By Daniel Ochonu
The situation in North-East Nigeria calls for concern from all well-meaning Nigerians. This is given the wanton of destruction that has occasioned the war against Boko Haram terrorism since 2009. In some quarters it has been speculated that there is more to the activities of Boko Haram in North-East Nigeria than meets the eye.
The reasons might not be far-fetched. Some people are behind their nefarious activities, and there is also another grouping that benefits from the crisis to smile to the bank. These are called the political haram members, and those behind the Borno Conundrum.
That the Boko Haram crisis continues to fester is suspicious because all that is required to be done by the relevant authorities have been done. The morale of the military has been boosted. The operational capacity of the fighting troops has been upgraded, and yet we are still somewhat battling with remnants of the terrorist group, mainly operating from the fringes of the Lake Chad Basin Region.
It must be noted that the Boko Haram terrorists are not spirts and invincible. They live within us and gather as much information that they can get. They also have sympathizers almost everywhere that gives them financial, moral, and logistics support. These sympathizers are in government offices and religious organizations. They are holding top government positions of authorities, and they are also in the organized private sector with access to vast amounts of monies at their disposal. Interestingly, as sad as this might sound, the media is also culpable.
They give nocturnal support to the Boko Haram fighters. And during the day, they hold press conferences to condemn their activities. So much so that they organize conferences speaking against the activities of Boko Haram. This is the unfortunate situation we have found ourselves as a country in the fight against terrorism.
The case of Borno state provides that clear example of how the political haram members have aided the Boko Haram terrorist in their pursuit of evil against Nigeria. This is indeed a shame on how and why such is happening in the annals of our country. Most times, I wonder how we descended to the unenviable height. I also wonder how some people can sell their conscience so easily for a plate of porridge-like they are going to live forever.
I stand to be corrected; what they have failed to remember is the fact that our decisions in life somehow come around to haunt us. For them to think that they would get away with the evil been perpetuated is a mistake because the blood of the innocent would serve justice in the appropriate time.
Some reading this piece might be wondering what it is I am driving at. The answer is simple. There are some underlying factors responsible for the Boko Haram terrorist activities, and those behind it knows that should the war come to an end, it means the butter on their bread would cease, and as such, everything must be done to ensure that all efforts of the Nigerian government fail.
In my opinion, this is made possible as a result of the quantum of monies at their disposal, which was ill-gotten. I think this is where the relevant authorities in Nigeria failed to address all the while; instead, they concentrated on Boko Haram members and not realizing that the bigger problem is the activities of the political haram members.
I recall some time ago in the life of the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, in 2012 precisely, the former president stated that Boko Haram members had infiltrated his government. And as usual, he was abused and mocked. Little did we know that he was referring to the political haram members in high places.
The former president stated that he believed Boko Haram had sympathizers in government, national assembly, and even security agencies. Did we believe him? Now fast forward to 2019 and with a government in place that has demonstrated a strong political will by giving tremendous support to the Armed Forces in all areas necessary, and yet we are still confronted with the same debacle.
This is the stark reality on the ground as it stands, and my heart goes out to all that have in one way or the other fallen victims to these political haram members. In the words of former President Goodluck Jonathan, “some continue to dip their hands and eat with you, and you won’t even know the person who will point a gun at you or plant a bomb behind your house,”
I can’t but agree with former President Goodluck Jonathan, hence this piece. This is one reality we must come to terms with especially in Borno state. The Borno conundrum aptly fits into the political haram narrative. It is indeed a sad tale that a state once known as the home of peace is now a shadow of itself. And to think that these individuals have no qualms with what they are doing makes it all ironic. But guess what? In the fullness of time they shall be exposed in their numbers.
*Ochonu wrote this piece from Bauchi.