Civilian Apathy And Prognosis Of Boko Haram, Adedayo Osho

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For Nigeria to extinguish insurgency up north and headlong combat Boko Haram whose recent wave of attacks has become the bloodiest executed by any rebel groups across Africa, a similar trend likened to ISIL atrocities in Middle East, security experts and analysts had previously suggested: the nation should seek international co-operation; rearm the military and tighten border with her neighbours. 
 
Perhaps, this contention however soluble is in itself a means to an end to terrorism, it does not guarantee outright extinction of the sect in as much as host citizens portrays nonchalant gesture toward victory nor ready to co-operate with military by rendering useful informations which could aid in tracking down insurgents- majority of which live in the midst of civilians.
 
Religious followers of terrorism attacks as events keep unfolding will come to term that only loyalists, footsoldiers and sympathisers of varying 'regimes in power' lend moral support to security agencies engaging Boko Haram in hopeful of victory.
 
Such is an expression of how partisan men behave when their political party is at the helm of affair. Perhaps, this column is premised on the contentious issue of "why vast majority of Nigerian citizens refrained from offering moral support to the military.
 
It also critique factors responsible for resurgence by Boko Haram" in Blacks most populous nation, Nigeria. To understand rationales behind apathy by civilians, a reminder of past utterances by the Nigerian military and my personal experience will illuminate on the problematic. 
 
During the peak of Boko Haram activities in the last dispensation, weeks rarely end without the military claiming it regained rebel held territories, arrested Abubakar Shekau, the marauding sect hit-man or boasted it was orchestrating the process of returning Internally Displaced Persons back to their homes.
 
Their statements sometimes contrasts sharply with the testimony of eyewitnesses on ground with Boko Haram appearing energetic and vigorous on Youtube in new videos released the following week while reiterating their resilient pursuit of what Steven Metz dubbed 'Islamist revolutionary jargon.' 
 
From Mohammed Yusuf year as figure of that religious bigots, promising gallant soldiers lost their lives to the current civil war ravaging the West African tiger. Bereaved families of fallen soldiers usually encounter convoluted process in compensation receipt.
 
Hitherto, there exist unreported cases of series of Nigerian soldiers fallen to insurgency, but months in, year out, pot belly top officers retire without hassle nor delay on gratuities payment.
 
It is disheartening that many of these patriotic defenders of Nigerian sovereignty were recently court-martialed and sentenced to imprisonment on allegation of cowardice.
 
Reasons why these army refused to engage Boko Haram is not far fetched. Insiders once revealed that what used to constitute Nigerian military arsenal are hues of outdated weapons.
 
In a dialectical sense, why won't these ambitious soldiers hold back? For instance, it is the height of using one's precious life to play kite by carrying AK-47 and face a man holding latest Beryl-96 Revolver or Manroy-M2HB. A technologically sophisticated army enters war front with assurance of victory relying on acquired skills and gusset weapon at hand. 
 
With the exception of those who fled the country. As of April 2015, an IDMC release tolled the number of Internally Displaced Persons chased by insurgency to 1,538,982.
 
Why then do you expect citizens who have grasp knowledge of how government failed in protecting lives and properties of fellow countrymen to support a faltered system? one overshadowed by conflicting interests- recently of which military hierarchy, top political office holders and prominent Northern influential were accused of negligence, conspiracy and lack of will to end insurgency.
 
These and more shortcomings reaffirms long distrust between the Nigerian masses and its elites. A typical example of one nation stratified along personal interest at the detriment of national salvation. 
 
Devastatingly, 13,000 people have been sent on august visit to heaven in the six-year-old insurgency. But yesteryear is gone: as we witness today; today will become bygone by tomorrow; while tomorrow will be addressed as yesterday couple of days from now.
 
It is non-negotiable! In light of this philosophical thought, it is instructive for Nigerian "Super Rich" and "striving poor" alike to shelve sword of discord up North. After all, in Nigeria, a poor man pays for the sin of the Rich. Predominantly, a demographic of poor people constitutes victims of social unrest. In the interest of humanity, let us form a vanguard of peace loving citizens and send Boko Haram into limbo once and for all.
 
It is expected of right thinking citizens to report suspicious move by strangers to security agencies. But regrettably, themselves, say, police has overtime been accused of laxity, negligence and conspiracy in many past criminal cases.
 
In July 2013, the beautiful town of Ganye in Adamawa, a state contiguous to Borno, the birthplace of Boko Haram in North-Eastern Nigeria was the venue.
 
I and 15 Southerners had just been posted to Federal Government College, Ganye as youth corp members after undergoing orientation at Girei camp for the compulsory one-year national service.
 
Being the only requested political science graduate, my duty was to handle Government and Civic Education at senior secondary level.
 
Despite necessary provisions ranging from accomodation, power generating set and portable water within that learning-conducive environment, I and many of my colleague were forced to leave overnight upon coming across a native guy whom himself was just a fresh graduate of ABU Zaria. 
 
Since we were orientated from camp to be friendly, associate and help our host community.
 
A political discourse while chilling cut us engaged with Bala, a brilliant sociologist and one of Northern intellect I ever met.
 
He extrapolate on Boko Haram activities: we realised that the sect is divided into factions, a larger friction of it loyal to Abubakar Shekau; how they were sponsored by few influential northern elites {names not mentioned}; how a village close to the Nigerian-Cameroun border, 250 naira by motorbike and 200 naira by bus from Ganye served as hide-out for the insurgents to launch attacks and most barbaric, complacency by security agencies after series of informations provided to them by civilians which could easily aid in nabbing marauders.
 
Much as I would be glad to see you guys reside here post-service, the lives of my people themsel ves are not safe in nearest months, but I wish you all best of luck, he says. 
 
Remember I earlier said Bala's illustration made us left same night. Our next destination was Gowon House, the NYSC National Headquarters at Abuja.
 
Tense protest on ground of insecurity along with thousands of corp members who had already gathered there saw us redeployed to else safer states next day. 
 
I can't imagine the wealth of potentials Northern Nigeria has lost to insurgency. For instance, FGGC Ganye was in dire need of Mathematics teachers, Efosa, one of University of Benin overall best for 2013, a genius economist and statistician redeployed along with us.
 
Back home, your prosperity is in itself a thing of joy for families, relatives and friends who depend on you.
 
On a final note: arguably the most controversial among those used by insurgents lately to detonate objects are the 200 plus missing Chibok girls, a situation which has seen spike in number of female bombers and consistent attacks across north.
 
If remain not rescued in time as promised during campaign by the new government, an impending doom awaits the future of our girls/women in that part of the country. A stitch in time saves several.
 
Adedayo Osho received combined Bachelor degree in Political Science and Education from University of Ado-Ekiti. The views expressed here are his alone. oshoadedayo7@yahoo.com Twitter @JahPolitical
 
 

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