500 is the latest number of Nigerians who have died unnecessary and preventable deaths since the handing over of power to the ‘change’ regime. Nigeria voted for change but unfortunately too many died prematurely before they could taste it and perhaps many more will.
The massacre of the Agatu people reminds us of why Nigeria is unique. The numbers tolerably killed in events in the nation are not surpassed by any other nation on earth. According to David Mark, 10 communities were wiped out completely. We have more displaced Nigerians again to add on the millions up north.
Governments of Denial
But the problem is the denial, and we are back here once again. Let’s review the history.
Boko Haram I
Boko Haram I was the product of Borno governor Ali Modu Sheriff’s Ecomog political thug gang. The error then that caused this first terror organization to come to being was attributed to Obasanjo and more precisely his NSA, the notorious Spy, Aliyu Mohammed Gusau. As Modu Sherrif’s armed thugs metamorphosed into Boko Haram I, then called “Nigerian Taliban,” the then President Olusegun Obasanjo was in denial or asleep. To his credit, though not removing him of culpability, Obasanjo according to Stephen Davis, asked Spy Aliyu Gusau about the “Nigerian Taliban.” NSA Gusau responded that “no such thing existed.” This is why and how Nigeria fell victim to Boko Haram I. Then sect leader, Mohammed Yusuf who in 2004 fled to Saudi under persecution of the government, established links with the kingdom and al-Qaeda and assured them of success in their evil dreams for Nigeria. It was thanks to the excellent action of late President Umar Yar’Adua that that potential horror was quickly and totally nipped in the bud. Umar Yar’Adua remains the only Nigerian President till date who was able, capable, promptly understood the crisis and was unattached and unsentimental in addressing it properly.
Boko Haram II
When Goodluck Jonathan resumed office, he faced a lot of opposition. Suddenly according to popular opinion, he had a brilliant idea. Around this time, allegedly from elements within Saudi Arabia who had seen the potential of Boko Haram I before it was smashed by Yar’Adua, the global puppet masters funded a certain Chadian, Abu Mahjin to come to Nigeria and re-establish a Boko Haram [Ref: Wikileaks: Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, TIDE number 24350378].
Nigeria had been and still remains, identified as fertile grounds for the establishment of an extremist ‘takfiri’ caliphate (Takfiri means- fanatics who judge and condemn to then kill). MEND confessed to bombing Abuja on October 1st 2010, with their leader even going as far as stating under oath that then President Goodluck Jonathan ordered them to bomb the capital. Henry Okah remains the only Nigerian militant leader ever arrested and jailed. As the “brilliant idea goes,” Jonathan blamed the north for bombing Abuja and Boko Haram II fit right in under that paradigm, with Nigeria’s security services seeing its resurgence as a perfect opportunity to galvanize support for Jonathan against the “accused northern elements,” while also using the war against it as a golden goose source of billions of dollars security vote and army budget loot. The rest is history. As Nigeria maintained an official position of denial, Boko Haram grew into a monster that would consume no less than 50,000 lives and counting.
It must be mentioned that the denial was not only by the Jonathan government but even common northern Nigerians denied the barbarity of Boko Haram, while they tried to relate with it as a “Muslim” terror group and not plain vampires from the pits of hell. Many looked at it first as not their problem but one for Christians in the north, and later, a problem of “those Kanuris.” Prominent northern leaders and even the Sultan were routinely called out for not condemning Boko Haram II. The then PDP chairman, Bamanga Tukur, recently congratulated as a true statesman by Nigeria’s current president, at the time went as far according to a publication in the Punch, as saying, “Boko Haram is fighting for justice, Boko Haram is another name for justice.” This was the level of denial and even positive appraisal that got Nigeria to have the world’s deadliest terror organisation.
Boko Haram III
While one of Boko Haram’s main strengths and hallmark features is ensuring that no one really knows their true objective; their tactic has remained consistent: conquer, exterminate and annihilate. Raid, kill and burn. Anyone that stands in their path is dispensable. As true extremist takfiris, once they brand you, they are justified to kill you. It’s that easy. I recently noticed that the so-called “Fulani” marauders who allegedly struck 5 communities in Adamawa were no different than Boko Haram. My article to that effect, in January this year was captioned, “Politics: The Hundreds of ‘Fulani’ Militant-Terrorist Herdsmen Are BACK! By Peregrino Brimah.” Nigeria’s Senate recently came to the same conclusion. These maniacs destroying Agatu were nothing other than Boko Haram. Technique is the same, mission can only be the same. They say, if it smells like a chicken and talks like a chicken, then it is a chicken. Boko Haram is taking a new dimension or a new Boko Haram is again evolving. Fully armed cells across Nigeria are systematically and deliberately unleashing terror on communities, wiping them out and burning down their social structures in typical Boko Haram exterminate and eliminate routine. They have just massacred no less than 500 in Agatu, they are doing the same in Zamfara and the Kogi terror hotbed. We are witnessing the evolution of the third edition of Boko Haram, Boko Haram III, while Boko Haram II is not even quite dead. But the most worrisome thing is, once again, we have a government that is partial and in denial.
As at the time of writing this article, I do not believe a single of the terrorists who murdered 500 people has been arrested. This was just like what former President Goodluck Jonathan and Obasanjo did with Boko Haram II and I respectively. “We cannot send the army after them, they are our siblings,” Jonathan had said, to the immediate condemnation of the Christian Association of Nigeria, northern branch. Likewise, while it was rather easy to witness the full mad might of the Nigerian army in rather unprovoked massacres of unarmed Nigerians at Zaria and Abia, who had not taken any lives, the army has not been activated to prevent the deaths in Benue and assist the police arrest the perpetrators. The Nigerian government is once again in denial as those who have tasted human blood are not waiting for the noose at the gallows, but are rather freely training others in the art of human sacrifice and gaining in numbers and established links to foreign sponsors to become another intractable cancer.
We appear to have learned nothing from our past. May late Yar’Adua of blessed memory rest in peace.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah @EveryNigerian