Opinion: Winning the war against insurgency

by Ola Lookman


Therefore, the recent attack on a Mosque in Konduga in Borno State further reveals to Nigerians that the Boko Haram group is never an organisation whose interest is to promote Islam and its adherents, but to consistently visit terror on innocent and hapless citizens.

The killing of Momodu Bama, the Deputy to Shekau, and Commander of Boko Haram in an encounter with federal troops was another timely response to the maddening atrocities of insurgents few days after Sallah.

Interestingly, recent revelations with regards to activities of the Islamist terror group, Boko Haram,  have confirmed that the insurgency and other unrest witnessed in some parts of the country has nothing to do with religion, but the activities of internationally backed terror groups determined to destabilise the nation. This, no doubt cannot be far from the gospel truth. It is simply an orchestrated plan to distract the government from delivering its plethora of campaign promises to Nigerians.
A sign that peace has finally returned to these once volatile areas is the fact people living these states are very much free to move about in pursuit of their life aspirations. One outstanding event that shook everyone was the resolve by Muslim faithful in Borno state to stage its annual Sallah Durbar for the first time in four years. Recall that with the notoriety of activities of Boko Haram in these states, the traditional Sallah Durbar festivals were put on hold. In such instances, muslim faithful are usually advised to hurriedly return to their homes after observing the congregational Eid prayers. In the last four years, Sallah and Christmas celebrations in the above listed states are usually marked without merriment, fun and partying which are no doubt factors that make such events memorable and thick.

Therefore, the recent attack on a Mosque in Konduga in Borno State further reveals to Nigerians that the Boko Haram group is never an organisation whose interest is to promote Islam and its adherents, but to consistently visit terror on innocent and hapless citizens. Nigerians of different faith are gradually coming to terms with the fact that the terror group is their common enemy and has no link with Islam as the mode of the group’s activities suggests.
The wide condemnation that greeted the attack on the Konduga mosque even by Christians is an indication that Nigerians have since realised that Boko Haram is only out to make life miserable for all Nigerians, irrespective of faith, tongue or political divide. Sadly, both religion, Islam and Christianity have suffered immense human and material loses since the terror group launched its first attack in 2009 in Maiduguri, Borno State.
It is instructive to stress the fact that no administration in our chequered political history as an independent nation has ever witnessed the level of distraction, especially on the security front than the President Goodluck Jonathan-led government. It is particularly worrisome that those behind the unrest have remained faceless and daily frustrating genuine attempts to engage them in healthy dialogue. The fact is, many, including those who never believed in the ability of this government to frontally address growing insecurity in the land have since come to realise the complex nature of the issue and have joined in looking for a way out of this quagmire.

Even though the constitution has placed the security of lives and property of Nigerians on the shoulder of government, Nigerians have also accepted the fact that they equally  have roles to play to guarantee their own security. This, they have demonstrated in a number of ways. Example of such is the resolve by youth in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital to come together under a name ‘Civilian JTF’.

These youths through house-to- house search are identifying, arresting and handing over to the Military JTF suspects who have links with the dreaded Boko Haram group. This, no doubt is yielding immense result. This is, however, a typical example of how citizens are expected to assist government in addressing their needs.
Through the coordinated efforts of the government, especially in tackling insecurity in the troubled states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, normalcy is gradually returning to the above listed areas. Nigerians who once deserted these states for fear of being attacked or killed are beginning to return in droves. This, no doubt, is an indication that peace, security and normalcy have been partially restored in states once described as hotbed of violence.

That the present administration has what it takes to fight insurgency in some parts of the country is to stress the obvious. Its resolve to engage these faceless elements so as to get to the roots of the matter remains her source of strength.
It is equally important to stress the fact that the emergency rule imposed on the troubled states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe is yielding meaningful results.

It is  indeed a huge achievement that during the recent Sallah celebration in Maidurguri, durbars were held, families paid visits to fun spots and people transacted their businesses without fear of imminent attacks. This, no doubt, is an indication that this government is winning its coordinated war against terror.
We really need to understand the complex nature of this insecurity challenge. What government requires from its citizenry is the understanding that it is doing her very best to make life meaningful for all Nigerians, irrespective of where they come from.

In this light, we should see the war against insurgency as a collective one and not the sole responsibility of security agencies or the government alone.
Since the emergency rule was announced a few months ago, it is evidently clear that the military has claimed major successes. Undoubtedly, these successes wouldn’t have been possible without the support and cooperation of Nigerians. It is a fight to finish. While we commend the gallantry of officers and men of JTF and civilian volunteers, there is this dire need for everyone to support the determination to stop the terrorism in Nigeria.




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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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