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Monday, 16 February 2015

Terrorism As Campaign Tool



                                                                            
                                 Shekau leader, Boko Haram
The campaign of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) to end Boko Haram terrorism if elected president is indeed worrisome. It is worrisome because if Gen. Buhari has what it takes to bring to an end the Boko Haram terrorism, why would him wait till he is elected president before he acts or shares such ideas with President Goodluck Jonatha or the relevant authorities so as to crush the Boko Haram terrorists? I have refused to call the members of the Boko Haram group insurgents or militants because they are none of these but terrorists; they are worse than insurgents and militants.
Terrorism is a global phenomenon that deserves concerted and collaborative efforts to confront it frontally. Boko Haram is a terrorist group hence it operates internationally with a formidable operational base in Nigeria but spreading to Chad, Niger and Cameroon. This is not an experience anybody that shares in the pains of those affected directly or indirectly will wait till they are elected president before they can give ideas on what should be done to eradicate it from among us.    
For Gen. Buhari to say until he is elected president before he could proffer solution to the ravaging Boko Haram terrorists is tantamount to a tenant in a house that is on fire saying that until the house is willed to him or he is declared the landlord of the house, he would not assist in putting out the fire. The question many would ask him is, how will you become the landlord of the house if the fire is not extinguished and the house is devoured by the fire? Same question goes to Gen. Buhari, how will Gen. Buhari becomes president of Nigeria if the Boko Haram terrorists are allowed to overrun the country before the elections are conducted? This question is germane at a time like this considering the heinous crimes being perpetrated by the Boko Haram terrorists on innocent Nigerians. Should every Nigerian wait till they are elected president before they can contribute their quotas to the extermination of the Boko Haram terrorists? This is a strange campaign tool that cast doubt on the sincerity and purpose of those seeking power in Nigeria. 
Since the escalation of the activities of the Boko Haram terrorists in 2011, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has not demonstrated sympathy, concern and solidarity with President Jonathan in combating the Boko Haram terrorists. The APC sees the Boko Haram terrorists as the problem of President Goodluck Jonathan and not that of Nigeria. They see the Boko Haram terrorists as a tool to run down, denigrate and bring down the government of President Jonathan. This is why they say President Jonathan is clueless, incompetent and weak! They went bizarre by calling him a “Kindergarten President!” This is incongruous because terrorism in other parts of the world is confronted collectively irrespective of ethnic, religious and political party divides.
Politicians in Nigeria should learn how politics and politicking are played in other climes. After the attacks on the Trade Centre and Pentagon on September 9, 2001, the Democratic Party collaborated with President George W. Bush of the ruling Republican Party to condemn and confront those behind that act of barbarism. In his re-election bid in 2004, his arch opponent, John Kerry of the Democratic Party did not use terrorism as a campaign tool against President Bush because he regarded terrorist attacks on America as attacks on all Americans. But what do we have in the case of the Boko Haram terrorist attacks in Nigeria? It is condemnation and name callings of President Goodluck Jonathan by the APC instead of supporting him in the fight against the Boko Haram terrorists. It is undoubted that the APC perceives terrorism as a negligible problem that can be subdued with the wave of the hand. But terrorism is a very serious problem that needs concerted efforts to combat. As sophisticated as America is, it took her ten years to capture Osama bin Laden. But here in Nigeria, the APC wants President Jonathan to overcome the Boko Haram terrorists in one day without supports from them. The abducted Chibok girls issue is being politicised by the Bring Back Our Girls campaigners who are also members of the APC; protesting ferociously against President Jonathan.    
Gen. Buhari is campaigning that he would suppress the Boko Haram terrorists as he defeated the Maitatsine group. This is a fallacy because Maitatsine was purely a local religious group without international links unlike the Boko Haram terrorists that have elements of religion, ethnicity and politics with international links. During the Maitatsine uprising, parents did not donate their children as suicide bombers as being witnessed with the Boko Haram terrorists. Recently, Zahara’u Babangida, a 13-year-old girl confessed to the police that her father took her with her mother and many other girls to the Boko Haram members for suicide attacks. Parents are donating their children as suicide bombers yet the opposition party wants terrorism to be conquered overnight.   
Without collaborative efforts within Nigeria, supports from the international bodies and Nigerian’s neighbours like Niger, Chad, Cameroon etc. it will be thorny to crush the Boko Haram terrorists. The APC presidential candidate, Gen. Buhari should not wait till he is elected president before he proffers solution to the Boko Haram terrorists because terrorists do not respect the president of a nation or the citizens. President Jonathan should be commended for being able to restrict the Boko Haram terrorists to Sambisa Forest without assistance. But now that the African Union (AU) has agreed to send 7,500 troops to fight the Boko Haram sect, terrorism will soon come to an end.     

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