The world is increasingly concerned about the increasing spate of terror in Nigeria. In April of last year the bring back our girls campaign after the abduction of over 200 girls from a school in Chibok, North East Nigeria brought global attention to the Boko Haram terror crisis that has plagued Nigeria for the last five years.
While the world was looking at France this month, hundreds of locals in Baga, a town in northeastern Nigeria were killed in what would be Boko Haram’s deadliest attack. The numbers are scary; estimates are as many as 2 to 3000 killed. Amnesty international released images that show that as many as 3700 buildings were burnt.
The Nigerian government has stubbornly denied these figures even though its military are yet to set foot in the affected areas. Promises to liberate Baga and environs barely hold water as the terrorists have over the past months captured and held large chunks of territory, twice as much as ISIS holds in Iraq and Syria which the Nigerian army has not attempted to recover.
As the world looks at how to help Nigeria in its current deadly predicament, concerned nations realize that the real problem that has led to the successful Boko Haram campaign of terror is Nigeria’s leadership.
It is broadly recognized that the Goodluck Jonathan administration lacks the wherewithal to handle Boko Haram terror. Endemic corruption is a hallmark of the ruling administration which has been blamed for the lack of capacity of Nigeria’s military to wage an effective war against Boko Haram radical insurgency. The lack of foresight, defined tactic for the war to be fought and no demonstrable commitment are some of the recognized attributes of the Goodluck Administration that paint a picture of a helpless government.
This raises an important question—what options are there for young democracies confronted with serious problems where the leadership simply lacks the capacity and there is continuing risk to life? Over 11,000 Nigerians died in 2014. This is double the number that died the year before and just in January of 2015 over 3000 Nigerians have died as Boko Haram becomes more deadly and applies more inhumane tactics including deployment of bomb strapped children.
The help Nigeria might need is a change of government and on the long term some form of monitoring by global bodies of its and other similar nations’ leaderships. What has become obvious as a situation that would otherwise have been curtailed with responsible leadership, is that the terror crisis in Nigeria is invariably due to the subjection of its people to leadership that simply lacks the capacity.
Nigeria’s terror is more than anything a result of its leadership. Perhaps this is where the world needs to urgently focus before considering sending international troops and dropping bombs on West Africa.