The Secret Agenda …Remote Causes Of Boko Haram Siegea


Many Nigerians agree that members of the Islamist Fundamentalist group – Boko Haram have no clearly discernable grouse to prompt the wanton killings and destruction of public places in parts of the North. But they have continued to hold, not just the Northern part of the Nigerian State to ransom, but also pose a potent danger to the nation’s unity.

The only known grievances, either directly or remotely expressed in veiled messages to the worldwide Web are their opposition to Western education and desire to impose Islam, not only, in the Northern part of Nigeria but indeed the length and breadth of the country.

For these, no fewer than 1,000 defenceless men, women and children have been killed in cold blood. Security operatives have been gunned down in droves and countless public places destroyed by improvised explosive devices and suicide bombings. And to date, there does not appear to be any strong signal that the orgy of blood letting would abate anytime soon.

Curiously, prior to the election of President Goodluck Jonathan in April, last year, there were pockets of threats by some Northern politicians that they would make Nigeria ungovernable. What was considered a mere political goof of frustration, on the part of those rejected by the voters, has become potent threat that needs to be viewed seriously.

Former Military Head of State, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd), one time Minister of Finance, Malam Adamu Ciroma and others apparently prejudged the mindset of the Northern electorate and vowed that, should the wish of the people be subverted, hell would be let loose. Even so, it was not clear if the post electoral violence that attended the release of results for the Presidential elections was a fulfillment of that political miscalculation. But Buhari’s later day threat of the baboon and the monkey being soaked in blood, should same be repeated in 2015 might have deleted all doubts.

Since then, no week passed without bloodshed and virtually every state in the Northern parts of the nation has been hit, with the security agencies and the Federal government wantonly bearing the blame for the systematic destruction of human and material resources.

On the last count, the Boko Haram terrorist group was quoted as saying, that only an inter-face with President Jonathan and subsequent discussions with its leadership would stop the attacks. How are such talks possible without the group’s leadership unmasking itself and making themselves available for such dialogue?.

Reading in-between the lines and judging from remarks by some influential Northern leaders on the need for a balanced federation, as opposed to what they consider a lopsided development situation between northern and southern states, there does appear to be a consensus that the Boko Haram group is not as misguided as many are wont to believe.

The group methinks, is a major negotiating platform for governments of the northern states but who are reluctant to say so. The main grouse seems to be the Federal Government’s amnesty package for Niger Delta militants, pronounced by former President, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua at the peak of the Niger Delta unrest.

It is curious that some Northern political elements are opposed to the amnesty programme, and still consider it as a dubious window for selective empowerment of the militant  youths of Niger Delta  and a reward for their violence. It is indeed that mindset that has fuelled the unabating violence, in hope that eventual dialogue with the Federal government would result in a similar amnesty programme, not just for the Boko Haram membership, but indeed all other hitherto unknown arm-carriers and others in parts of the North for the purpose of balancing the equation, from Northern perspectives: The calculation is that such amnesty programme would further unite the northern youth behind the elite for future political ground standing for an eventual political choice for 2015. With such gratis, governors of the northern states, known to have been complaining of poor funding would have extra earnings to address empowerment needs of their peoples.

This is ostensibly why committed efforts at making Boko Haram unpopular in such areas have failed. The modus operandi of their terrorist group, the choice of targets and indeed its spread all point to same end. This is undebatedly why all attacks by the group has thus far attracted mere condemnations without any verifiable, proactive steps by northern states governors to end the senseless bloodletting and high level of insecurity in the land.

The other plausible explanation to the continued violence is to present Jonathan as a weak leader, incapable of ensuring security of lives and property, which is one of the primary responsibilities of government. Expectedly, for every terror attack, the president’s rating falls, public discontent rises and the political opposition smiles to the newspapers, pumped-up by the state of insecurity. What seems a loss to the Jonathan Presidency thus becomes their gain. And should thus continue for as long as they will, if possible, up to the next electoral process, they would have succeeded in cowing President Jonathan into subservience, and leave him with no political liver to aspire for re-election.

Conversely, should President Jonathan muster brute force to quell the Boko-Haram insurrection, and in the process record civilian casualties, no matter how insignificant, in comparison with the spoils of the terror group, he would be tagged merchant of ethnic cleansing and found guilty of war crimes.

With this no-win situation, the Jonathan Presidency’s development plans are intermittently truncated, since not much can be achieved in an atmosphere of insecurity, senseless bloodletting and wanton destruction of public property.

But by far the most destructive agenda appears to be enlistment of elected representatives devoid of party affiliations, to constantly underplay the achievements of government and magnify perceived failures, for the main purpose of undermining the Presidency, and rendering it unpopular.

Signs in that direction were ominous in the handling of the fuel subsidy strike, eventual probe and the campaigns to prosecute those found culpable.  Although in the process, some arrow-heads of the agenda implementation had their hands burnt with accusations of demanding and receiving bribes, the group’s determination still appears unyielding.

This perhaps accounts for recent calls for impeachment of President Jonathan over what some members of the House of Representatives consider poor budget implementation.

This is in spite of the fact that Minister of Finance and Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy,  Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, had earlier in the month said, that by the end of the second quarter of this year, the level of budget implementation stood at 52 per cent, a record never heard of, in the past 15 years.

These examples of deliberate discontent, point to a well-planned agenda geared towards pulling President Jonathan down, with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) doing very little to call to order  its majority membership in both Chambers of the National Assembly.

President Jonathan himself, touched on that while addressing the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the PDP in Abuja July 17, this year, when he urged his party to rise up to the challenges presented by detractors bent on pulling his government down. Although, the party leadership, last week, promised to inter-face with aggrieved members of the House, with a view to identifying areas of discontent, it is obvious that the ‘Pull-Jonathan-Down now’, and ‘stop him in 2015’ plots are on course.

Whether driven by greed, vaulting ambition for political power, or outright plot to down-play the political and economic relevance of the Niger Delta, it needs to be stated clearly that no one has the monopoly of creating artificial insecurity to plot a government’s fall.

For the avoidance of doubt, in spite of its enormous contributions to the national commonwealth, this would be the first time, the Niger Delta region has had a shot at the Presidency, and should not be subjected to destructive manipulations by a few disgruntled political elements in the Northern part of Nigeria. Instead, everything ought to be done to ensure the success of the Jonathan Presidency, if for nothing else, for the unity, well-being and survival of Nigeria.

My Agony is that it is very unclear to me, where lies the loyalty of some members of the House of Representatives elected on the PDP platform. To their sponsors, some of whom seem to have vowed to pull the government down or to the party and nation? Methinks the former.

Now is the time for the Jonathan Presidency to look deeper, before every thing goes awry. Amnesty for Boko Haram, improved funding for northern states and making President Jonathan unpopular are, merely, symptoms of a larger picture with 2015 as target.


Soye Wilson Jamabo

President Jonathan and Babangida Aliyu