The unguarded statements by some prominent Nigerians about the prowess of the Boko Haram insurgents over the Nigerian Army and protests by various groups against the Federal Government to bring back the abducted Chibok girls embolden the Bko Haram sect. This should be discontinued. In February this year, the Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shetima said, “…..But honestly Boko Haram are better armed and are better motivated than our own troops”. Shetima continued, “Believe me, I am (an) eternal optimist as I have always said. But I am also a realist. Given the present state of affairs it is absolutely impossible for us to defeat Boko Haram”.These are demotivating and demoralising words directed at the Nigerian Army. These are self-defeating words that should not proceed from the mouth of a governor who is the chief security of his state. What did Governor Shetima want to achieve by engaging on this journey of self-defeat? If actually the Boko Haram members are better equipped and motivated did Shetima supposed to tell the whole world about the weakness of the Nigerian Army? Governor Shetima might not have realized the incalculable damage he has done to the Nigerian Army. Shetima has succeeded in emboldening the Boko Haram insurgents with his defeatist utterance! This is strange indeed as words are powerful. Words can make or mar people, that is why words are to be uttered appropriately. Sometimes, wars are won by the choice of words we use-call it propaganda. Propaganda must be applied to one’s advantage not to that of one’s enemy. Governor Shetima has achieved the opposite by his choice of words and this regrettable.
In his letter to the Northern Governors Forum titled On-Going Full-Fledged Genocide in “Northern Nigeria”, the impeached governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako accused the federal government of genocide using “mass murderers/cut-throat imbedded in our legitimate and traditional Defence and security organizations” to carry out the genocide claims These are weighty and unexpected allegations which should not fall from the exalted mouth of a chief security officer of a state and a retired chief of navy staff in this circumstance!
In other societies, when there are bomb explosions or other violent crimes, the citizens would protest against the bombers or those that perpetuated such heinous crimes but in the Nigerian situation rather than protesting against the Boko Haram sects that abducted the innocent Chibok girls some politically motivated Nigerians are protesting against the federal government! This is indeed absurdity in the highest order. If one may ask, what is the offence of the federal government in the abduction of the Chibok girls for which some hoodwinked Nigerians are protesting against the federal government? Was it the federal government that abducted the Chibok girls? It shatters ones imagination and knowledge base that some of the protesting Nigerians are intelligentsias. This clearly demonstrates one fact which is that education is not wisdom conferral.
When the activities of the Boko Haram insurgent escalated in 2011 following threats by some disgruntled politicians who vowed to make the country ungovernable for President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, many northern leaders neither condemn such utterances nor the activities of the Boko Haram sects. Today, the same northern leaders who were mute at the outset of the Boko Haram insurgents are shouting loudest; heaping all the blames at the feet of the federal government! But when terrorists strike in other countries, the citizens will unite irrespective of their religious, political affiliations and ethnicity in order to confront and overcome such activities that threaten the corporate existence of their countries. For instance, when two airplanes were hijacked and crashed into the twin buildings of the Pentagon by some Al Qaeda members in America on September 11, 2001, all Americans irrespective of religious, tribal, political affiliations and tongues, came together in unison and condemned the terrorists. They also protested against the satanic Al Qaeda terrorists that masterminded and executed the dastardly act! But here in Nigeria, the reverse is the case instead of Nigerians to unite and protest against the Boko Haram sects that carried out the outrageous act they are mindlessly protesting against the federal government.
But are the bring back our girls campaigners and the aforementioned northern governors aware of the damaging effects of their protests against the federal government and the Nigerian state? It is evident that these persons are oblivious of the cumulative damage they cause this country with their unprovoked protests! The first negative implication of the protests against the federal government is that such protests embolden the disgruntled members of the Boko Haram and this is the reason why they continue to perpetuate more heinous crimes against the Nigerian state! The major aim of the Boko Haram sect and their sponsors is to discredit the federal government through their evil activities and bring it down; this is not possible anyway. So, the members of the Boko Haram feel happy whenever they see Nigerians protest against the federal government instead of directing such protests against them. With such continued protests against the Federal Government, the Boko Haram sects get encouraged and carry out more deadly attacks against innocent Nigerians. What Nigerians supposed to do is to protest against the Boko Haram insurgents; demanding the unconditional release of the innocent Chibok girls. Protests with inscriptions such as “release our girls Boko Haram” rather than “bring back our girls” which is directing against the federal government will send a clear message to the members of the Boko Haram that Nigerians are indeed against them and not in their support as the various protests currently portray. This is injurious to the Nigerian society.
Second, protesting against the federal government to “bring back our girls” instead of calling on the Boko Haram sects to release the girls is a demonstration by this group of Nigerians that the federal government is not doing enough to contain the activities of the Boko Haram members or release the Chibok girls from the grip of their captors. This is not true as the federal government is doing everything possible within its capacity to contain the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents and also ensure the release of the Chibok girls. If the federal government is not doing enough to contain the weird Boko Haram insurgents, the terrorists would have overrun the entire country which is the ultimate ambition of the militants and their sponsors. At the moment, the militants have been confined conspicuously to Sambisa Forest where they emanate infrequently and attack innocent Nigerians as against their regular and ferocious attacks in the past.
It is fallacious for the protesters to think that it is an easy task to rescue the Chibok girls from their wicked captors as the abductors use them as human shields. A total war against the militants in Sambisa Forest where the Chibok girls are purportedly kept without application of diplomacy and achievable strategy will be counterproductive as that could result in the death of the innocent girls. But what have the protesters achieved since they commenced their protests against the federal government? One can remember vividly when the protests began they drew attentions of America, Britain, France etc. and these countries pledged to assist Nigeria to release the Chibok girls. Till date have these countries been able to release a single girl from captivity? If it is easy to release the Chibok girls as the protesters would want us believe, the above mentioned countries that promised to assist in releasing girls would have done so long ago. Many of the protesters are quick to say that America went after Osama bin Laden and got him but they forget to add that it took America 10 years to achieve this feat. One is not in any way saying that it should take us 10 years before the girls will be released but the protesters must as a matter of fact realize that it is not easy as they paint it to look! This is the reality and it must be told. The protesters want the girls release now without evaluating the dire consequences of taking such a rash decision. Any uncoordinated attempt to release the girls will definitely endanger their lives; this is why caution must be taken.
Presently, Many Nigerians do not talk about the laudable achievements of the federal government in other areas of our national life because of the evil activities of the Boko Haram sect and the inordinate protests of bring back our girls campaigners. This is exactly the aspiration of the Boko Haram terrorists and their sponsors. With the various protests against the federal government, the deadly sect and their sponsors are happy as their ambition is to bring this government down which is undoubtedly impossible! So, the protests should rather be directed against the Boko Haram insurgents to release the innocent girls. Northern leaders should also refrain from uttering demotivating and demoralising utterances against the Nigerian Army. Such unguarded utterances embolden the Boko Haram insurgents but weaken the Nigerian Army.