(This is an opinion piece. Opinions are strictly the author's, and do not reflect the philosophy of Nigerian Bulletin)
A different decision has to be made and it has to be made now. We must weigh our practical choices.
Why do we have these available choices? It is the submission of Nigeria’s president. In the presidency’s words, as conveyed by him and all his spokesmen and ministers, certain elements who wish to make the nation ungovernable for him are behind Boko Haram terror. In essence, the president of the federal republic of Nigeria submits that BOKO HARAM IS A POLITICAL ASPIRATIONAL ORGANIZATION. It is important to highlight this line. Please refer – the recent submission by the minister of information that ‘Boko Haram terror activities coincide with political events.’ [Ref: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2014/07/terror-attacks-timed-frustrate-jonathan-fg/ ] This means, the motive and impetus of Boko Haram, according to the presidency, is not religious, territorial or poverty related, but political. This is FACT 1.
I wrote earlier, in fact four months ago to be precise, that ‘now that Nigeria is ungovernable, what next?’ [Ref: http://ends.ng/?p=679] If it was true then, then we have veered off the edge now and are in free fall. With Boko Haram being a political organization as Jonathan adamantly posits, Jonathan bears the candy that the terrorists are chasing after. And as they chase after him they have been shooting at and killing us all one-by-one, pursuing Jonathan for the candy in his hand. This can clearly not go on any longer without us deciding that it is time to review the options.
The images of my colleagues, students and graduates blown to bits in Kano Wednesday, hit a home run in my mind and I am sure, the minds of all Nigerians. This cannot remain the future of our next generation – being blown to bits by suicide bombers or used ad remote controlled bomb couriers. The same effect swarmed us when we witnessed the failed assassination attempt on Gen. Buhari that left 100 of us torn dead or torn crippled. Majority of us Nigerians do not have bomb-proof vehicles as do the fortunate cabal and it is us who die in this sick game.
The obvious reality is that Nigeria is a deadly mess and has failed. If you disagree, take a look at the faces of the boys and girls whose friends died or whose limbs were torn off in the recent bombing and answer that question again.
Quite clearly, terrorism and insurgency is not unique to Nigeria. But addressing it demands consideration of all decisions, sweet or sour that it may force upon us.
There is no question that the Jonathan government cannot address this insecurity problem.
The Jonathan government has failed to address and curb the terror crises for five straight years of governance.
The Jonathan government cannot, has not been able to and will not arrest and sentence the political sponsors it accuses of being behind this terror. This is FACT 2. Relating this to FACT 1, we realize from FACT 1 that the Jonathan government’s available approach in ending this terror and what the administration has as top priority on its security table, is Boko Haram as a political organization. And if Boko Haram is a political organization as the Jonathan administration understands, and its aim is to replace President Jonathan with its own candidates, the ONLY WAY to address it totally and completely from the root will be to apprehend these political maniacs. Will Jonathan ever do so? No! So since he will not, it automatically means that so long as we choose to keep Jonathan, we choose to keep DEATH. It is important we recognize our choices and how we make/made them. This is FACT 3.
At this juncture, it is important to acknowledge that Nigeria is a complex nation with strong political and ethnic interests. This cannot be put aside. Jonathan is up against a lot. If Jonathan proposes an amnesty for terrorists, one group will crucify him, if he does not, another will. If Jonathan goes hard on Boko Haram, the northern elders in the past have declared fire and brimstone – that ‘Jonathan has waged war on the north.’ These are our realities. In cognizance of this, for Jonathan to possibly defeat Boko Haram, he either needs to develop “balls” as FFK condemned him of not having and do what he must once and for all or he must allow a northern administration over the north, with either True Federal rule or DISINTEGRATION. This is FACT 4. Jonathan in particular, unlike some other president’s we have had who had balls and respect and influence across geo-politico-ethnic lines, cannot administer over northern Nigeria in general, which he clearly demonstrates disconnection from, and the Boko Haram security challenge in particular. If we continue to keep Jonathan in power over the genocidal crises impacting the north, we choose DEATH. Taking a look over our border at Cameroon, we see how the PM, Paul Biya immediately rose to the Boko Haram challenge with a spine. His gendarmes rescued the kidnapped deputy PM’s wife in a matter of hours and more importantly to show he understood the seriousness of an intact, responsible army, he publicly announced (on radio) the immediate dismissal of two of the nation’s top army officers. Jonathan will never do this. So FACT 4 is that we either Disintegrate or choose death because Jonathan cannot rule the north and southwest of Nigeria. With Jonathan, the polity is in flames, the perfect climate for insecurity and death.
Based on the above considerations, a choice must be made. And the choice is Jonathan’s to make. Else, we continue to die.
The choice is Jonathan’s to make and he has to make it fast. He either decides to resign and hands over to a care-taker interim administration constituted from all interest groups in Nigeria, market women, college professors, students, activists, traditional and religious leaders and the like, who will immediately take over administration as a crude parliament and determine the future of the nation(s).
Or, he immediately embarks on a soft or hard disintegration of Nigeria to allow a regional approach to regional crises.
Or he continues in his current line of choice, which is choosing DEATH for the people of Nigeria in the face of the realities and Facts considered above which he is confounded with and agreed, he cannot resolve.
I do not see any other choice in this matter, other than keeping on folding our arms, praying and waiting for more of our loved ones to die. It is time that hard new choice is made; we can no longer bear this current choice of death.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah; http://ENDS.ng [Every Nigerian Do Something] Email: [email protected] Twitter: @EveryNigerian