"WHERE IS BOKOM HARAM" by Disu Adeyemi Yesufu

He had just arrived from an OAU meeting in Adi's-Ababa. The then Nigerian President General Ibrahim Babangida alighted from his plane and confronted the Inspector General of Police Mr Etim Iyang right in front of the welcoming press corp. "Where is Anini". 

The next day, the newspapers' headlines splashed those three words on their front page with the picture of Anini and that of the Inspector General of Police, Etim Inyang. The Nigerian police was visibly embarrassed. Three months later Anini was caught and the country heaved a sigh of relief from the terror a notorious gang had unleashed on the country for more than a year. Etim Inyang was to later go on voluntary retirement from his post, given the embarrassment. A police superintendent was arrested and shot for being an accessory to the notorious armed gang.

The reason I decided to go back this short historical memory lane is to bring out how Nigeria has deteriorated since 1986 when Anini wrecked havoc on the country. If Anini had claimed to be a Christian soldier or representing some extreme Islamic group and not just a common criminal, he would have divided the nation the way the Bokom Haram is dividing the nation now. 

The original Boko Haram as represented by Mohammed Yusuf represented an extreme view of Islam. The late President Yardua took the battle to the enclave of the group and eliminated the group including its leader. Since then, the New Boko Haram has evolved into a criminal enterprise and has been used and is still being used by different interest groups to foment trouble in the country. Governors have been known to pay ransom to this criminal enterprise. 

A while ago before his death, no lesser a person but the then National Security Adviser General Aziza said that the ruling party PDP is using the same Boko Haram to force the direction the party is going to evolve come 2015. The President himself has made utterances in the past about the same Boko Haram that must have embarrassed some of his closest supporters.

Whatever the agenda of Boko Haram, one thing is clear about the group, it seems to have succeeded to a large extent in making the state fall into its criminal plans and strategy unconsciously. Take the last attack on Baga. How can a well-disciplined military that has a world renowned reputation for peace-keeping in other countries, have allowed itself to have been drawn into a fight that has now bloodied the face of the military because of the huge civilian causality that resulted in the engagement of this criminal enterprise called Boko Haram? 

How else could the timing of this engagement be so wrong-headed? How could such have happened on the same weekend when the President was swearing in those he had put together to fashion out a peace deal with the same Boko Haram? Was the former Governor of Imo State Orji Kalu right when he said that the security agencies want to keep Bokom Haram active in order for them to keep getting the plum security vote allocation that they are getting because of Boko Haram? Does Jonathan have a 5th columnist in his government that is bent on disestablishing it and making it look clueless?

How can a bunch of rag tag criminals hold a country hostage? Why is a whole nation allowing a rag tag group of miscreants threaten the very corporate existence of our country. It is being predicted that religion would be the next frontier that would break Nigeria up. Are we there now. Or maybe we are just allowing Boko Haram to create another avenue for stealing our nations wealth. Maybe this will come to pass like all the phases that our dear country has gone through. OR Maybe Jonathan needs to ask his chief security officers the same question "Where is Boko Haram" in order to avert the disaster looming ahead. 

Meanwhile we will continue to kill the innocent amongst us for nothing including that 3 year old child killed in Baga. May their soul continue to rest in peace.


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