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Security not beyond food and shelter


FILE – Cameroonians, including women and children, refugees from the Cameroon’s restive anglophone regions, gather for a meeting at Bashu-Okpambe village.<br />PHOTO: AFP

Your brain consistently remembers only two things about an event: The emotional peak and the end… (Random Facts)
In Cameroon they feel good about the government. It was reported recently that Cameroon fights its own portion of the Boko Haram threat by supplying inhabitants there with goats and sheep to farm or to eat; and they rejoice over it as they remain expectant of supply, and avoid running away or taking to their heels knowing that the attack is a phase that may never be sustained; and as long as they are feeding and being on their land, any invasion is not sustainable. Nigeria’s scarce resources are wasted on a territory in which immediate and contingent African countries share interest, and Nigeria is not thinking or strategising right.

Cameroon is doing it right. Niger Republic is also doing it right with American drone station in their territory as Nigeria goes fooling itself by supplying them further armoured tankers that they do not need, as it was reported that they received such from Nigeria for successfully hosting African Union summit. What a shame! Chad is also doing it well by outsourcing that part of their territory for oil explorers who have greater capacity to ward off Boko Haram. Even Sudan and Central African Republic, contingently linked to insurgencies in Central and East Africa, are, also, keeping Boko Haram at bay. It is for now Balaka and anti-Balaka rabble rousers’ war.

When you read Ada Okere’s The Forest Dames, you know that humans know their limits in aggressing fellow humans. In effect, as a lady who witnessed the civil war that made them share the same space as their invaders. Ada Okere narrates that the initial human instinct is to run for dear life but when assailed beyond tolerance level, resistance or death could be faced with boldness. In deed “Forest Dames” are ladies who knew how to remain in their place of natural habitat and face the perceived enemy with boldness and survive the threats as well as create some sense of insecurity in the minds of the perceived enemy.


Return today, run again tomorrow… The invaders were so desperate that, in the absence of young females, the bold or hard-pressed among them attempted to abduct any middle-aged woman around (Those women would face them and say)….. Take a good look at me and tell me what you think you will do with me in your camp…” p.158.

Like it is happening with the Boko Haram Saga of “recover today, lose tomorrow”, Nigeria’s territory is greatly suffering from human displacement and it is high time stabilising strategy was adopted to make people have a sense of “security in boldness” like Ada Okere narrates.

Camerounians use goats and sheep so that people could be bold and stay in their relative secured abode and fend for themselves in “food and in shelter”, which are greatly basic needs of human beings upon which government is tested as a dependable government.Niger Republic has outsourced its own territory bordering Nigeria and Chad to great powers for uranium exploitation and started, with the aid of Nigeria, in building shelters for some remote perceivable enemies within that territory for strategic safety reasons. Note that Niger harbours the greater part of grazing route that extend to Mali. Note, also, that Nigeria builds houses for them as a sign of good neighbourhood watch. It is reported that some government guest houses were built by Nigeria.

Chad as reported, also, cares enormously for those within that territory where oil is explored and exploited which is not far from Sambisa forest. N’djamena is close to the war zone than Maiduguri. Hence, Idris Deby Etno has learnt very well how to be good friend of the French Army and how their protection is greatly important as they have also seen its effect in Mali; Combination of France and Deby faithful in action. Central African Republic had failed to understand that hence the French Army seems to be siding the Deby supported insurgents there so as to overrun the government and strategically secure Deby’s Chad. It is for, now, Deby’s Chad because he is playing the game very well with the great powers until further notice. It is worrisome that African Union is not saying anything as war rages on in RCA, which could also affect Nigeria sooner or later.


However, in all this, what is Nigeria doing to stave the continuous loss of our soldiers and officers including faithful displaced Nigerian in that shared war zone territory.

Let the people feel the impact of government by flooding the place with food and shelter either as in-situ displacement strategy or as compensation strategy for those who dared the insurgent and planned alternative means of keeping safe in the region without accepting the sympathy of a claim of being “displaced persons.” For at the end, the brain will only register what Nigeria did to them that was bad or good; just as they will also register what Boko Haram did to them that was good or bad. See again one of the narratives that Ada Okere felt as quite distractive to the invaders that made the invaders to sense being unsecure.

Run quickly, cover everywhere(…) Spontaneously, Deze sprinted from the room, through the link door to the back room and then to the back corridor… she found herself once more in the bush at her usual hide out, panting… where she? Even in the daytime the invaders feared to follow her into the bush. p.173

The point, here, is that something must be fashioned out to distract the invaders so as to reduce the heavy casualties suffered by Nigeria as well as encourage people to remain in their places, as they ought to know that when there is no alternative boldness comes in like it is known in any war of survival; whether the wars of the Americans or the Red Indians or the Jews or the Zulus, or the Mau Mau.
Ariole is professor of French and Francophone Studies,Department of European Languages and Integration Studies, University of Lagos


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