‘BOKO HARAM’ translates to, “western education is forbidden”, but what exactly is “western education”.
According to the Cambridge dictionary, western refers to European or American views, and education is the process of teaching or learning.
Therefore western education is the dispensation of knowledge by Europe or America, to the rest of the world. By definition, Boko Haram should not be waging war on Nigerians but to “Europe and America”.
So their choice of waging this misguided war on Nigeria is either proof of cowardice, stupidity, or confusion in the very heart of the purpose of Boko Haram; a purpose that does not go in sync with the actions.
Their platforms are built upon the very grounds of what they fight. Was it an uneducated man who invented the weapons they use to harm us? Is it uneducated individuals who create and run the social media they use to broadcast their cause?
Are these weapons and social media forms of non-western education? The answers to these questions show the non sequitur in their campaign, and highlight the confusion that besets the inner workings of these monsters.
They take and kill. They steal our children. They burn homes and tear families apart. They corrupt the innocence of children and use them for acts of terrorism. They claim to be against western education yet destroying Nigerian homes and villages.
They destroy our villages, our homes, our families, and are tearing our country apart from the inside. It is sad how the horrible cycle created by these radicals could continue. As they harm the innocent, inflict damage on children, tear families apart and destroy villages, they lay the seeds of pain, anger, vengeance and spite in the hearts of the people.
These seeds if left to grow would sprout tomorrow’s Boko Haram members, terrorist, militants, and radicals.
A week ago, I decided to go to some of the places that Boko Haram attacked. I visited my village and other neighboring villages in Adamawa state to see the extent of damage incurred. It was not a pretty sight. I saw how the survivors there lived. I saw how their houses were burnt. I could see pain in the eyes of the people; the children.
I wondered why we weren’t fighting back. We were all sitting at the sidelines and pointing fingers. Ask any one about the challenges Nigeria is facing today and you hear many answers.
Ask the same set of people what the solutions are and although the voices are quieter, you still hear some answers.
Finally, ask these groups of people what steps they are making to solve these problems, and they go silent.
What is my point?
We, have the attitude of analyzing and complaining about our problems while doing very little to fix them. Our problems are man-made and can be fixed by men and women.
The challenges we face are self-inflicted and so can be remedied by us. You don’t have to be in a position to be in power and you don’t have to be in power to be a change agent.
If we help children; if we help these IDPs; if we sponsor the education of the masses, we reduce the chances of these children becoming tomorrow’s Boko Haram insurgents. Countries, legacies, brands and worlds are not built by money, bricks or stone but by mindsets; mindsets created only through education of the masses.
Educating the masses that violence is not the way; educating the masses on various ways to fend for themselves; and most importantly, educating the masses on love and care for one another. Mindsets of love, compassion and fidelity are the things that would take Nigeria forward.
So how can we fight these people without destroying our country? How can we fight through this terror and safeguard the future of our country? We can tend to the IDPs and ensure they are not left alone to rot and be overcome with hatred.
We can look to the children and ensure they are educated enough to see the lies behind this vicious cycle.
A nation that places emphasis on children being the future leaders MUST do more to give these children the right tools to lead the country! As Nigerians we should no longer choose to accept whatever happens, but we should be responsible for our actions and the actions of fellow Nigerians.
In order to progress, I believe we should rely on educating the masses and educating our future; ensuring each child gets a primary and secondary school education, to give them a fighting chance in the world; to give Nigeria a fighting chance.
In order to deal with the major challenge facing our Great nation Nigeria, we must come together and take responsibility regardless of our religious, social and ethnic differences. A leader is not just someone in a position but also someone whose personality and attributes are admired and imitated by others.
We cannot let the attributes of hate and destruction be assimilated by our leaders of tomorrow. We must fight to safeguard our future. We must make conscious effort to do so. The time for passivity is over Nigeria.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija
Article written by Ben Hirki