“Keep Talking While we Keep Bombing”: the Boko Haram Code

First posted on October 14, 2011

I’ve got a confession to make: I really respect the new ‘bombers on the block’ called Boko Haram. You might begin to wonder why I’ve said this or if I’ve gone off the deep end (it ain’t news anyway cuz I’ve always been like this) but I’ll allay your fears in a little while. Yes, I’m proud of this ragtag group of highly sophisticated and volatile sect because they possess the one attribute that appears to have gone out the window in the case of our leaders…

Okay, enough fooling around- these guys earned my respect because they follow up their plans with action! I should be proud of our leaders but action appears to be a concept that is entirely foreign to them when in the actual sense, its not rocket science. The Inspector General of Police, Mr. Hafiz Ringim, claimed in June 2011 that the days of the Boko Haram sect are numbered. As cynical as most Nigerians are turning out to be, few people believed him and we all went to sleep with our customary one eye open while hoping that the threat is not as bad as it had been made out to be.

Unfortunately, we all had our dreams shattered when a few days after the pronouncement, a suicide bomber blew himself up at the Police Headquarters in Abuja. That sent a message to our inept lot of police officers- they are not as invincible as they’ve been deluded to feel. It was like literally poking the Inspector General in the face while saying “we’d take a piss in your office if we want to”

This dastard act- not minding the ones perpetrated at “army barracks” (they’re more like hostels to me) in Bauchi, Maiduguri and Abuja, fully opened our eyes to this new terror. We knew it was bad but it just got a whole lot worse. As if this was not enough, the United Nations House also got its own share of the Boko Haram menace. It was after this bombing that various reports frittered around that there had already been threats and the Nigerian government was notified but clearly did nothing even though they said measures would be put in place.

This lack of action by the Nigerian government is akin to being stuck in a state of inertia in a free fall to doom. There are questions pregnant with other questions: what are our security agents doing? Is our intelligence gathering process intelligent? Is President Jonathan in effective control of this Nation? If he is, why hasn’t anything been done to check the spread of “bomb infestations” bedevilling the nation? Shouldn’t some security chief be given the boot for their apparent ineptitude? Isn’t this lack of action emboldening the Boko Haram into inflicting more damage that would probably be worse? Why wasn’t any thing done to nip the crisis in the bud when it first reared its ugly head some years back? Why did the police and SSS go to sleep even after wrongly killing Mohammed Yusuf, their late leader? The questions are probably endless but just one word puts paid to them all: ACTION. And no, the answer is not amnesty or negotiation (which is actually appeasement by the government).

The Boko Haram know the kind of government they have because they are Nigerians too. We have a government that talks and plans without doing anything while we have a Boko Haram that has clearly decided to continue bombing while our leaders continue talking. We’ve been told now that security plans and apparatus will be on ground to tackle the problem within a year! A year? So while they plan to “put on ground” our saving grace, the Boko Haram can proceed to bomb us all out of existence right?Lets get real, the only way this menace will be stopped is if “bombing as usual” is made “bombing unusual” for the Boko Haram. This can only be done if there is a demonstrated level of commitment in intelligence gathering, surveillance, offensive operations that will be well planned and coordinated by the appropriate security agencies. The federal government should also invest more in modern security technology and revamp our ‘village police’. Its either our security agencies start putting their money where their mouth is or they sit and do nothing while the whole country gets blown to smithereens. The Boko Haram take action seriously and its time our leaders do the same or they won’t have a country to rule anymore!

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