Nigerians Need To Look In the Mirror, If We Wish To Solve Boko Haram Problem

Victor Bomi January 13, 2015

Boko Haram baga attack

I will start by saying, Nigeria, like any other country in the world, has its good and its bad, but it seems to get branded as a country of scammers and corruption. A lot of times, the world likes to focus on Nigeria’s bad, while we, as Nigerians, mostly focus on our good, such as being very educated and well-read with a strong sense of cultural pride and history.

All of these points each have its own level of truth behind them.

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Now let’s put the magnifying glass on two major factors that I believe keep Nigeria from truly reaching its potential: political terrorists and disunity among Nigeria’s citizens.

Terrorist is defined as follows:

1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes. 2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization. 3. a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government.

“Political Terrorists” are those politicians in the Nigerian government who go in to the office for the sole purpose of becoming wealthy, stealing money, and not actually serving the people of the country.
I consider these terrorists cancers to the country because they are elected to serve the people, but yet they ultimately end up only serving themselves and not actually creating any economic value or progress for the people.
These politicians are the people at the top who should be held responsible for many of the problems we see today in Nigeria (and yes we can partly blame the citizens of Nigeria who supposedly “put them in power”  but please note that there is a history of rigged elections throughout Nigeria and even if citizens get tired of an elected official who didn’t do what he was elected to do, these politicians use nefarious methods to make sure they are re-elected to office).
I believe these political terrorists are the reason that we now have the so-called religious terrorist group Boko Haram who are a tool of the political terrorists with special interests.
In my opinion, Boko Haram is a group of political terrorists, using the religion of Islam as a facade to further perpetuate their political agenda. If you notice, their attacks are mostly on citizens of the country, specifically northern Nigeria rather than the actual government or government establishments themselves.
Another reason why I don’t think Boko Haram’s motives are truly a religious matter is because most of the 2,000 people killed in the town of Baga, Nigeria, are reportedly Muslims. The vast majority of Boko Haram’s attacks also span the northern regions of Nigeria, which historically has been mostly inhabited by Muslims.
If their agenda is to spread Islam and anti-Western ideals, then why is it that they focus most of their attacks on the Muslim region of the country? (Note: that Boko Haram has a history of killing Christians too and are just as barbaric towards them.)
Something else I wonder about is that why is it so hard for the current government of Nigeria to condemn and take swift action against Boko Haram?
It just doesn’t make sense to me that the actual president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, has yet to even speak out against the aforementioned atrocity in Baga. In fact, he has been silent on the matter and is instead more focused on his political campaign.
It is mind-boggling to me that this small terror cell is causing this much havoc on a country as large as Nigeria.
Boko Haram will continue to kill citizens and create fear and violence to promote animosity over the current government until they get “their guy” in to power (probably a northern politician).
Where did Boko Haram come from?
Who knows.
I have heard conspiracy theories, such as they were likely created by the northern elites or they were created by the CIA or other special interest group for the purpose of destabilizing the government.
They have since spiraled out of the control of those who created them (or maybe this is all part of the plan).
It is also important to note that Nigeria’s current president is a southerner and that is something to take account of when speaking about Boko Haram because, since Day 1, the North has ruled Nigeria and always seen it as their birth right to rule over Nigeria and its resources in the South: most notably, its oil.
They pillage the south Niger Delta region of its oil and maintain their economic advantage over the South by keeping the oil refineries in the North while leaving most of the southern region a wasteland.
I have also heard a few people talk about secession and breaking up Nigeria into northern/southern, but in my humble opinion, I think that would cause more harm than good and the country would be going backward, not forward.
Separating Nigeria doesn’t change the root of the problems: the same leaders will still rule, meaning that would be a step backward economically and no progress would have been made on both sides.
I wouldn’t be surprised if that led to even more violence in a situation like that.
The second primary problem I mentioned earlier is that some Nigerians — who are so divided by tribalism, ethnicity, classicism, and religious differences so these massacres take place — in southern and eastern Nigeria don’t even feel compelled to take a stand against these atrocities.
Their mentality is “as long as they don’t come here” or “it’s a Muslim problem.”
Now compare the killing of more than 2,000 Nigerians in Baga to France, where just 17 of its own were killed by terrorists and the entire country came together, marched, and made a strong statement against terror.
At a point, I was pretty upset about the lack of media coverage, especially here in the West, about the attacks in Baga, Nigeria; however, I must say that it breaks my heart to admit that a lot of problems in Nigeria are due to our own people, and that unless each Nigerian can look in to the mirror at themselves as one and also as part of the solution, we will continue to repeat the cycle of mediocrity with no form of stability and concrete structure in the country.
Remember #BringBackOurGirls? Those 200 girls are still missing and are not back yet, so internally Nigerians really need to take responsibility for their continuous struggles, holding our politicians/government accountable and stop waiting for a savior from another country, because that will not happen.
Much like the plight of our African-American brothers and sisters in America, my view is the same: Until we start to value our lives, the world will continue to not value our lives either. I don’t need someone of another ethnic background that is not African to value the life of my people for me to know just how valuable each life is. These are children, parents, grandparents, etc. that are all being massacred with no remorse in our country, with some people treating the situation as life as usual and are desensitized to the atrocities.
This is wartime in Nigeria, a state of emergency; yet, I’m sure you will find that there are many Nigerians, both in Nigeria and abroad, who remain either silent, nonchalant, and/or indifferent to the continuous killings of our brothers and sisters.
I am aware that there is only so much optimism we can have when our very culture itself has become accustomed to a lifestyle of politicians going in to office for money and not the people. For some, defrauding and scamming has become a respectable means of attaining riches, with pastors using the pulpits to serve themselves and their pockets, and the lists goes on as far as the problems in Nigeria.
Still, I have to say that in the midst of all of these problems, I still have hope that one day the citizens of Nigeria will wake up and put aside tribal, religious, and ethnic differences to come together as one people united against a common enemy: geo-political terrorist.
We are so blinded by our differences that we fail to realize that we are all Nigerians first before anything else.
It has been proven all throughout history that when people unite for a common cause, regardless of where they are from,  CHANGE happens. So to the citizens of Nigeria and all of my fellow Nigerians, I believe that the solutions to our problems start with each one of us as individuals. Change is not easy, but since we always claim that we are the giant of Africa, then we should act like it and take control of our country.

RELATED: Nigerians Outraged: Boko Haram Kidnaps About 185 People, Kills 33

Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: June 19, 2018


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