A Nation under Siege

There is justifiable reasons to have anxiety on the future of this great Nation –Nigeria . We are faced with the threat from the Islamic fundamentalist the Boko Haram- that have in every sense of the word caused the Nation so much, both in human and material resources .The insurgents if we are sincere with ourselves have as long they have existed threatened the continuous existence of the country as a united entity . It is clear that their agenda goes beyond bombing churches and mosques , kidnapping innocent school girls or gunning down unarmed and helpless civilians . The successes they have so far recorded as a result of laxity of our security forces have emboldened them to be thinking of carving out a caliphate for them-selves, reminiscent of what the ‘ ISIS’ have done in Iraq and Syria. That project in Mubi was aborted by the Nation’s security forces, that woke up from their slumber . There is still no respite as the onslaught and reckless bombing of innocent people continue with mountain of refugees from the North East .They seem to have elastic project as the Nation’s armed forces recently released what they call vital documents from them that include proposed hit list and some other revealing sketches from the fleeing insurgents .Sophisticated arms and ammunition were also recovered as Air and land operation are sustained to ensure that they are rooted out . There have been open–ended question as to what the goal of this militants is .The answers proffered on this are at best conjectures as to what they are fighting for .If their intention is to distract this administration from its goal, they have made tremendous impact as the re-sources that would have been used for economic, social and political development have been diverted to waging war . If their intention is to discourage the president from contesting 2015 elections that has failed as the ruling party has presented the president for second term as a lone candidate .If the ambition of the insurgents is to carve out a caliphate for them-selves, it is going to be a hard fight as it is unlikely Nigeria will let any part of the country to be dismembered. The fight is causing the country enough headache , which is why many think that we should put politics aside and ensure that this cancer is permanently tamed . It is thus dangerous to play politics with an issue that has the potential to disintegrate the country. Thus leaders of thought in the North needs to speak with one voice in condemnation of these strange fellows and encourage our military to see the fight as the fight against enemies of progress . We cannot win this war amidst negative utterances emanating from respectable men and women .Besides there is the need to look beyond our borders for an enduring solution . While the insurgents may be hiding their arsenals in the forest and run back there for cover when the battle become hot, it is imperative to locate their sources of weapons and ancillary support, without which they would not have been able to endure for this long . Our neighbours are thus very significant in this war. We need their cooperation , but where they are not ready, we must do the obvious .And the obvious is to close our borders with them and see them as part of the plan to destabilize the country. There is no serious country that does this, pre-tend to see her enemies as friends . It is beyond doubt now that the Boko Haram has both local and international sponsors , what is left is to unmask who these sponsors are .It is bad strategy to pretend that your enemy that you know is not there, while he continues to cause harm to you . That is exactly what the federal government is doing . It is fundamentally for these reasons that some have accused the government of being responsible for the hydra headed status of these militants . The government has been playing hide and seek game in naming their sponsors and their sources of strength.


*this was published in the Daily Times newspaper dated: Monday, December 15, 2014

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Ihesiulo Grace

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