12th May, 2014
By Com Jasper Azuatalam
It is important that as a nation, we take a detailed look and have a deep thinking of situations that come our way before we take decisions and swing into action. The issue of Boko Haram, its operations and the recent abduction of over 200 girls is one of such critical and sensitive issues that require deep thinking, professional approach and tactics in its management. We are now at a cross road, the tension is palpable and any erroneous or bad decision taken will have a grave and far reaching consequence on our nation.
The situation that is right in our hands now requires we stop and think, weigh our options and action to avoid falling into the hands of our enemies. We should treat everyone as a suspect including those offering help and assistance to us, lest we fall into the hands of our enemies. Terrorists are on top of their game and they will stop at nothing to inflict pain on us. Our nation should scrutinize every offer of help to identify genuine offers and distinguish them from others that have hidden agenda and those that are possible from the same people that terrorize us.
The recent video released by Boko Haram where its leader, Shekau paraded the kidnapped Chibok girls and gave condition for their release must be handled with absolute care. In the video, Shekau asked the Federal Republic of Nigeria to release all Boko Haram prisoners for them to release the abducted Chibok girls in return. This has been seen by many as an advance for negotiation by the sect. Considering Boko Haram’s stance, idea and demands, this is not an advance for negotiation but a ransom.
Boko Haram is asking for ransom for the kidnapped Chibok girls and the ransom is the release of all its prisoners.
Boko Haram is not asking for negotiation because there is nothing to negotiate in its earlier demand and idea.
According to Boko Haram, their idea and demand is for Nigeria to stop Western education and have all her citizens convert to their misguided form of Islam. They went further to assert that any Muslim that is seeking civilization and taking part is Western education is an enemy and not a true Muslim. They declared such Muslims as enemies and vowed to kill them.
Boko Haram has not asked for any reasonable of feasible condition to stop its operations. They have abducted our girls to hold us to ransom. Their ransom is the release of their members in the custody of security agents. This has confirmed that the Federal Government and its security agents are in custody of Boko Harram members. This fact makes me ask what information the Federal Government has gotten from the Boko Harram members in their custody. Is it possible for hundreds of Boko Haram members to be arrested without a single suspect giving vital information as to the where about of the sect, their operations, facilitators and sponsors during interrogations?
We need the Chibok girls back, alive and in good health to re-unite with their families. We need our nation Nigeria still intact. We need an immediate end to Boko Harram and its operations.
Boko Harram has asked for a ransom and not negotiation or dialogue. Our government and decision makers should sit back, think, weigh their options and come up with real and practical steps to manage the ugly situation we have found ourselves in.
It looks like a dilemma, but there must be a way out because Nigeria as a nation has gotten all it takes to triumph.