Opinion: Mr President, show us the Boko Haram members in the PDP

by Adeolu Ademoyo


President Jonathan said there are Boko Haram members in his cabinet, and therefore in his party-PDP. So? Let us take our cross by ourselves. Let President Jonathan stand by his words for once and lead by showing us the members of Boko Haram he said are in his cabinet and therefore in his government and party. 

The conflicting multiple narratives, which attempt to explain Boko Haram, have raised moral questions which have defined Nigeria in many ways we continue to struggle to understand. For example, on record, President Jonathan once said Boko Haram members are in his cabinet. Since his is a PDP government, logically this means in President Jonathan’s own words that Boko Haram is sponsored by his party, the PDP. The president has not denied nor withdrawn his own voluntary admission. But whether this sponsorship is officially known to him or not is an open-ended question.

On another narrative, the PDP accused the APC of sponsoring Boko Haram to destabilize the PDP government. Still on a different narrative, the APC accused President Jonathan and his PDP government of not doing enough to terminate Boko Haram. All the narratives did not contend with the social environment that breeds Boko Haramic terrorism.

Yet on a radically different overview (different from both the PDP and APC narratives), it is observed that Boko Haram has evolved into an independent terrorist political and economic brand and franchise whose terrorist activities are not necessarily carried out by the original Boko Haram. In this regard, while some of the terrorist acts are the evil works of the original Boko Haram, some of these new terrorist acts may not be connected with Boko Haram.

But given the collapse of state under President Jonathan’s gross moral and political ineptitude and incompetence, terrorism has become a norm, a negotiating tool in the hands of all politicians-known, faceless and shadowy- members of Nigerian political class in and outside both parties.

These narratives have defined our individual and collective relationships to Nigeria as a country.

Unknown to many, regardless of the way the moral expresses itself in the polity and regardless of the way it is constituted, the moral is that which adds meaning and value to a country beyond a country as a mere geographical expression. The moral is that which blends and forges diverse peoples of a geographical territory to voluntarily proclaim their country with one voice as a nation or and a united country.

The building of consensus, of unity, and essentially the forging of a nation out of a country return to the moral as the foundation. So, the failure of the Nigerian state proceeds from the failure of a moral will, a failed moral capacity. Hence, given our inability to jointly speak the truth about Boko Haram, the conflicting multiple Boko Haram narratives have added to what continue to tear down the moral core of Nigeria, and by extension her meaning to Nigerian peoples.

If the conflicting narratives on Boko Haram have emptied Nigeria of any moral meaning, the narratives of the attack on General Muhammed Buhari, a former Nigerian head of state and now an APC politician has added a vivid portrayal to that moral emptiness, that moral wretchedness that is fast turning us into a laughing stock in the comity of civilized global citizens in the world.

There are three narratives of the attack on General Mohammed Buhari. The first is that Buhari was the target and the attack came from his opponents, principally the PDP. The second narrative is that Buhari’s supporters in and out of APC sponsored the attack to draw sympathy towards Buhari. The third narrative looks beyond party affiliations and focuses on “objective” of the attack. In this regard this third narrative suggests that the goal of the attack was to cause instability in the country because if the attack succeeded in its goal, Buhari’s supporters would have reacted massively.

Moral obligation-if we still have one- demands that we inspect and interrogate the immediate circumstance of the attack on Mr. Mohammed Buhari. In this regard, it is morally significant –or at least it ought to be significant for those who still take the ethical in us seriously as the foundation of life and of a nation-that people, human beings died during the attack and that we do not have the exact numbers of those who died during the attack on Buhari.

This means that in our dear country Nigeria, people are mere objects who are un-accounted numbers. And we Nigerians live with this grim reality of being mere objects and numbers! Now regardless of who the sponsors are, take any of the narratives of the attack on Buhari, and suppose any of the three narratives is true, it is morally significant that the sponsors-(outside job i.e PDP, inside job i.e. APC, neither PDP nor APC) of the attack were ready to waste the lives of fellow Nigerians in order to make a point!

But to understand this absurdity we live with, let us return to the wisdom in an African moral thought which says “Ibi pẹlẹbẹ ni a ti n mu ọlẹlẹ jẹ”. This simply means that rather than complicate understanding and knowledge, we should proceed on our journey of understanding by starting our meal from the basics, the basics being the tiny morsels of the meal, in this case the food of knowledge, of understanding and of cognition.

In this case that basic is whether there is a Nigerian state, and a country that speaks with one voice. Therefore, that a country that has a President and a cabinet of ministers will be unable to honestly inform (either way) Nigerians on the attack on Mr. Mohammed Buhari, a Nigerian ex-head of state is a vivid reminder of the moral emptiness of the country and a sad illustration of the country as a mere geographical expression. Mere lamentation of the attack from Mr. president, Goodluck Jonathan may be necessary but it is insufficient.

This moral emptiness of the country has shown itself in two ways. First, President Jonathan and his PDP government are reportedly paying foreigners-a foreign Public Relations Firm- Nigerian money to launder the obvious stinking image of the Goodluck Jonathan government. If true, it is morally perplexing and frustrating that President Jonathan will sell the country so cheaply and so poorly.

Living in the diaspora, we know that no foreign firm will improve the dirty and unethical image of President Jonathan’s government. Nigerian tax payers money will be collected. One or two editorials will be written and President Jonathan’s government image will remain in the stench pit where it rightly belongs. In other words, President Jonathan has just exercised the worst self inflicted colonial inferiority complex by asking foreigners to help launder his bad image. If this story is true, then he has just wasted Nigerian public money.

Like the African moral thought instructs, one’s moral image is like swirling smoke which goes before us. Therefore, how can a public relations company in the US clean President Jonathan’s moral image when his minister of Petroleum Diezani Alison Madueke sits flat on corruption in the oil industry and acts as President Jonathan’s private purse in that ethically damned oil industry? How can a US public relations company burnish President Jonathan’s image and the image of his government and party when a US wanted alleged criminal Buruji Kashamu is one of the leaders of President Jonathan’s party-PDP?

Perhaps the simple way for President Jonathan to help his image is to have asked Buruji Kashamu to be part of his delegation to the US for the Africa-US Economic summit. The first thing that would have happened to Buruji Kashamu is that he would be picked up by the American state at the airport for he has questions to answer before the American law. This is America, and not Nigeria. In the US, Buruji Kashamu’s police pick up would be about the law.

Similarly, the same PDP and President Jonathan are asking a foreign country –Britain –to investigate Boko Haram and their Nigerian links! In asking a foreign country to investigate Boko Haram links, one wonders whether President Jonathan understands his role as the country’s commander in chief. Why will a Commander in Chief of a country-President Jonathan-contract his main job to a foreign country’s Commander in Chief?

Working the same route of moral bankruptcy the PDP and President Jonathan have treaded in asking foreigners to investigate the Boko Haram links and paying foreigners Nigerian hard earned money, the APC deepens this moral bankruptcy and absurdity by asking the “International” community to investigate the attack on General Mohammed Buhari!

I am Nigerian and I am part of that so-called “International” community which President Jonathan, PDP and APC are asking to do Nigeria’s job for them. So, in this regard, let me end by saying that no one knows who Boko Haram are, and no one knows who attempted to assassinate General Mohammed Buhari other than we Nigerians. The so-called ‘International” community do not know what we Nigerians know about Boko Haram sponsors, Boko Haram’s mutations and those who tried to kill Mohammed Buhari.

To deny this proposition is to lie and to deepen the moral emptiness of Nigeria. Members of the Nigerian political class must be held responsible for the more contemporary evolution, mutation and transmutation of Boko Haram and those non-Boko Haramic terrorist acts hiding under Boko Haram. They are also responsible for the attempt of Buhari’s life. This is no blame game. It is the blunt truth no one wants to admit and say openly.

President Jonathan, the PDP and APC should please stop these unintelligent calls on “International” community to do what is our job. Let us look at our morally ugly selves in the mirror and stop the silly call on some phantom “International” community to investigate Boko Haram and the attack on Buhari.

President Jonathan said there are Boko Haram members in his cabinet, and therefore in his party-PDP. So? Let us take our cross by ourselves. Let President Jonathan stand by his words for once and lead by showing us the members of Boko Haram he said are in his cabinet and therefore in his government and party. Taking our cross ourselves is a moral minimum to end terrorism in Nigeria beyond Boko Haram.


This article was first published in the Premium Times Newspapers

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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