The Solution for Boko

January 27th, 2012

Dr Mustapha Johnson[NewsRescue]– It is only within the capacity of the president of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan(GEJ) to solve this particular crises, now plaguing our dear nation.

I am not going into the details of Boko Haram, because that has been well thrashed, or dare I say, the only thing done by the media. A huge error on their part, giving a publicity seeking group the promotion and free press they desire.

Related: NewsRescue- Stop Giving Boko Haram Media Coverage!

We all know Boko as an underground group that has claimed responsibility for numerous, senseless and indiscriminate attacks against Muslim and Christian(or other) alike, civilian or government. So without any more stories, being that these things should have been done yesterday, seriously yesterday, I will go straight and bluntly to the solutions. If you agree with what I say, please push this message for all humanity, so the president acts fast on it.

American Social Security card {ehow}

1. Social welfare system

This aspect of the solution is not because Northerners are aligned with Boko, but simply because it is critical that we alienate Boko completely and encourage all youth up north to not only route out Boko, but to strive to protect peace and defend human rights and dignity with the love of God and country.

The minute we take a look at all so-called developed nations, the first thing you observe about their social systems is the presence of a social welfare system. This is not fancy or for show, but for the preservation of peace. With Nigeria’s age, wealth and the current state of development in the world, including development of dangerous weaponry, by now we should have had a social welfare system for the nations poorest.

People ask me that the Amnesty program that worked in the south, can such be implemented up North, and I respond that before that is even thought of, the first priority with the level of abject poverty up North is a basic social welfare system. And this needs to be started in some ways …right now, as we read this. Before a sophisticated structure is formed, there should be at least communal arrangements with total community participation to disburse a sum, of say N10,000 per month to anyone without a job. The government of GEJ can import thumb print machines all coded to a central drive and distribute these to Northern banks, and create a budget to implement a social welfare system starting with the North, the poorest part of Nigeria, and later to other parts. This system can be a bedrock of national identification.

'Food Stamps' social welfare system in the USA

The lack of such system directly leads to violence. United States, the United Kingdom all have complex social welfare systems that provide food for their jobless citizens. This is the responsibility of government. Failure to do so automatically translates to the invitation of violence, or at the very least, complacence and a lack of necessary cooperation with the government. Indeed it was reported in a recent Kano police station attack that youth celebrated around the police station. Simply because the police as an arm of the government serve no function to them other than harassment, and offer them no promise.

Related: NewsRescue- Birom Christians Eat Roasted Flesh of Muslims they Killed in Jos, Nigeria

Nigeria's Northern Beggars {pmnews}

The Islamic religion is one known for being pioneer in establishing social welfare systems for its poor. Caliphs were known to travel around their cities at night incognito to see if there was any one hungry. It was a great responsibility to ensure that no one was hungry under the Muslim leaders watch. State taxes are to provide this among other services. The Holy Quran Says “So that this wealth should not become confined only to the rich among you” 59:7; it also says that “We have portion out their livelihood among them in worldly life and have raised some above others in the matters of social degrees so that some may employ others in their work”. 43:32. Therefore, this solution will be appreciated.

Nigeria as a whole is at the 50% poverty level, but the Northern states with the most violence are at the 70-80% poverty level. The reasons for the poverty up North are many, this article linked does justice to that {Poverty in the North – A “Mayday” Call}, I will not delve into that, but regardless of the reasons and better ways to address the chronic poverty, every society in the world must have a social welfare system, and the North needs one ‘yesterday!’ In the article the Northern poverty level is on par with nations like Somalia and Eritrea, little coincidence the violence levels also bear semblance. While the Southern economy, with 90% of bank loans and deposits occurring in Southern Nigeria, correlates with the economies of Korea and China.

According to the Nigerian award winning and globally renowned laureate, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie:

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Nigeria’s Problem is Crises of Governance, not Sectarianism

Chimamanda Adichie {Photograph: Ishara S Kodikara/AFP/Getty}

“Right now, all over Nigeria, from Kano in the north to Port Harcourt in the south, people are protesting the same things: the increase in fuel prices and the lack of basic government services.

“Nigerians have divisions but they are largely united in their dissatisfaction with and distrust of their government.

“The divisions we see today would, in my view, be greatly reduced if people had regular and affordable electricity, good roads, affordable transportation – all of which are political problems.”

Related: NewsRescue- The Middle Belt holds Nigeria Together; Middle Belt holds ‘Security Summit’

The youth up North must know that the government cares about them and is listening to their plight. It must be realized that begging as a profession is not an anticipated choice any parent makes, but the beggars {Al majiris} are victims of a harsh society that has left them little other choices. No father wakes up with the desire to send his kids ‘abroad’, to the South to beg. If our youth up North have this essential security every man deserves, they will be able to protect the state, love and defend all foreigners and visitors up north without viewing them as the rich, lucky people stealing what is left of their waning opportunities.

Nigeria’s youth represent what a British Council report last year described as a looming “demographic disaster” for Africa’s most populous nation. Estimates in the report suggest Nigeria’s population of more than 160 million people will swell by another 53 million people by 2050. And while the country makes billions from producing oil, agriculture and other vocations have wilted away, meaning fewer jobs for the growing population where many earn less than $2 a day without access to electricity or clean drinking water.

Illiteracy remains high as an education gap grows wider — children have access to better schooling in the Christian-majority south compared to those in the Muslim north, the report said. Analysts worry that will give extremist groups like Boko Haram fertile grounds to grow as well.

Niger Delta MEND

During the tenure of late president, Yaradua, the infamous MEND terrorist group, operating out of the south of Nigeria, known for their economic warfare, depleting Nigeria’s oil sales to less than half, were placated by an amnesty program established to use millions of Naira to send these youth on vocational training world wide. This program has so far worked to a large extent. GEJ needs ‘return the favor’, by addressing the peculiarities of the North.

Related: NewsRescue- The End of Boko Haram

It is important to distinguish however that I am not requesting any form of soliciting, bribe or placation to Boko Haram itself. I am addressing the Northern youth. I strongly advise that the terrorist group, Boko Haram is pursued with all security measures we have, including bomb detectors, bomb sniffing dogs, road blocks, and cash rewards for information leading to successful arrests. The fringe group has the blood of too many innocent people on its hands to be negotiated with, further more, the group fails to make any moral, logical, spiritual or otherwise-sense.

The reason why we urgently need social welfare system of some sort established up North is because it will be hard-to impossible for our security system to on their own make marked success against the Boko fringe terrorist group. We need the total cooperation and assistance of our ‘youth army’ of citizens to wipe out this rot. We need the youth up North actively engaged in the defense and protection of human dignity. It is time to establish a new, God-fearing culture in the betrayed north.

2. Youth organizations

The elderly have failed Nigeria. It is enough of fake associations and set-ups simply designed for political leverage and wealth amassing. GEJ must immediately canvas the formation of youth development bodies across northern Nigeria. These bodies will hold regular meetings together and with government officials to discuss how top protect life in the North in accordance with the Quran and Shariah and Nigeria’s constitution. They will also enable the government better understand the issues facing the youth up north, so the government can introduce meaningful solutions. It will be unwise of me or any one else to suggest that we understand the dynamics up north or anywhere else we do not inhabit. This is why the government must immediately get in direct touch with legitimate youth associations and make agreements with them. The government will provide certain services and assistance and in return, these youth groups will monitor security.

Related: NewsRescue- Nigeria’s problem isn’t Islamist fundamentalism — it’s the country’s corrupt and self-serving government.

3. Justice

It is rather frustrating to realize the fact that- throughout all of Nigeria’s ethnic massacres, there are never convictions and sentences. For some ridiculous reason, the Nigerian system does not charge and convict those responsible for heinous ethnic criminal episodes. In order to bring a lasting end to all hate crimes, the government must embark on serious enforcement of justice to any individual found directly or indirectly related to ethnic violence, hate crimes and conspiracy to harm. Scape goats must be made, the masses need to learn that the perpetration of violence for any reason whatsoever does not go unpunished. Aiding and abetting and concealing information related to such acts and perpetrators of ethnic and religious violence must also be firmly criminalized.To promote justice, rewards must also be offered for information leading to the arrest of perpetrators of violent acts of bigotry, as is done also in the ‘developed’ world.


A lasting solution to Boko Haram terror and all other spontaneous riots up North, deserves an approach in touch with the unique socio-dynamics of the region. As the central bank governor, Lamido Sanusi said this week- poverty correlates with violence. This is a well known phenomenon world over. The north is at a disadvantage right now. It will be hard to get the full [smartads] cooperation of the people and their participation in life risky pursuance of the deadly terrorists out of their midst, without poverty alleviation. The people must see that the government is on their side, and they must see this immediately. But while the social welfare system addresses immediate extreme needs, it is far from the solution. The solution demands infrastructure, rail transport, security, elimination of government corruption, support of industry and all other frameworks of a society, but more importantly, the human aspect, as it is impossible for the government to know what best to address without getting in touch with the people whose lives are directly affected. GEJ must step-aside the old goons and talk with the new generation.

Related: NewsRescue- Democracy Fails Africa

Related: NewsRescue- Towards economic development of the North