Opinion: Boko Haram – We need answers and results

by Toks Ero


Why should Nigerians be compelled to cope with incompetent people governing her affairs? How can Nigerians understand for whatever reason why it is hard for the President to take those hard decisions that would guarantee evident results? 

Ever since Boko Haram got really blood thirsty, a lot of questions as to the establishment, organization and administration of the group have pre-occupied my mind.

I am sure wary Nigerians are asking the same questions. Who established the group? Why was the group established? What does the group hope to achieve or gain? Which person or group has the financial muscle to finance the activities of such a group? How does the group get her supplies of weapons, ammunitions and bombs? How has the group managed to remain faceless?

Candidly, I believe the average Nigerian may never have answers to these questions. We have heard accusations, allegations, theories and conspiracy theories. I believe all of these have elements of truth and falsehood in them; how true or false we may never know. The Federal Government has not help issues either.

There is a great communication gap between the government and citizens of Nigeria. While I believe that certain information must be kept secret so as not to hamper the activities of our security agencies, I also believe the government is not doing enough to deserve the understanding and cooperation of Nigerians.

How can Nigerians reconcile the fact that in recent years the military has had perhaps the largest chunk of annual appropriation yet without commensurate results to justify such spending?

Why should Nigerians be compelled to cope with incompetent people governing her affairs? How can Nigerians understand for whatever reason why it is hard for the President to take those hard decisions that would guarantee evident results?

Why is it so difficult to secure our porous borders? Nigeria’s borders are so porous such that it is easy for every criminal gang from Niger, Chad, Cameroon and the Republic of Benin to creep into her territory unhindered through unmanned bush paths scattered about her boundaries.

The massiveness of Nigeria’s land mass agreeably poses a grave challenge to effectively policing her borders. But of what use is technology if we cannot maximize her benefits in policing our rather porous borders? What is the use of expending huge sums of money on NIGCOMSAT if it cannot serve us well in the face of such grave security challenges?

The sophistication of the weapons and ammunitions the Boko Haram insurgents have access to are not such as could be churned out with ease by a local manufacturer. And even if such a manufacturer were to exist in these parts, I wonder if such a weapon-monger would be so adept at managing the massive supply network involved in arming these insurgents.

Sometime ago, Nigeria’s military spokesman, Brigadier-General Chris Olukolade announced the arrest of a Cameroonian weapon monger who confessed to being a major weapons supplier to the Boko Haram insurgents. He led military investigators to discover caches of weapons hidden in a church in Kalabalge local government area of Borno State meant for the sects satanic exploits.

The weapons recovered include anti-aircraft guns, rocket-propelled guns as well as other brands of machine guns and thousands of various rounds of ammunition.

Till date, we haven’t heard any useful information that was squeezed out of the Cameroonian weapon monger. I expected that by now, Nigeria would have been privy to the source of the weapons he supplies to Boko Haram. I expected that we would have known if a larger network of weapons suppliers exists, who they are and who bankrolls their operations.

By whichever source this deadly sect get their funding/weapons supply is still open to anybody’s imagination or conjecture.

The Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako, whose State happens to be a major theatre of Boko Haram’s condemnable attacks on Nigerians living in the North East of Nigeria in a speech delivered at a symposium on Current Economic, Social and Security Challenges facing Northern Nigeria organized by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington, DC earlier this year accused President Goodluck Jonathan and key government officials of possibly supporting state terrorism.

Governor Nyako said, “… the arms, ammunition and explosives being used by so-called Boko Haram are not manufactured in Nigeria. Somebody must have brought them from abroad to the scenes of attacks. With military check-points mounted everywhere in perhaps far greater numbers than we had during our civil war and with only the President, the Vice President and their key staff and Governors of the States on one hand and the Nigerian Military on the other who pass these points unchecked, we could safely assume that it is one of the two groups who convey these weapons up country from the Port(s) after Custom and Security clearance.

The security situation we are facing in Northern Nigeria today could be sponsored, financed and supported by evil minded and over-ambitious leaders of government and the society for political gains…”

While these serious allegations may be passed off as mere politicking or mud-slinging, more so as they are unsubstantiated, what can be deduced is that agents of government are complicit and culpable in the smooth operation of Boko Haram.

I believe the major challenge for the Federal Government is the unmasking of those behind the group, both inside and outside of government. Following this will be to block their source of funding and weapons supply. Success on these accounts will greatly hamper and reduce the activities and attacks of Boko Haram.


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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