm; but this blood thirst villain refused the presidential peace offer. They confirmed their monstrous nomenclature; and they continue to increase their wanton siege against the nation, attacking and killings innocent and defenseless law abiding citizens in the church, markets, mosques, schools, palace, police stations, streets etc.

It need be said that this is not the first time that an insurgent group will rise up in arm to demand or address parochial agenda. In the 1980 when Maitasine raised its head, President Shehu Shagari – as weak as his administration was, stood to the task and rooted off this insurgent group.  Similar faceless insurgency had been displaced and conquered by different regimes. The tide has changed and role reversal is been experience between an insurgency and the government that is expected to mount counter insurgency operation. Regrettably in the history of Nigeria, this is the first time that an insurgent group will force the government to its knee. Boko Harram has held the administration of President Jonathan helpless, and it has exposed its inability to provide sustainable security for the citizens.

When it was obvious that Boko Haram insurgent group will not yield, President Good Luck, on Tuesday May 14, 2013 in a live broadcast said: “it has become necessary for government to take extraordinary measures to restore normalcy. After wide consultations, and in exercise of the powers conferred on me by the provisions of Section 305, sub-section 1 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, I hereby declare a State of Emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States.

“Accordingly, the Chief of Defence Staff has been directed to immediately deploy more troops to these states for more effective internal security operations. The troops and other security agencies involved in these operations have orders to take all necessary action, within the ambit of their rules of engagement, to put an end to the impunity of insurgents and terrorists.”

The president said further that although his administration have taken robust steps to unravel and address the root causes of these crises, “it appear that there is a systematic effort by insurgents and terrorists to destabilize the Nigerian state and test our collective resolve, these terrorists and insurgents seem determined to establish control and authority over parts of our beloved nation and to progressively overwhelm the rest of the country. In many places, they have destroyed the Nigerian flag and other symbols of state authority and in their place, hoisted strange flags suggesting the exercise of alternative sovereignty.”

President Jonathan appeared to have established a prima facie case against the Boko Haram, though their atrocities are glaring. The Abubakar Shekau led group have sinned against the young, the old, the unborn and the dead. Bokko Harram has violated our sovereignty as a nation state. It is therefore guilty, and has been so pronounced and judged. Let Abubakar Shekau’s lead group knows that they have murdered sleep, and will henceforth be sleepless.

The president should therefore declare war against this group of confused and disoriented rogues who have murdered several innocent citizens; and now declared their “satanic republic” by virtue of replacing our nation’s flag with theirs. There is no further need for negotiation. Their activity is an insult to our sovereignty, and it is therefore imperative that they should be considered enemy combatant, that requires to be wipe out without a trace. The Nigerian Army should work collaboratively with other securities operatives and ensure that this monstrous group is cleansed from our land. If need be, a cooperation with international countries such as USA, Israel and other countries who are tested and expert in the areas of counter insurgency operations should be sought. The government should take whatever action is reasonable enough to restore peace back to our country.


President Jonathan needs to be commended for his atypical way in which he has handled the Bokko Harram so far. In a typical African country, the president would have seized the opportunity of this insurgent group to “deal” with or manslaught all his political opponents, especially when rumours of the names of the cult’s financial backers filters the air. Never-the-less, JGL need to be informed that his carrot and stick approach is not working; hence there is a need for a change in strategy. It is in order and consonance with the principle of universal good if for the president step-up and root out this group of deluded criminals who have plagued our nation with terror in the last three years. They have willingly “sucked” the blood of the innocent people, therefore it is not out of order to force them to pay with their lives.

Nigeria is our country and we love it. It is greater than any individual or any sectional interest. Therefore any attempt by any person or group of persons to insult our collective psyche, create pandemonium or attack our sovereignty will be resisted with our might. We are peace-loving people and we will do everything to promote and sustain it.

Dr. Tunde Ali is the President of Citizens for Good Government & Accountability – (CIGGAC)).


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