Making Excuses on the Intention of Boko Haram Is the Reason Why The Insurgency Is Festering-NCGF
Being A Response By Nigeria Christian Graduate Fellowship To Hon. Yusuf Adamu Gagdi, Member Representing Pankshin/Kanke/Kanam Federal Constituency Press Conference On The Killing Of Daciya Ropvil Dalep By Boko Haram.
(Dedicated to the pains of Leah Sharibu, forced to marry and give birth for Boko Haram commander)
On Thursday, January 23, Hon. Yusuf Adamu GAGDI, member representing Pankshin/Kanke/Kanam federal constituency, addressed the press on the recent killing of Mr Daciya Ropvil Dalep, a 200 level student of University of Maiduguri who was abducted on his way back to school by the Boko Haram insurgents.
The press conference which held in Jos, Plateau State was in solidarity and condolence with the families of the slain undergraduate from his constituency.
Hon. Gagdi should be commended for sympathizing and empathizing with his constituency as well as encouraging them to have faith in the Nigerian project in spite of their experiences.
However, his statement raised pertinent issues and questions that should be addressed if the war against terror must be won. Though we don’t know his religious leaning, but as a politician he was technical in most of his submissions.
First, we need to correct the spurious narrative that the intention of Boko Haram is just to create religious disharmony. Making excuses on the intention of Boko Haram is the reason why the insurgency is festering. Boko Haram from the onset is clear that it’s intention is to set up an Islamic caliphate and set aside the quasi secular State of Nigeria. Secondly, the insurgents are clear who are their primary target. They have never hidden the intention to annihilate Christians and Christianity as this is the greatest obstacle to realizing their objective. Therefore, they are not just making mere inflammatory statements when the words that accompany the video on any execution of Christians is always “we will continually abduct and kill Christians”. Until Nigerian state and northern Muslims in particular, face this fact and stop making excuses and or living in denial of the intention of Boko Haram, the problem will not be solved. We all could recollect that in 2014 when Jonathan Administration mooted the idea of negotiation with Boko Haram, they impudently gave the ridiculous condition that Jonathan must convert to Islam.
We also consider the call by Honourable Gagdi on the Plateau State governor to send a delegation to Borno State to extract a commitment from the governor and Vice chancellor of university of Maiduguri to guarantee the safety of plateau students, particularly Christians as unrealistic. What powers do the vice Chancellor and the governor have to guarantee safety of the citizens when the commander-in- chief of the armed forces constitutionally invested with the responsibility is derelicting in his duty. It is clear that the governors are chief security officers of their states only on paper. They cannot even direct Commissioners of police. It is clear to us that the nation is living in denial of the fact that we are at war and the North East as the theatre of the war. The question we must ask is how safe is it to go to school or do any other business in a war front. It is risky and any persons that chooses to do anything in the axis of war should do so at his or her own risk. Those who were at the Igbo enclave during the civil war or at Monrovia during the Liberian civil war or in Kigali during the Rwandan crisis can attest to the fact that schools do not run in war or conflict zones. Until government understand that the insurgency is worse than conventional war, it will not stop risking the lives of citizens permitting University of Maiduguri to be in session. It is a calamitous deception and anybody buying into it is taking risk.
Hon. Gagdi came close to stating the obvious, when he challenged Government to go beyond lip service
and ensure protection of life and properties of citizens. We agree with you that as long as Government is more interested in propaganda of “we have defeated Boko Haram, Boko Haram is downgraded, it has no power to constitute a threat, this war will linger.
Moreover, it is disheartening to state that Boko Haram is a cash cow whose milk is servicing the interest of some people. Therefore, the war will continue while propaganda will continue to be used to cover up the wasting of our national resources.
This observation in our opinion agrees with assertion that government releases those it wants to and abandons those it wishes in agreement with the insurgents. Hon Gagdi alluded to this fact when he acknowledged the speed with which Jennifer an aid worker was released through quick intervention of Plateau State Government with federal government, while the likes of Leah and Rev. Adinmi are allowed to be forcefully married or executed respectively. We are aware that government periodically swaps prisoners with Boko Haram. Most of the beneficiaries are not Christians.
For the honourable member to express surprise that budgetary allocations for prosecution of the war is not reflecting on the status of the war is to us begging the issue. In your capacity as the House Committee chairman on Navy and being privy to the allocations and releases one would have expected that your worry should have extended your joining the rest of us to demand the removal of the non performing service chiefs and overhauling of the security architecture. Do you need to be told that continuous pumping of fund into the war under the watch of present security management team is like pouring water into basket with perforations. Your committee should be the one asking why the reluctance in overhauling the security architecture or is your committee compromised?
You also said you don’t want to believe that the insurgents are better equipped than the Nigerian army. This, to us is face saving statement. You know that the insurgents have shown superiority in every facet of the war. A situation that is an aberration. A ragtag army routing professionals. The reason is simple. Morale is higher with the insurgents. They are better equipped. Resources available to them are wholly committed while our soldiers are ill-equipped as a result of diversion of resources by the military hierarchy. We still remember the recent mutiny at Maimalari barracks in Maiduguri when the soldiers protested over the slaughter of their fellows because of mismanagement by their officers.
As for your worry about the non use of technology in intelligence gathering in prosecution of the war, the only way to explain this is internal sabotage rather than external as you are wont to believe. There are moles in Government, the military and among the northern elders particularly, in the areas where the war is being fought. There is no magic on how the insurgents get information on about movement of troops. President Goodluck Jonathan acknowledged this fact as far back as 2014 when he said there is Boko Haram in his Government. Unfortunately, Buhari has remained silent about this. The reason is obvious.
You also expressed surprise that the super Tucano jets for which millions of dollars were released without following due process have not come in and blamed the international community for frustrating Nigeria in the war. We are happy you said you and your colleagues will demand explanation from Mr President. May we tell you that the cogent answer may not come because President Buhari failed to insist on an urgent delivery date but was rather smiling sheepishly when he made the deal without recourse to the National Assembly with President Trump.
Now to the question of sources of funds to the insurgents. If a nation that has battled insurgency for 10 years is unable to identify the sources of funds and supply lines of the insurgents, that Government is not worth the onions. We doubt if government is not privy to the sources. This cannot be divorced from the reason of Mr President’s continued silence over moles in Government. It will not be out of place for us to say that Mr President is privy to the sources of funds to the insurgents as commander in chief and chief security officer of the nation. We are happy you have challenged Mr President to make a “diplomatic statement”. Whatever that means, we agree with you that president Buhari should make a statement. Part of the statement should aim at discharging the moral burden of being an accessory after the fact. May we at this juncture challenge Mr President that he must like David of old who convince the whole nation of Israel that he was not part of the conspiracy to kill Abner by boldly declaring a curse against the perpetrators. The president has the burden to convince the nation that in his private capacity and as President he has no link to Boko Haram. This is important considering the fact that in 2014 when Government wanted to negotiate with Boko Haram, Muhammad Buhari was the only Nigerian, the only northerner and the only Muslim the insurgents nominated to negotiate on their behalf. Nigerians must interrogate this matter. Why must it be Buhari if he has no link with them. Why is he the only one they can trust.
The president and no other must answer this question. This has a lot to do with how the battle has been fought in the last four years and what to expect in the days ahead.
We, therefore, join Hon. Yusuf Adamu Gagdi, Chairman, House Committee on Navy to ask WHY?
Prof. Charles Adisa Mr Onyenachi Nwaegeruo
National president General secretary.