Sunday, 1st October 2023

Important questions on Boko Haram

Sir: Before some northern groups give Igbos an ultimatum to leave the north, they are supposed to end Boko Haram project which seems to be stage-managed by some beneficiaries that seem to include military...


Sir: Before some northern groups give Igbos an ultimatum to leave the north, they are supposed to end Boko Haram project which seems to be stage-managed by some beneficiaries that seem to include military officials, governor, Emirs in Maiduguri, politicians in Maiduguri, and some perceived rich men in Maiduguri. The northern groups are supposed to travel to Maiduguri (if they can) to assess certain facts, so that they will understand the  shareholders in Boko Haram project. Before I list my observations, I want you to understand that I am not a victim of the press and so my observations are based on the true situation in Maiduguri, which I assessed from my visits to University of Maiduguri three times in three academic sessions (2014/2015, 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 academic sessions). My observations are as follows:

The governor is busy buying the houses and properties of the terrorised citizens inside Maiduguri with virtually no effort towards helping the helpless but injecting political thugs into civilian JTF in order to serve him and not the people of Maiduguri.

The military officials have taken over all trades of cows, sheep, donkeys and other foodstuffs as only their agent’s truckloads are allowed to pass road blocks unhindered and also truckloads of their accomplices, otherwise the truckloads of ordinary citizens will be attacked by Boko Haram. So how would the defeated Boko Haram differentiate between which truckloads to attack? So by implication, citizens of Maiduguri are deprived of their normal trading activities. Are the military officials in Maiduguri to seize trade or fight insurgency?

Why were the military officers commanded to stop fighting when they get closer to Sambisa for two weeks, and when they were commanded to continue later, they entered Sambisa and met no Boko Haram fighters but only women and children and yet claim victory? Why were the press busy telling lies about this? Who stopped the military for two weeks to give room for Boko Haram fighters to leave Sambisa camp?

Why are the Emirs, governor, politicians and other rich men inside Maiduguri silent about these dastardly developments? Who created communication gap between the realities in Maiduguri and other parts of Nigeria? And yet government has been pumping money to military officials to curb insurgency without accountability.

Are the military collecting their correct salaries and allowances as and when due? There were records of protest by the wives of young military officers about non-payment of allowance. So who is causing danger to the lives of the actual soldiers fighting in the field? How could the perceived defeated Boko Haram put military on the defensive?

It is common knowledge that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar (former vice president) with cooperation of Adamawa State government, single-handedly hired local hunters to deal with Boko Haram issue in Adamawa State, and they succeeded in liberating Adamawa State from the grip of insurgency. How many rich men like Atiku Abubakar do they have in Maiduguri, and what is wrong with them and the Borno State governor that they could not do the same? Just one reason: they are accomplices and also beneficiaries from the Boko Haram project.

I was in University of Maiduguri on Wednesday (8th June, 2017) when Boko Haram launched an attack on Maiduguri city around 6-6:30 p.m. and they exchanged fire with military and later ran away in the usual dramatic way. This attack coincided with the visit of the Acting President that was scheduled to visit Maiduguri on Thursday (8th June,  2017). Is this not a stage-managed attack to compel the Acting President to release more money for a stage-managed crisis? Why is money so important at the expense of innocent human lives? Who told Boko Haram that the Acting President was coming?  And how could there be a security break barely 24 hours to the visit of the Acting President and yet no one is held responsible for that? Is this not a classical vendetta against the sovereignty of Nigeria?

So from the foregoing, you could see that  there is more work to do in the north than chasing Igbos out of the north.

• Prof. Ahmad Isah Harun