This is the reasoning of millions of Nigerians that are worried about the resurgent spate of killings and bombings being engineered by the outlawed terrorist group Boko haram. Boko Haram means “Western education is forbidden” but when loosely translated means western education is a sin. The group which is mainly based in the North eastern parts of Nigeria (Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa), the Chadian, Malian and Cameroonian borders. Its official Arabic name, Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad, means “People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad”. The group members are mainly of Kanuri extraction which is the dominant ethnic groups in large swaths of North east Nigeria.
The group’s leader Abubakar Shekau alias Darul Akeem wa Zamunda Tawheed, or Darul Tawheed (“the abode of monotheism”) has reiterated his groups displeasure in western education and its tenets in videos with varying characteristics and mannerisms of the leader being presented. Observers believe that Abubakar shekau is just a proxy and alias used by the group in presenting its demands. Many analysts and observers have blamed the rise of the group on the neglect of qualitative education and basic amenities in those areas by the Nigerian government and the northern elite. Resolving this disadvantages will go a long way in curbing the rising influence and spread of Islamic extremism in Nigeria and Africa has a whole.
Since the foundation of the group in 2002, the group has made use of mosques for its operation bases and once controlled the capital city and largest city in Borno state Nigeria until they were flushed out by security forces ordered by Nigeria’s late president Umaru Musa Yardua.This operations led to the extra judicial killing of mohammad yusuf the sects leader at that time. Some security watchers believe it was that killing that led to the resurgence of Abubakar shekau who continued and has even surpassed the heights his master reached. Boko haram came into worldwide prominence with the sensational kidnap of over 250 girls of the government girls secondary school Chibok Borno state and even moved onto controlling the vast Sambisa Forest also in bornos state and 2 Local Council areas in Adamawa as well one local council as Yobe state.
Former president Goodluck Jonathan regime was criticized for not doing enough to prevent Boko haram’s onslaught, but his regime turned the heat on boko haram by recovering most of the lost territory and greatly diminishing the strength of Boko haram for the periods from February 2015 to May 2015. With almost 20,000 people killed and over 1.5 Million displaced by the insurgency the new Nigerian government should refocus its ideas and military tactics utilizing the fact that an ex-military man is now head of state. The Goodluck Jonathan administration laid a solid foundation for the annihilation of the Boko Haram insurgents by capturing its Caliphate’s capital Gwoza were the Nigerian mobile police force training school is situated.
Despite the gains made by the Nigerian Army during the past administration it is unfortunate to note that the Buhari administration has failed to capitalize on those gains as Boko Haram have resorted to its 2013 tactics but this time with more suicide bombings featuring girls as suicide bombers and guerrilla warfare being conducted on small villages with outrageous death tolls being the results of such endeavors. It is disturbing to mention that no major battle has been reported between the insurgents and Nigeria’s military forces. The President Muhammadu Buhari regime should be commended for moving the command centre of the Boko haram insurgence to the hotbeds as this will be morale boosting to an already demoralized army.
A positive move that President Buhari has made is the replacement of the service chiefs appointed by Goodluck Jonathan. The Department of State Security (DSS) should also be reoriented on its duties as being responsible for internal intelligence and not its current job description of intimidation civilians and providing corporate bodyguard services to politicians. If the DSS can utilize its resources for counter intelligence, the battle against Boko Haram will be over sooner and the affected places rebuilt. With over 860 churches already burnt by the boko haram insurgents according to the Christian association of Nigeria (CAN), the Nigerian government needs to put more efforts in its bid to eradicate the insurgents.
Adavize Alao is the Curator MustardPressng.com