By Honourable Saka
Nigeria, officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states. According to the CIA World Fact Book, Nigeria is slightly more than twice the size of California. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in the north. Its coast in the south lies on the Gulf of Guinea on the Atlantic Ocean. The above description paints a picture of how exposed Nigerian borders could be at any time.
The three largest and most influential ethnic groups in Nigeria are the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba. In terms of religion Nigeria is roughly split into halves between Muslims in the North and Christians in the South. However, a very small minority practice traditional religion, as often portrayed in Nigerian/African movies.
Recently, the incidences of bombings which create general insecurity in Nigeria have become frequent and much more dangerous. During the 50th independence anniversary celebrations, a powerful bomb exploded at the Eagle Square, killing at least 12 people and maiming others. A similar bomb exploded at a military cantonment in Abuja killing several people, leaving many others wounded. This was suddenly followed by a terrific multiple bomb blasts that left at least 143 people dead, 100 bodies were taken to a morgue at Murtala Muhammed Specialist Hospital in the city centre.
In another instance, a powerful bomb detonated at the Nigeria’s Police Headquarters killing about a dozen and injuring many. Then there was the United Nations’ headquarters in Abuja where 22 people were killed and several others wounded following a suicide bomb attack. Just a few weeks later, another suicide bomb attack happened in a church killing 43 and injuring 72 of Christian worshipers. This month (8th April 2012), during the Easter ceremony, officials say at least 38 people died in a car bomb somewhere in the northern city of Kaduna. A few hours later, another bomb detonated in the central city of Jos, living tens of people wounded. The list goes on and on…
|Boko Haram’s attack in Kano killed about hundred people|
Fear and Panic spread across Nigeria
Nowadays, the possibility that a bomb may explode in Nigeria, at any public gathering such as Independence Day celebrations, Christmas, Easter, and traditional festivals, cannot be in doubt. The US Embassy in Nigeria therefore warned its citizens on April 17 2012, that “Boko Haram” may be planning more attacks in the Nigerian capital, including hotels.
“Boko Haram has been blamed for most attacks in Nigeria, but the dimension and scope of the current bomb attacks have shifted the attention of experts to the possibility of external influence. The bomb attacks according to experts have become bigger and more sophisticated. The targets also have become more diversified and include both Muslims and Christians, mosques and churches: a clear departure from its original focus”, reports Danjuma Abdullahi.
But what was the “original focus” of Boko Haram? Have their initial agenda been hijacked and by whom? There is a strong belief among many Nigerians that some politicians in the country secretly fund this radical group. Others also point to the possibility of external influence. After all it is an established fact that even rebel leaders like Charles Taylor was secretly funded by certain western countries.
In a recent TV interview conducted with Dr Abdulrahman Hamisu, an expert from the University of Abuja, made shocking observation:
“Let us take ourselves back to the predictions of America that by the year 2015, Nigeria is going to break into different entities. And if you look at what is happening today, it tallies with the steps and the methodology that has to be used in order to attain that aim. It was reported that many CIA, FBI and Mossad agents were allowed access to Abuja in order to ‘assist our security agencies’. From what is happening in the Middle East and other places where CIA and Mossad have been to, (it has) shown clearly that the same pattern that is been used (in the Middle East) is currently been replayed here in Nigeria; only that there is a slight modification because of the difference in the actors in Nigeria”.
In Nigeria, the terrorists are not fighting against (anybody), but are fighting for a foreign enemy.
In a related interview, Mr Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, a Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Coordinator (Nigeria), had this to say:
“There is no way a fellow Nigerian will kill another Nigerian, and you could see that this crisis is coming from different perspective; some people from the outside, are determined to bring down this country”.
Boko Haram, Who are they? What were their demands?
Since 2002, there have been many reported clashes, particularly in the North of the country, between government forces and the Islamists Boko Haram, militant jihadists whom we’re currently only told ‘seek to establish sharia law’. The group was founded in 2002 by Ustaz Mohammed Yusuf. Yusuf is hostile to ‘democracy’ and the secular education system. He vowed that “this war that is yet to start would continue for long” if the “political” and “educational” system were not changed. (www.naijan.com).
First of all, it must be understood that the political system in Nigeria, is characterized by massive corruption and of course corruption in Nigeria is the worst on the African continent. This is a fact that nobody can dispute.
Reportedly, Boko Haram started as a small non-violent group who were often seen in the markets and the communities, preaching their anti-western ideologies. Their initial and real demands were as follows:
· Nigerian politicians and government officials must abolish their flamboyant lifestyles which are often inspired by foreign (western) culture. This desire of politicians to live like western celebrities, driving expensive cars, living in posh houses, buying properties abroad, travelling on expensive shopping spree, sending their families to study in expensive overseas universities, have resulted in mass corruption and the stealing of state funds at a time when most Nigerians are living below the poverty line.
The group also demanded the abolishment of western (colonial) educational system in Nigeria. They believed that the current educational system in Nigeria is a colonial tool that has distorted African history and has cast a dark shadow over the African culture. The colonial educational system has produced bad and corrupt leaders. Therefore they called western education “a sin”. This is not new because even Kwame Nkrumah in his book “Consciencism” (pg.62) proved that: “The history of Africa, as presented by European scholars, has been encumbered with malicious myths”. He also said “there are certain feudal-minded elements (public officials) who became imbued with European ideals either through direct European education or through hobnobbing with the local colonial administrative system” (pg.69).
· They also advocated for the establishment of a sharia law.
Unfortunately, their third demand is the only thing which the mainstream media seem to talk about, while deliberately ignoring the two most important demands. Is it because the other two demands are a threat to the imperial powers and their puppet corrupt politicians? But this is clearly understandable because the corporate media today is serving an agenda: to defend the interest of the global elites who want to enslave humanity using puppet and corrupt politicians as their pawns.
Gradually, Boko Haram strengthened their sphere of influence and became a radical political party determined to take their anti-corruption and anti-western culture to the highest level. This posed an immediate danger to the existing political establishment who did not welcome the anti-corruption campaign and also the imperial powers who saw an imminent danger to the colonial educational system they have successfully imposed on the Nigerian people.
Then one day in 2009, the then President Yar’Adua ordered the persecution and aggressive crack-downs by the Nigerian security service. This brought about a violent revenge from Boko Haram. The crackdown was brutal and resulted in the death of around 700 innocent people. Many of the victims were publicly executed on suspicions that they were members of Boko Haram even without any clear proof and without a fair trial.
But who could have advised the president on such a course?
Well, according to information available, and from Dr Abdulrahman Hamisu, of the University of AbujaIt was reported that many CIA, FBI and Mossad agents were invited to Abuja in order to ‘assist the Nigerian security agencies’ and to advise them on how to deal with Boko Haram. Therefore it is reasonable to beleive that the leaders were following directives from these foreign “advisers”.
Were their Demands Legitimate?
Of course yes. It is a well-established fact that politically, Nigeria is the most corrupt country in Africa.According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (Abuja), about 74% of Nigerians in the north live in abject poverty, while 63% in the south also live below the poverty line. The major question one would ask is: how could that be? Nigeria is a country that is so rich in natural resources, notable among these are: natural gas, petroleum, tin, iron ore, coal, limestone, niobium, lead, zinc, arable land, timber and many more. Additionally, Nigeria has a huge human resource reserves, a population of over 150 million people, most of them very intelligent, creative, productive and above all hardworking.
According to Garba Sani, an analyst at Pan-Africanist International
“From the perspective of Northern Nigerians, since the days of colonialism, Western style education and Christianity have been imposed upon them as a package from the south. The response to this has been a resistance to Western education and the Western way of life. However, this is not simply a cultural sentiment. The civil servants and politicians produced by this system are seen conspicuously wasting money. Poor Nigerians see their politicians flying abroad, shopping in Dubai, and sending their children to expensive Western schools. Consequently people feel that the leadership is devoid of justice, and when they call for the abolishment of western educational system, fighting corruption and the establishment of Sharia law it is not about religious piety but reflects a desire for a more just system.
The resentment fostered among the youth of Northern Nigeria is where Boko Haram has its beginnings”.
It must be understood that Boko Haram originally started as a revolution which declared a war on the corrupt lifestyle of many Nigerian politicians. The leaders of this group clearly understood that corruption in government, embezzlement of public funds by politicians is part of the gentleman’s way of stealing. To the politicians, once they can “balance the books” at the end of the day, it means they can steal as much as they want. Many politicians often embark on foreign trips and spend as much state funds as they wish at the expense of the taxpayer. Such exorbitant lifestyles of public officials in Africa only came about as a result of the public officials’ desire to live like western celebrities. However, this lifestyle is not a true African culture. Traditionally, it is a “taboo” (sin) for any an African to steal. In some communities, a thief can be banished (exiled) for stealing. Therefore how come African leaders (politicians) are looting and stealing from the national coffers without any guilt? It is basically because they do not appreciate the African culture.
It is said that if anyone wants to influence a people, first it is important to influence/destroy their culture, their educational system, their thought and their beliefs.
Kwame Nkrumah in his book “Neo-Colonialism” (pg.35) held that, the West used the old colonialist methods of religious, educational and cultural infiltration to influence the African mentality and our current way of life.
This is why many people, Boko Haram included have every reason to believe that there is the need for a radical educational reforms to be implemented: an educational system that will harness African norms and values. There is also the need to fight corruption in Africa that is inspired by the western fashionable lifestyle.
Poverty in Nigeria, a Political Tool
Many Nigerian writers have underscored the fact that poverty in the country is artificial. It was created by a political incompetence and bad economic policies.. The solution likewise requires a political approach. In an article
“I’d Rather Bomb ASO ROCK Than Have My Children As Slaves (A warning to leaders marked by the beast)” the author reveals the frustration of the ordinary Nigerian which is as a result of the bad economic policies and the corrupt attitude of the ruling elites. In strong-worded statements the author writes:
“I’ll rather have all the senators, the house of assembly members, and even the Aso Rock (the presidential palace) -all those who squander more than 25 percent of the national budget bombed and wiped out than have my children continue in slavery to this hell called Nigeria and its politicians. It does not matter who amongst these evil leaders are reading this and planning on how to stretch their “human looting” to me, you will perish in your thoughts! I’ll rather have all PDP ( Peoples Democratic Party) chieftains and all they have stolen in decades wiped off the earth than let my children feel the helpless pain I was born into and have lived with because of Nigeria. I would rather start every form of evil with those leaders who, from every angle, compel Nigerians into all forms of evil as means for survival. I would rather be a friend of Osama Bin Laden, though dead, than shake hands with these black monsters who call themselves “honourables” in Nigeria. And my life is not more precious to me than uprooting every tree of evil in my land and destroying those soulless leaders and restoring to those who live within Nigeria the freedom that is rightfully theirs as citizens of life. “These are the silent and helpless cries in every Nigerian youth’s soul, the cries of people who, with me, abhor the evil foundation of Nigeria and its leadership. (Ikechukwu Enyiagu)
Therefore the Boko Haram revolution determined that the only way to end this cycle and to give a true meaning to the political system is to abolish the western-inspired lifestyles of the politicians, and to go back to our African lifestyle. This they believed could be achieved by implementing new educational reforms that clearly reflects the African values. A parallel line was therefore drawn between the current educational system, (a system that projects wealth, riches and exorbitant lifestyle as the only symptoms of a successful life) and the corruption in government. Incidentally, today’s educational system has become a privilege, rather than a right. Today, it is only the rich that can acquire knowledge (degrees), since the cost of high school and tertiary education are too expensive that most people can never afford it; or they may spend their entire life struggling to offset the debt that come with it.
Unfortunately, the powers that be, have in one way or the other managed to hijack a true revolution and turned it to a violent bombing campaign, discrediting their genuine intentions and demands.
Rebel groups in Africa, how are they funded?
Over the years, many militants and rebel groups have propped up across Africa: the Al-Shabbab, the Tuareg Rebels (Mali), the Lord’s Resistance Army (Uganda), the National Liberation Forces (Burundi),The West Side Boys (Sierra Leon), Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FLR), the Congolese Revolutionary Movement (DR Congo) the Somali Pirates, Boko Haram (Nigeria), The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Nigeria) and many more. Shockingly, many of them have often been spotted carrying very sophisticated weapons RPG-7, ZPU, and many weapons that can take down planes (anti-aircraft missiles). These are not weapons that could be manufactured in Nigeria, Somalia nor Uganda. Therefore how do these militants receive the weapons? Some of the answers are not far-fetched.
|Al-Shabaab rebels with large quantities of RPG missiles|
During NATO’s war in Libya (2011), France and Qatar under the UN’s watch delivered weapons in large quantities to the rebels whom the Western press often referred to as “activists” and “revolutionaries”. In addition to the weapons, the rebels also received communication equipment which facilitated and coordinated their movements across the continent smoothly. Since many of the rebels consider themselves to be allies, who are working for a common purpose, it wasn’t difficult for some of the weapons that were delivered to rebels in Libya to be quickly mobilized and smuggled to other rebel groups in the West African region. It was recently reported that large amount of weapons from Libya have been found in Nigeria.
|Some kidnappers in Nigeria sometimes mistakenly called Boko Haram,armed with RPGs|
In fact, the nature of weapons that are currently in the rebel’s hands are too sophisticated and expensive that the cost may run into hundreds of millions of US dollars. But how could the rebel fighters, often wanted for prosecution get the ability to buy those expensive weapons in such large quantities? No matter how rich the rebel leaders might be their continues ability to afford the weapons in large quantities for such a very long period of time would be impossible to imagine, if they have no form of sponsorship and the corporation of a few puppet politicians.
Recently, a Nigerian military task force stormed a militant hideout in the city and recovered six assembled bombs and another one under construction, Lieutenant Iweha Ikedichi told reporters. The bombs were made with drink cans and a drum of around 50 litres. This is an indication that the terrorists in Nigeria currently have experts who know how to assemble bombs. The fact that the militants can now manufacture bombs right in Nigeria is a very dangerous development. But the question still remains: who is behind these militants?
It is undeniable fact that many of the rebel groups in Africa today, especially in Central Africa (Al-Sahabaab) are real terrorists who have been destabilizing the peace and security across the region. However, it must also be understood that there were many other groups like the Niyabinghi warriors, who fought against the corrupting power of the Elders and paganism. There was also the Nelson Mandela’s Armed Anti-apartheid Rebellion which used armed struggle as a last resort to free his people from a racist apartheid government.
In this regard, it must be exposed that the case of Boko Haram is one of a hijacked revolution. For all we know, the real Boko Haram group may not be the ones in the news today. It is a revolution whose main mission posed a direct threat to the Neo-colonialists and their puppet corrupt politicians. But thanks to a few terrorists groups and the corporate mainstream media, the hijack of such a true revolution appears to have succeeded. Whereas the original campaign to fight corruption in Nigeria and to modify the colonial educational system has become a fantasy.
1) Kwame Nkrumah (1964) “Consciencism”. Panaf Books: London
2) Kwame Nkrumah (1965) “Neo-Colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism”. Panaf Books: London
By Honourable Saka
The author is a regular writer and a political analyst on African affairs, and a well-known social commentator in Africa. He is the editor of “The Doctor’s Report”, your most reliable source of critical analysis on African affairs. He is a strong Pan-Africanist, a youth activist and the founder of the “Leaders of Tomorrow”, a transformational and inspirational group of possible future leaders. Please visit his blog at:www.honourablesaka.blogspot.co.uk and reach him by Email at:firstname.lastname@example.org