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Boko Haram/Niger Delta amnesty

Updated on February 6, 2012

The Nigerian experience of Terrorism.


Boko Haram/Niger delta amnesty: The Nigerian experience of Terrorism.

One may not really know the part Nigeria played when the global war against terrorism was called by the west and how Nigeria is involved in the war against terror but today we know that Nigerian’s peace and security has been threatened by Boko Haram, a group most people call a terrorist group. The incessant attacks by the group in recent time cost the lives of many innocent Nigerians and the Nigerian Government claim to do all it can to restore peace and security in the nation but Nigerians fail to face the truth of the situation. The truth is that there has never been peace and security in Nigeria and that is what every average Nigerian will say.

This is because over the years the great nation, Nigeria, which is also known as the giant of Africa, has failed to consider the interests of her common citizens. Nigeria is a country were the rich buy security or those in the power use the military/ police to protect their own lives and properties at the expense of those that can not avoid similar security measures.

Consequently, the streets are not secure and armed robbers do robber banks for hours without any effective intervention by those that are suppose to protect the citizens. The point is that the Nigerian leadership has continually failed to design a security system that can protect all Nigerians no matter their status in society. A situation in which the rich do not need to pay for any extra security to feel secure in Nigeria, a situation in which the streets will be save for all, a situation in which the Nigerian police can live up to expectation and actually protect lives and properties and help to fight corruption within the force, itself, and Nigeria in general.

The incident of Boko Haram can be said to be a result of long insecurity in Nigeria. That is why the Nigerian security intelligence did not detect it from the onset and sought ways to prevent its escalation. That is why it is still difficult to handle such internal security problem. The culprits are from the streets although it is said they are used by some Nigerian politician to cause unrest.

It is questionable that when a non-Southerner was in power, Niger Delta was the main threat to stability in the nation and now that a southerner is in power, Boko Haram is now the threat. What does it mean?

This problem can be traced to corruption in the Nigerian leadership system which led to high unemployment rate as the fund that should be used to develop the nation is misused and abused. Maybe, it is wrong to conclude that all Nigerian politicians/leaders are corrupt but such conclusions seem inevitable when the few good ones in the system do little or nothing to change the corrupt system.

Someone said that the way Government handled the Niger delta amnesty was a big mistake. This is because it is wrong for the government to pay those that engineered the crisis and ignored those that did not participate in the crisis as patriotic Nigerian. The payment/settlement may send a message that patriotism is wrong and one must be violent to have a share of the national cake just as the guys got their share of the cake. Maybe that is why another group is said to be rising again in Niger delta. The Government should have provided equal job opportunities to all Nigerians and not just for those that got amnesty.

We do not know if the Government will in future give another amnesty to the Boko Haram but we know that many lives would not have been lost if the Nigerian leaders were reasonable enough to provide equal security opportunities and concern to all her citizen. Even now that the Government claim to fight Boko Haram, one may wonder and ask if they are doing it for the interest of the Nigerian citizens or to protect their own personal interest and security which this now being threatened by the Boko Haram sect. Yes, one has the right to ask such question because it is same corrupt system that cares little for the citizens and has failed to provide what is required for the majority of her people to live happily. That is they never really cared about the poor Nigerians so whose live do they want to protect?

A look at the Nigerian educational sector, security, health, Roads among other basic facilities will confirm that the lives and happiness of millions of Nigerians are not only threatened by the rise in insecurity in the nation caused by the activities of the Boko Haram sect but also by her leaders that have failed to know and ensure that all Nigerian are happy as Nigerians.

Therefore, the first step in the fight against any form of terrorism in Nigeria must start with the provision of an adequate security network, a security that will protect all Nigerians and not a security made for a few. This must be followed by equal distribution, at least to a reasonable extent, of the national wealth among the various classes.

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