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Nigeria has witnessed a number of violence, riot and civil unrest since it gained independence from the British Colonial Government in 1960. Starting from the Civil War in 1967 to the religious violence in Kaduna, Jos and other parts of the Nation, the Country has lost so many lives for no just cause.
Presently, the country has been under severe bomb attacks from a terrorist group called “Boko Haram.” The original name of the group is “Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati Wal-Jihad” meaning People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet's Teachings and Jihad. The group was founded by one Mohammed Yusuf in 2002 in Borno State, precisely in Maiduguri with the purpose of establishing a Shari’a government in the state under former Governor Ali Modu Sheriff. He (Yusuff) even established a religious complex that included a mosque and a school. Their widely known name of “Boko Haram” means Western education is a sin and they preached against the practice of democracy, preferring Sharia as the system of government that should be practiced in the Northern region. The basis of their myopic ideology is not the concern of this article but their modus operandi and the failure of the Northern elites to rise and salvage the region.
Since the assumption of office of the Jonathan led administration, the Nation (specifically the Northern Region) has suffered numerous bomb attacks from this notorious group. The question that readily comes to mind is, why this time? In 2009, the group came under the investigative spotlight of the government and this led to a violent clash between the members of the group and the security forces. Their leader, Mohammed Yusuf was arrested along with several members of the group and subsequently Yusuff was brutally killed without being given a fair trial. This sparked violence across the Northern States and since then the group has been terrorizing the country. The first major attack of the group was in September 2010 when 50 gunmen attacked the Bauchi Prisons and freed over 700 prisoners. Since then the group has attacked Abuja and the Northern Regions States such as Benue, Borno and Yobe amongst others. The attacks have even been extended to suicide bombing, something that has never been witnessed in the country. What however baffles me is why there were no such attacks during the administration of the late Musa Yar’adua who hails from the North. Why are we witnessing these attacks now that we have a President from the Southern part of the country? I have said this before and i will reiterate it that if a Northerner had emerged as the President in the 2011 general elections, Nigeria would not be experiencing this spate of bombings. The violence that heralded the declaration of Goodluck Jonathan as the President is a pointer to the fact that the North was not pleased with the outcome of the results. Thus my conclusion is that the Boko Haram insurgence is a plot by “some elements” in the North to frustrate the administration of Goodluck Jonathan and render him helpless and incredible for the next general elections.
Apart from the point on the emergence of Jonathan, the way the Northerners have reacted to the spate of bombings and killings in their region gives credence to the fact that they are just against the Jonathan administration. The Northern Elites have been silent and have done little or nothing to bring an end to this madness. What efforts have the Arewa Consultative Forum and other Northern Elite groups made in bringing an end to the attacks? Is it because no mosque has been bombed? Or is it because the attacks have not touched their dwelling place? The monarchs and the political bigwigs in the North should rise to the occasion and save their region from an imminent collapse. They cannot continue to fold their arms and behave as if all is well. They should remember that it is their region, their land that is being desecrated with every bomb that goes off. In the last five days, there have been bomb attacks in Abuja, Kaduna, Gombe, Kano and Taraba. The North should see the Boko Haram insurgence as a threat to its survival as a region and not as Goodluck Jonathan’s peculiar problem
Actually the attacks has been restricted to the North but if the Boko Haram group are not brought to book on time, there is the fear that they may extend their clandestine operation to the Southern region and the likely consequence of such an attack may threaten the unity of the nation. As for President Jonathan, it is obvious that he is helpless, clueless and was not prepared for the leadership position. The President needs the help of developed nations that have been able to vanquish similar terrorist groups. The gathering of intelligence information is an area the Nigeria Security Forces really needs help and countries like the US, UK can be approached for assistance. Our security forces have been stretched to the limit and it is so apparent that they cannot contain this group. The security agents need specialized training and should be well equipped to tackle this menace. The boko haram insurgence will not be a tenable excuse for non-performance by President Jonathan if by the end of his term in office, Nigeria has not made any significant progress. He will go down in history as one of the worst presidents Nigeria ever had.
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