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Terrorism: A Scourge To All By Kestin Pondi

June 20, 2014

Boko Haram can be obliterated if we all stop the blame game, and start making input where necessary to government efforts towards ending it.

The intensified terrorism perpetrated in parts of Nigeria by the savage sect now popularly referred to as Boko Haram started like a child’s play with so much hearsay: it will fizzle out soon, it’s politically motivated, it’s a northern agenda, and it’s a gang of renegades and criminals. 

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Amidst all of these speculations, the group is becoming bolder by the day and there is urgent need for every Nigerian to join hands with the security agencies and federal government of Nigeria to contain its excesses. The security agencies and government (federal or/and state) can only do very little or nothing without the support of the general populace, especially with regard to information on the activities of this savage sect.

The prompt arrest of the Boston Marathon bombers was made possible by the cooperation and supports the security agencies received from the American public, likewise the arrest of the train bombers in United Kingdom; our case should not be an exception. So, instead of the disparagement currently being heaped on our security agencies and the government, we should appreciate and honor their efforts so far in their attempts to stamp out the group and their atrocities.

We are faced with terrorism: an internationally recognised scourge which solution has deluded even the most technologically advanced nations of the world. There is therefore, need for everyone in Nigeria to break all parochial, political, religious and ethnic divides so that we can all work together in ending this barbarism. This is one scourge too many that must be battled and defeated on a united and indivisible stand by all and sundry.

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They started out as a movement which appeared to be against Christians and churches in the northern Nigeria, then the Muslim leaders stood by and did nothing, then they changed tactics and attacked helpless citizens and schools in the north, still the northern elites watched without really taking any decisive step to condemn the group. Now they are spreading their venom in the direction of the northern elites and religious leaders.

Do we all just wait until they get to us before we do something? This sect is not invincible. It can be obliterated if we all stop the blame game, and start making input where necessary to government efforts towards ending it. Whilst this sect is currently holding ground in the northeastern Nigeria, their activities knows no bound as they could strike at any nook and cranny of the country and even beyond if not quickly checkmated. 

As for the over two hundred school girls abducted on 15th April 2014 by the insurgent group in Chibok, government has assured that, the Nigerian security agencies in collaboration with their international counterparts are working round the clock to bring back the girls safely. Hostage negotiation is not a tea party, especially where you are dealing with savage fundamentalists such as we are having now. Exceptional care must be taken at every point so as not to put the lives of the abducted girls in jeopardy.

It took America five long years to make a swap deal in Afghanistan with the Talibans to free Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl (an American Soldier) in exchange for Khair Ulla Said Wali Khairkhwa, Mullah Mohammad Fazi, Mullah Norullah Noori, Abdul Haq Wasiq and Mohammad Nabi Omari (five Guantanamo Bay Taliban jihadists). Nigerians are hoping that our girls do not undergo such long period of trauma, and that they would soon enough be reunited with their families. The American example is only a pointer to how intricately complex negotiating hostage release could be, especially when the hostage takers are under the spell of religious fundamentalism.

The “#bringbackourgirls” campaign has done so much in, bringing the attention of the global community to the inhuman and unholy activities of the savage sect behind the abduction of the innocent school girls, which remained largely unacknowledged until the message went viral. The protesters behind the campaign deserve commendation.

Finally, the protest should not be a fight against President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan or his administration, but let it be a war against terrorism and those sponsoring and perpetrating it now in Nigeria and elsewhere.

Kestin Pondi

Warri, Nigeria