By Ifure Ataifure
I have seen several barbs on my social media handles to the effect that the real people pulling the strings of the puppets called Boko Haram terrorists are busy with electioneering hence the lull in the group’s murderous activities. Of a truth, ongoing political activities are in full gear without a single flag of Boko Haram being raised anywhere so one would agree that the terrorists have failed in all ramifications.
Compared to this period in 2014, Boko Haram had not only declared a caliphate for itself but even named a capital and collected taxes. The situation was dire enough that General Elections were postponed to allow time for dealing with the terrorists’ menace. The brazen attacks on military outposts in recent times could only have been targeted at creating the cycle of fear all over again. Gudumbali, in Guzamala Local Government Area of Borno state was apparently targeted to be a re-enactment of the months that preceded the 2015 elections.
In the wake the attacks, those who possibly put the terrorists up to it were quick to rush to town with half thought analysis to argue that a Boko Haram that has been defeated would not be in a position to attack a military base. But I am keen to know, why are these same analysts not interested in questioning who is reviving Boko Haram each time it is defeated or why its attacks are always conveniently timed to yield political points to certain individuals.
Whoever these individuals are, their arrangement with Boko Haram failed when they could not stop primary elections of political parties from taking place in every single ward anywhere around the country including areas they want the world to perceive as hotbed of terrorists’ activities. From Gundumbali to Damasak to Azare wards, all in Borno States, primary elections held and Nigerians went out to partake in a process that is defining of our democracy, which is a reminder that the people will always triumph.
Of note is that the restoration of normalcy is beyond the political sphere since some people will be desperate to create the impression that people took part in political parties’ primaries because of what they stand to benefit in pecuniary terms. Whatever that is. But markets are open everywhere in the area, which shows that Boko Haram has also failed to dislocate our economy and economic lifestyle of communities, including places where they once sacked towns and villages. This is providing the needed boost to the national economy since whatever figures are benchmarked at the national level is a collation of what citizens achieve economically in their local communities.
The greatest factor yet is the Nigerian Army that has made a fine art of holding tight to all Nigeria’s territory even as it continues to press on with efforts to rescue every single hostage being held by the non-repentant elements. This, sadly, is another area where politics is being played in manners that hurt the innocent population. In desperate attempts to undermine the achievements of the military, highly placed persons had been fingered in the events that make the abduction of Nigerians by terrorists possible. But the good news is that the Army has done much to rescue these people and reunite them with their families and reintegrate them back into their communities.
One must therefore commend the military for the feat they are achieving. In fact, we cannot thank our military enough that a day like this would ever come in our history as a nation again. The liberty to freely exist is one the terrorists had wanted to deny people especially the aspect about people partaking in choosing who leads them but the conduct of the primary elections successfully has proven that the Army has returned the lives of those in the northeast to them while strengthening democracy in doing so.
I must however point out that the military must not allow the terrorists enjoy their self-appointed holiday. This is the best time to flush out whatever is left of Boko Haram out of hiding and make them keep the right appointments – either with the law courts or with their makers, where they persist in doing battle. That remnant that the owners of Boko Haram have always used to regrow the terror group must not be allowed to remain this time around. The military should deal the decisive blow.
Oh ! Boko Haram, is this the end?
Ifure PhD contributed this article from Abuja.