23 Dec 2014

Like Boko Haram, Like Failed Politicians - by Ademola Orunbon

When we begin to conceptualise that Boko Haram has done more damage to our nation as did the politicians may be under that realism, we will fuse the puzzle together and clearly understand that we are not fighting demonic extremists but along with that, we are battling with a colony of blood-stinking men who use anything at their disposal to cling unto power. So, if ever we win the battle with this unrepentant sect, the actual war might still elude us all.

Boko Haram has always been with us only that the sect was of a different name, form, agenda and influence. As did militancy that we suddenly realised in the 90s, it has always been a long awaited struggle for self-recognition of depriving a region its actual due. Not until the likes of Tompolo the “government”, Asari Dokubo took up arms against the government before we woke up to our deafening reality that you do not unjustly justify a wrong, you do not impoverish a people that provide about 80 per cent of your natural resources. It is clear that when you push a man so close to the wall without response, you are bound to eventually slug it out in a battle of resistance.

Not until the amnesty programme that actually brought a sense of peace to the Niger Delta, although massive work still needs to be done in the area at least, it is clear that most of the Niger Delta youths are no more restless. They have backed down on their vengeful mission to run down the Nigeria government to some extent because a reclusive peace was found along with the amnesty.

It is obvious that the system will not only corrupt their laudable intentions, it will consume them and recycle them into the Jekyl and Hyde form of politics in which there is an elusive Godfather and a robber who keeps his own part of the deal. If politicians can loot public funds without being held accountable for their action, if an untouchable cabal can skilfully dupe 150 million people without any firm explanation or reprimand from the government that constantly vows to protect their interest, if 36 grown men did an election and still shamelessly agree that 16 votes override 19 votes, then actually we are only a country in self-deceit and until we rise up together to speak against injustice, nepotism, favouritism and corruption, Boko Haram might just be a tip of the iceberg.

I am not a prophet of doom, but I can categorically say we approved and tolerated Boko Haram for too long until we couldn’t fathom its excesses. If some group of armed and deluded men can kidnap secondary school girls; innocent girls, whose dreams have been shattered by the corruption of our time, their future crooked by the crookedness of our leaders, their womb spoilt by men in masks and suits, constantly tortured by the terror even if by a smirk of luck they are released.

Are we prepared to accommodate their psychological status? Are we ready to give them the best medical and psychological care that the world can offer? If not, we are only carrying a limited placard of hopelessness; a placard which writes, “Bring Back Our Girls”, will demand from us a new kind of favour, a new kind of hope; and if our purpose is as limited as supposed then the girls should rather stay aloof because what greater death will it be to have lived for months in the hands of terrorists eventually to be released into a society where stigmatisation prevails; a society where power holders don’t give a two hoop in Hades about her citizens; a society where infrastructure is deficient; a society where unity is an illusion and love a non-gratia.

Some of us can live with certain absurdities since there seems to be no other choice but these corrupted and defiled girls will be damned by the society’s variety of vices. While the sect reins its substantive power on the northeastern zone, our leaders overshadow 150 million people with their shenanigans, open and hidden atrocities, their corrupting lifestyle and, most repressively, their backwardness in political economics.

While we are bedevilled by an unrepentant Boko Haram, we are also handicapped by a sect of cabal that has vowed to stifle the treasury, Boko Haram uses the conventional tactics while our power holders use the modern classical techniques to fondle the nation’s resources with their collective greed. Someday, I hope across the sacred aisle, and beyond the threshold of greed, we will look ahead, beyond the corruption of this present era, above the vices and virtues of our power holders even beyond the smoking anger of the dreaded Boko Haram sect so that the struggles of our heroes past will not be in vain.

As we then flank out in our various roles as nation-builders, regardless of our political affiliations, religious umbrella and ethnic colouration, let’s begin to speak in oneness. Although it sounds unreal, it’s possible at least to stand together to constantly condemn and fight against corruption, injustice and poor infrastructure. We must stand and be heard for, it was in our division Boko Haram openly crept in; it was in our overtly reclusiveness and resignation to circumstances that have dragged us thus far.

Lately, the security details of the Speaker of the House of Representatives were withdrawn due to his defection from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Party. That in itself is wrong but whether the Inspector-General of Police has the legal backing to act in such a manner is a debate for another day and also if it is not only absurd or abnormal for the IG to be at the beck and call of the executive instead of the people.

The greatest pain isn’t the atomic aches of the Speaker but the infinitesimal pains of the Chibok girls, the gnashing of their innocence, the tears in their eyes while their rights and body being violated openly; still we live in a nation which boasts leaders and politicians.

It is time for us to be serious and let go of these charlatans and never-do-well bunch of politicians. We are sick and tired of their incapacity and negligence; the government might have failed the Chibok girls, we all in our mien and disposition might have failed these girls but failure is actually not total or fatal, quitting is.

If not, I fear we will crash beneath the rushing wings of the Third Mainland Bridge. Most of us can agree that Boko Haram is vaguely an idea anchored by fanatics, although this idea might be nefarious in nature and deluded in reality; to repress or kill an idea, we must have a better idea which supersedes theirs; we must first understand their source of income, their method of warfare, their specific locations and their background.

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