Saturday, October 17, 2015

ENCORE BOKO HARAM

I just saw a recent video (http://t.co/Psky5vQ0sE) posted by the Islamic Fundamentalist group operating in Nigeria's Northeastern region, Boko Haram (seeking to impose a stricter form of the Islamic Jurisprudence, The Shar'ia on the country as it has successfully done in areas under its control in recent times) on youtube, which started by showing an onslaught against Nigeria's military forces in an unnamed location (may have been named in Arabic though) somewhere in what I suspect to be the Northeast of Nigeria, that ended with the beheading of a Nigerian soldier,


THE SOLDIER IN THE AFOREMENTIONED VIDEO

and a show of arms seized by the group after the attack. Contrary to what we are made to believe about the group striking a retreat each time they encounter Nigeria's military, the video shows members of the group surging towards gunfire, all of them without Kevlar.

Though the veracity of the video, especially as regards timing isn't easy to ascertain, it is not difficult to conclude that the footage may have been recently shot. If this is so, it makes a mockery of all that we have been getting as information from the military of successes recorded in the fight against the insurgents with assurances that they will be totally quashed by December, in the light of recent cases as well as frequency of suicide bomb attacks in Maiduguri (Borno State) and other parts of the Northeast, in which many civilians have lost their lives.

The stories of arrest of masterminds, including of so called financiers (with a few millions on their persons) with picture of an emaciated fellow as the suspect for instance, or of bomb makers, or of fuel suppliers (in Jigawa) amongst others, many of which there are no pictures to verify, nor names given makes the case of the military hardly believable in the face of mounting evidence of the activities of these Islamic Fundamentalist whose bombings go almost unchallenged, many times in the same vicinity within days with nothing to show that anything was learnt from the last suicide bombing either of a female suicide bomber, or from a male dressed like a female suicide bomber, or of a male suicide bomber. Even the pro-government media which helped this administration get into power, and then went further to keep mute over the resurgence of the suicide attacks (even of recent in Nigeria's capital, Abuja) appear to have realized the foolishness of their actions and now joined the foreign media to report these attacks as well as their frequency.

I was taken aback when President Buhari in an interview he granted an Al Jazeera journalist days back, claimed he hadn't read the report by an international Human Rights organization, that accused the Nigerian army of gross human rights violation in it's battle against Boko Haram in the Northeast, when one of the reasons Nigerians voted for him was on the strength of allegations against the past government on the way it had handled the war against the insurgents albeit with laxity. This is coming just days after Nigeria (which he led to New York) missed a key event at the United Nations, where the plight of Internal Displaced People, IDPs was up for discussion, of which fringe countries and Nigeria's neighbours attended and made their positions before the international community, while his handlers played down the importance of the event, rather than admit that a huge mistake had been made.

Sadly, what the president's handlers were concerned with was how President Buhari became Nigeria's first president to speak on the opening day of the UN's General Assembly. Just like they regaled us with how he was hosted at Blair House, that only few foreign Heads of State had had the pleasure of staying at during a visit to the United States of America, over and above the fact that nothing concrete was obtained of the Americans, especially with a President Obama who was nice enough not to have abandoned the Nigerian delegation in his haste to hurry off to Kenya, all because of a LEAHY ACT which prevents the American Department of State from assisting nations, whose military have been accused of human rights abuses militarily. It therefore was no surprise that a nation like Cameroon which made little or no noise, employing quiet and strategic diplomacy had just last week welcomed the first batch of a contingent of three hundred military experts from the US to help the country combat Boko Haram terrorists within her borders, and this while the Nigerian president was simply offered a visit by the commander of America's  Africa Command, AFRICOM.

Unfortunately, this Buhari-led administration jettisoned whatever gains was achieved by the last administration to chart a new course it is looking to be doing LEARNER at, when they could just have built on it. Now, in the latest interview he granted the foreign press (as if he detests the local Nigerian press), President Buhari stated that he wouldn't resign if Boko Haram isn't wiped out by the Decenber deadline he set for the military (whose command headquarters he relocated to Maiduguri, in Borno State which is the heart of the insurgent group), an indication that it may have dawned on him that the war against these Islamist may not be a thing of the past in the nearest future. A scary thing to ponder upon for the discerning.

I hate to think that this war against Boko Haram will be long drawn. Having followed the evolution of this group, beside writing about them (the latest been: LAFIYA NOT YET DO-LE | madukovich's cogitations https://madukovich.wordpress.com/2015/10/05/lafiya-not-yet-do-le/), I think that it is high time we begin to humanize some of the things associated with this war. I know that it may be difficult to get the names of victims at the hands of Boko Haram, but when such is possible, even of the injured, their names should be documented, even if (as is expected) that the government may abandon them to their fate. That way, somehow or somewhere in the future we may just be fortunate to find non governmental organizations, NGOs or even governments at different levels that may be interested in the welfare of such people to cater for them, not only physically but psychologically as well.

The military's quiet (even of denial as in the case of a beheaded member of the airforce few months back, at the hands of members of the dreaded group) over it's captured personnel must stop. The

THE SAME SOLDIER ABOUT TO BE BEHEADED

name of the latest victim in the video I saw (and that of many others, including a female member of the intelligence services), as well as many of our gallant men and women lost to these barbarians during combat should be made public so that Nigerians can honour them in anyway they might deem fit, and have their families feel proud of what their wards, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters etc, had done in sacrificing their lives for not just the peace and security of their beloved country, but for it's unity, rather than just focussing and making news of the court-martialling of deserters, even sentencing those who refused to sacrifice themselves because they were ill-equipped to face members of Boko Haram to death.

'kovich

PICTURE CREDIT:
- http://africanspotlight.com
- http://realchannel165.com.ng

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