INSIDE NIGERIA: A Reaction to Femi Kayode and Daniel Greenfield’s Stance on Boko-Haram

Posted: June 10, 2014 in Articles, INSIDE NIGERIA
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Leader of Boko-Haram; Abubakar Shekau (centre) with members of the terrorist group

Leader of Boko-Haram; Abubakar Shekau (centre) with members of the terrorist group

by Okoye Chukwudi Charles Ezeamalukwuo

There are very few things that move me these day, very few news, happenings and developments in this political entity called Nigeria that would get me to blink talk less of moving my hands to react. The Nigeria Society has had so many bad news of late…The rise of boko-haram, the Chibok kidnapping, the bombings and conspiracies, the CBN governorship saga, the PDP-APC tug of war, Oil thefts, Stampede of unemployed youths, the death of Dora Akunyili in far away India etc…all these are happenings that I as a Nigerian have gotten used to…I have so acclimatised myself to them that I no longer flinch when the breaking news of horror are being announced on the media…Yes I am sitting in house ignoring the cries of the she-goat delivering her kid in tethers.

Last night I read an opinion piece by one Daniel Greenfield on the facebook wall of a one-time Minister of Aviation of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode.

To read the article by Daniel Greenfield click Obama’s Alliance with Boko-Haram

In that article, the writer blamed President Obama and the USA administration’s pussyfooting in labelling Boko-haram as a terrorist orgainisation for the increase in terrorism in Nigeria. He also went further in absolving Nigerian Government (Past but especially Present) from any blame as regards the rise of insurgency in our country, while criticising the western nations/media (whom he called leftist ideologists) for scolding Nigerian security operatives for their glaring brutality and high-handedness in handling the Boko-haram issue (and anyother issue for that matter). The writer concluded that the Obama’s administration is trying to bring down the Nigerian Government which is headed by a Christian Southerner, and stated also that the same Obama’s administration is in bed with the Muslim world including the Muslim Brotherhood, PLO and Talibans of Afghanistan.

Mr Femi Fani-Kayode

Mr Femi Fani-Kayode

Normally I would have read this, sighed and moved on…but the personality of Femi Kayode on whose wall this post is (still) on, and the growing number of young Nigerians who are reading and commenting favourably to it made indifference a very wrong step for me to take this time.

First of all I must say that I am no fan of the western governments (USA and co) and their media who to me are one of the major obstacles to world peace. And I am inclined also to agree with some of the points raised in the writeup like Boko-Haram waging a religious war against Christians in Nigeria…But besides these, I totally disagree with and condemn the writeup.

Many times have I heard and seen people criticising USA for not quickly calling Boko-haram for what they are; A Terrorist Organisation, but this has always left me amazed when I hear it coming from Nigerians, prominent Nigerians at that. Is Nigeria not a soveriegn Nation? Since when did we become the 51st state of America? How does Obama’s stance on Boko-Haram affect the security of lives and properties in Nigeria? Are we no longer the giant of Africa? Have we become so helpless that we now need others to help us patrol our borders, to secure our citizens, to defeat an internal and small sized enemy? All these questions come to my mind when I hear folks saying things like the USA should have acted sooner…it beats my imagination to see how far below we have gone.

Moreover, the major culprit of this Crisis is no-other than the Federal Government of Nigeria, and absolving it of that blame turns logic on its head. A lot would argue that the problem did not start with this regime, infact many would say that the problem fattened with the Opposition, and this I do agree to a point…but still the FGN is the last bus-stop, the alpha and the omega. And if the past and especially the present government have been as proactive as it is suppose to be, if the present administration has been sincere in its fight against corruption, in tackling the root causes of this crisis which are poverty and illiteracy, perhaps it might have fared better than this. But No, the present government (together with the opposition) has carried on in the same callous, carefree and corrupt ways that have been synonymous with governance in Nigeria.
Unfortuntely for the FGN, it appears to be both the prey and the predator in this case. Its unwillingness to go after the suspected sponors of Boko-haram whom Mr President told us are in high places (part of his government as he once said) have left the government in a very vulnerable position and its efforts against Boko-haram have become more like dogs that only bark but rarely bite.
Also unfortunately for us, ordinary citizens of Nigeria, we are the ones who pay with our lives and livelihood, our blood, our sweats, our properties for the ineptitude of this present administration. It is our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, friends, neighbours etc that are slaughtered whenever Boko-Haram strikes. It is neither Daniel Greenfield nor Femi Fani-Kayode, nor any member of their immediate friends and family, nor anyone of those men in power or in the corridor of power that will bear the blunt for the blunders of this government.

A Victim of Boko-Haram's bombing in Nyanya Abuja

A Victim of Boko-Haram’s bombing in Nyanya Abuja

President Goodluck in Kano rally, less than 24 hours after Nyanya bomb blast

President Goodluck in Kano rally, less than 24 hours after Nyanya bomb blast

women crying for relatives lost in Boko-haram Bombing

women crying for relatives lost in Boko-haram Bombing

Furthermore, something seriously has to be done as regards the orientation of the Nigerian Security Forces. It is an open secret that the Nigerian Police and Army (and any other gun wielding organisation in the country) have got an A first and foremost in Indimidation, violations of human rights, accidental discharge of live ammunitions and callousness in the securing of lives and properties. Reading Femi Kayode state something contrary to this does not surprise me. In fact nothing our elites do these days surprises me…they are all far from the realities on ground. It is not a lie that the brutality and savagery that the Nigerian security forces exhibited against suspected members of Boko-Haram (Real and imagined) have won great sympathy for the Boko-Haram cause among certain sections of the populace, and have also made very easy the recruitment into Boko-Haram. Those who state otherwise show a complete ignorance of the Nigerian security operations…the cases of Asaba Massacre of 1967, Odi Massacre of 1999, Operation sweep in OBJ first tenure, and the initial crushing of Boko-Haram members in 2009, all go to show the modus operandi of the Nigerian Security Forces…which is Brutality; shoot first, ask questions later, this and nothing more…but unfortunately for them (and also for us), they have encountered a more brutal and resilient opponent in Boko-Haram. Who like themselves are equal in zeal, and ready for the slaughter.

A suspect pledding while being stripped naked by a Policeman

A suspect pledding while being stripped naked by a Policeman

A Citizen Forced to Frog Jump by a Policeman

A Citizen Forced to Frog Jump by a Policeman

Victim of Police Brutality

Victim of Police Brutality

The solution for us right now is far from the ones raised by Daniel Greenfield or the ones championed by Oduduwa’s town-crier Femi Kayode. No, the solution for us is to find a way to hold our government, this government together with the opposition accountable to us.
Honestly, I don’t see as things are today the government of PDP, APC, APGA et al giving us the dividends of Democracy. What we really need is a change in the crop of leaders both in government and opposition. But while we work towards this development, we will still continue to hope that the government of Goodluck Jonathan finds a way to be sincere in its fight against corruption, in its fight against terror, in providing good governance.
The security forces need new and better ideology. In their efforts on insecurity, they need to partner with and not prejudice the local community. They should understand that being a civilian does not make one sub-human, that a suspect is innocent until proven guilty. They should find better ways to infiltrate the terrorist cells; brains and not just bullets, bloods and battles.
The Nigerian economic and education situations should be revisited. Crime is on the increase, and slowly it will get more sofisticated if left unchecked. The real root of crime, of insecurity, of Boko-Haram has always been poverty; poverty of mind and body. And if this government does not find a way to address this growing poverty it will soon have more than just Boko-Haram to contend with…call me a leftist or a prophet of doom.

The statements, views and opinions stated in this column is solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily represent those of Lyriversity

Lyriversity — Liberty of Creativity

  1. Adaka Timothy says:

    Well said Charlse. Mayb Nigeria needs Revolution or Else we remain in the Hands of God.

  2. LegendaryCJN says:

    FFK is a renown irredentist and tribal apologist. He throws stones on the roof to attract attention to his already diminished ego. As a result, I have always resisted the urge to listen and or read him even when he is making sense.

    I still maintained, however that BH is politically motivated, but that does not give any impetus to the claim that FG should not be blamed for efficiently handling the situation. Absolving FG from blame is nonsensical. The FG and the security operatives have failed Nigerians whose taxes make it possible that they have food on their table. They are just irresponsible!
    Now when he quoted Greenfield that, “Boko Haram also justifies its attacks on churches by citing, among other things, state and federal government actions against Muslims” he seemed to have forgotten or wishes to overlook the fact that BH also attacks Muslims and Mosques.
    Urging “Nigerian government to expand its strategy against Boko Haram from solely a military solution to addressing problems of economic and political marginalization in the north, arguing that Boko Haram’s motivations are not religious but socio-economic,” undermines the fact that the said North and their leaders of thought have not done anything to alleviate the Northern economy, educational and social well-beings in well over 40years of ruling Nigeria. It’s a shame on them!
    The truth as you have pointed out already is that Nigeria is a sovereign state and should be dependent in all ramifications. Consulting other countries for help is a matter of choice. Too much dependent on Europe and America is the bane of our trouble. Those ones are out to destroy than to help us. They are the proverbial bed-bug that bites and blow its victim at the same time. America or any other country at that does not go where does not benefit them. Their help can never be selfless. It’s not as if America does not have their own problems anyway.
    The solutions to our problems always lie within us, we should only take a look within to solve them. We can’t keep blaming others for our failures. FG should take full responsibility!

    • Ezeamalukwuo says:

      I couldn’t have said it better. There is enough blame to go round indeed. Boko Haram is both political and religious.

      • LegendaryCJN says:

        More political than religious.
        By taking their insurgency to the East, namely Imo and Abia states, I think what they intended was war. Imagine where close to 500 armed men invade a city. It’s besieging na.
        There’s problem o

        • Ezeamalukwuo says:

          I still feel that there is something wrong with the Abia suspects. I still find hard to believe that Boko haram that could bomb Wuse 2, UN building in Abuja would come to Abia in 500 numbers in broad daylight…bypassing Enugu, Anambra, Imo to come to Abia…it beats my imagination. And I hate it when people are quick to conclude that BH is in the east or anywhere in the south for that matter. I feel it’s a dangerous thing to say as if we wish for it to come true. I wish we can be more careful in words and action…and I wish Goodluck Jonathan was not such a detached leader, detached from the citizens who are being blown apart each passing day.

  3. Anene Francis says:

    *clears throat* una dooh o… I concur with much of what have been said here, post and comments. BH is a common enemy to all well meaning Nigerians and a divided house will stand no chance for victory. Many people are reaping for the crisis at the detriment of our nation, they too are our enemies, be they corrupt politicians, terrorist sympathizers, civilian or military. The major curation should emanate from the government. But th masses must resist the trap of been used and manipulated for their selfish interests. Educated Nigerians are not even helping matters, talk more of the less educated. So unfortunated.
    * As to the article you reacted to. Hmm, I am becoming more and more careful about what I read and absorb from the media these days and that article gave me more reason to be. Where a lot a allegations of this magnitude are made without any slightest backing of proof must surely be intended to deceive. (Sad). Just a few agreeable statements I saw therein but Poisoned water it is all the same. Filter or don’t drink at all… God help us.

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