No Nigerian is in doubt about how the adoring landscapes of Nigeria were coloured with blood and pain with the emergence of the Islamic outlaws, Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) in Nigeria in 2009. Beyond this era, terrorism blossomed and raged in Nigeria from 2011 to mid-2015.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan once decried the existence of BHTs in every sphere of public life in the country. Of course till today, there are Boko Haram agents in the security agencies, paramilitary organizations, the police, public service, in communities, in centers of learning, in the media, among businessmen and politicians.
It is also public knowledge that there are assorted brands of Boko Haram. There is the political arm of Boko Haram; its business wing and the main religious arm of Boko Haram, largely perceived as the first trace of terrorism in the country which has tormented Nigerians for years. The other two categories support this main arm to thrive in the Nigerian state.
But since President Mohammadu Buhari (PMB) became Nigeria’s President, the Nigerian Army have demonstrated its unequalled capacity to confront and defeat the insurgents. The decimation and defeat of terrorism is the proud history of Nigeria’s security agencies’ collaborative determination and patriotism to their country.
The patriotic Nigerian Army under the leadership of COAS Gen. Tukur Buratai, like other arms of the armed or security forces have worked assiduously to achieve Nigeria’s globally acknowledged success and status in the anti-terrorism campaigns. Soldiers were in the trenches, in thick forests, repelling terrorists’ attacks; smoked out insurgents from their hideouts; they trudged the dreary forests of the Northeast states and Sambisa to free thousands of captives, in Nigeria, much as in the border communities of Chad, Niger and Cameroun republics.
Soldiers chanted songs of war at nights and in the scotching sun, endured all hardships to bring respite and succor to hundreds of communities and millions of Nigerians manacled by the upsurge of insurgency.
Other arms of the armed forces performed no less roles. Airforce officers mounted fighter jets which unleashed serial air bombardments of terrorists camps, and the DSS strengthened surveillance and intelligence gathering aspects of the war, much like the Police, the National Intelligence Agency (NIA). These complementary operations yielded the appreciable results today in the anti-terrorism war. And the international community spiced it by actively supporting the zeal and determination of the Nigerian military, which ended terrorism.
But despite the milestones and relishing respite from Boko Haram enthroned in Nigeria by the military, devious and disgruntled Nigerians who are either sympathizers of these elements or their agents are vexatious with this reality.
In pseudo claims of love for the country, these disloyal and unpatriotic Nigerians are ever ready to unjustly censure and demoralize Nigerian military with verbal assaults in manifold manifestations. They have enough demonic ideas in support of the insurgents. They are the secret financiers of BHTs and those who propagate fake and contemptible publicity to gladden the hearts of the terrorists.
They are not concerned about the freshly evolving manifestations terrorism in the country evident in the Sheik Ibraheem El- Zakzaky led Shiites movement in Nigeria. But all their arsenals of war are channeled on the Nigerian military, which is routinely vilified and scorned. And with international connections or links with forces hell-bent on destabilizing Nigeria, these veiled sympathizers with BHTs inadvertently unmask themselves by permanently faulting the Nigerian military on terrorism, while turning a blind eye to glaring wrongdoings; such as members of a religious sect in a religious procession possessing dangerous weapons and violently unleashing attacks on security agents.
What the international human rights organizations and other NGOs, suspected to be funded by the Republic of Iran deem worthy of propagation reflects in the conspiracy to ruin and disintegrate Nigeria, by the frequent apportioning of blames on the Nigerian military based on phantom claims of human rights violations. Sadly too, is the discovery of the enlistment of online media platforms manned by Nigerians and the dozen social media hounds in the internationally sponsored evil plot to destroy their own country?
When one reads some news items from online media on the Nigerian military anti-terrorism campaigns, it marvels. The contents of the stories defile the sacred core creed of development journalism which advocates for the promotion of peace and national unity, a natural obligation every citizen owes his country. It reflects more as these publications’ endorsement of the agenda to destroy Nigeria.
Similarly, some international NGOs like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International reports on Nigeria suggest the prosecution of the disintegration plot to pave way for the country’s re-colonization by some western powers.
Some section of the traditional media in Abuja and also, some e-rats have all been conscripted into this agenda. They have consciously and without any valid reason, constituted themselves into antagonistic forces against the Nigerian military in the counter-insurgency war. When the hero-soldier, Lt.Col. Muhammed Abu-Ali died in gun battle with terrorists who ambushed his troops in Mallam Fatori recently, an e-rat wrote on one of the online platforms, these comments in poor pidgin, “ Na dem (sic) (h)ausa people wey brin jihad 4 naija, dem don de kil themselves now.(sic) e good.”
Even in death, this Nigerian forgot his religiosity by still mocking lifeless soldiers and his country and there are many of such characters. Such tendencies are compelling the impression that some Nigerians are on the payroll of these international forces, which launched terrorism in Nigeria, nurtured and fuelled it, but are now disappointed with the palpable and irreversible signs of the total dissipation of terrorism in the country.
This is highly condemnable and disgraceful. Nigerians may traverse the globe, but they have no any other country in the world than Nigeria. America’s President-elect, Mr. Donald Trump has hinted about the pending deportation of three million “illegal” immigrants. If it happens and Nigeria is kept in the perpetuity of conflagrations and terrorism, where would this number of Nigerian deportees take refuge?
On the political front, President Buhari's opponents create the impression that terrorism in the country is still bludgeoning and proceed to make Nigerians understand the mistake for entrusting leadership of the country on Buhari, instead of them.
Reports credited to Nigeria’s former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar recently when he distributed relief materials to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) assembled at the American University of Nigeria (AUN), Yola, Adamawa state, insinuated this much. .
He told his audience, “If you recalled, while we were in office in 2002, such a small uprising, very similar to this Boko Haram, reared their head in Yobe state; then, we smashed it immediately. So, I think it requires a steadfast leadership, a leadership that is decisive.”
By inference, Atiku is possibly insinuating that outside him as President of Nigeria, the country lacks a steadfast leader in any other person to quell insurgency. He declined from appreciating the efforts of Mr. President or the Nigerian military to end the BHTs umbrage on Nigerians. Statements of such weight from elder statesmen like Atiku rather embolden remnants of the terrorists to feel some leaders of the country can make reference to their extinguished existence, even if innocuously.
From the political angle, those who desperately want Buhari's job in 2019 feel the only way to excite Nigerians is to lie about the prevalence of Boko Haram, in the country. But at the same time, the same characters fail to pinpoint to even the tinniest territory of Nigeria under the captivity of these criminal elements.
So, if some Nigerians, with ulterior motives have re-directed their energies to resurrect terrorism, by fighting Nigeria’s political leadership and the gallant Nigerian military in connivance with foreign interests, it amounts to disservice to the nation and Nigerians. But as they continue to unmask themselves and their agenda, their intentions do not escape the critical judgment of patriotic Nigerians.
One dares to say, the religious terrorists in the thick forests of the Northeast have long been defeated by the Nigerian military. The new faces of Boko Haram in Nigeria are the veiled sympathizers of the terror group. But as the adage goes, “evil can never triumph over good, forever.”
Adamu K. K writes from Lokongoma Phase 11 , Lokoja, Kogi State.