NIGERIA certainly now carries a terrible boil of anguish in the form of Islamic insurgency. Red and swollen with pus from long neglect and impunity, the boil must at this point either burst and bring relief or it becomes gangrenous and grows into something more terrible.
The cup of insurgents that has been gradually filling with murderous impunity is now full and spilling over. Although mass murders, abductions and rapes have for long been the insurgents’ trademark, the latest series of atrocities heralded by the abduction of the Chibok school girls makes it all clear that their long career of terrorism is about being terminated.
Either now or we are doomed for a long time to come. They wanted attention and are getting it right now beyond anything they could have imagined. Having become a terror powerhouse operating on their own terms without much interference from the government of the day, the abduction of the Chibok girls was just another routine operation that could have gone without a whimper.
The Jonathan administration clearly had no mind to change its tired tactics of responding to the insurgents’ reign of terror with anything worse than threats. The insurgents therefore had nothing to worry about from the Nigerian state or the rest of the world. Nothing at all until Chibok came into the picture to change all that. And that too only by chance.
But the tide of terror is nowhere close to being stemmed. The terrorists are yet having a field day. They are obviously enjoying the attention that is coming their way given the way they have carried on. No day goes by now without report of another act of murderous impunity. It is either bridges linking communities are being blown up or whole towns are being sacked and their inhabitants either killed in the most gory fashion or their women are taken into slavery. The Kano explosions were hardly over before the terrorists struck in Jos that until the latest attack had been out of the news.
The invading hordes from Sambisa forest and environs have been widening their field of operation in a manner that suggests they are ready to take on anyone or force from any part of the world. Not even the hurried assemblage of support from the United States of America, France, China, Israel or Britain has done anything to stem the activities of the mostly ragtag zealots riding motor bikes to run over towns and villages.
For so long has the Jonathan administration neglected its responsibility in taking on the insurgents when it should have that the insensate brutes have apparently now bought into the idea of their own invincibility. The fact of their unhindered march into town after town abducting and raping women; detonating bombs in major cities across the North and sending hundreds to their untimely death in one fell swoop should have and has definitely convinced them that the Nigerian state is no match for them.
In no time at all, and except something is urgently done to contain the insurgencies, it would be difficult to deny that Nigeria is at war, another civil war, started and prosecuted by Islamic renegades in the Northern part of Nigeria.
The presence of foreign forces should not deceive the Jonathan administration into thinking it can dump its responsibility on others as it seems to be doing. Parts of the North East are now as lawless as Iraq after the exit of the US and its allies. Bombs are detonated at will and without anyone being held for it. The ongoing war in Syria started in this manner.
By the time an opposing force that controls parts of a country engages a state in a no-win battle for long and it becomes clear it cannot be dislodged, such a force has to be recognised as the de facto authority over the parts it controls.
Nigeria cannot claim to be in charge of parts of the country now under the outlaw rule of insurgents. In fact, the country seems to have ceded authority of certain no-go areas, no matter how small or large, such as Sambisa forest to the insurgents.
In the same way Nigeria cannot be said to be in control in those parts of the country routinely sacked and/or taken over by the insurgents for many hours at a time.
The insurgents are enjoying the attention they are getting, I repeat, given the precipitate increase in their activities. There is no doubt too that they are getting immediate support from powerful forces in the same manner that the Jonathan administration has turned to foreign forces and countries. Which is why Nigeria (one cannot expect the foreign forces to do this) has to increase its intelligence gathering operations in the country. The insurgents surely have local sponsors living right in the midst of everyday Nigerians. They might even be among the very people detailed to hunt for them.
The Jonathan administration might wish to apprise Nigerians what it has done or is doing on the issue of highly placed Nigerians that have been directly or indirectly linked with the insurgents. Some of them or their wards, relations or associates, in Abuja and states most affected by the insurgency, have been fingered in the activities of the insurgents. What has Jonathan done about them? What is the latest on these individuals?
President Jonathan may be averse to going to Chibok, he may be wary of coming face to face with poorly resourced, mutinous soldiers that take arm at their commander- he may not see any reason in his going to Sambisa forest.
But what has he done with those directly under his nose in Abuja or in Borno and environs? Has he taken his eyes off these people believing they are not capable of the mischief they’ve been linked with? With bombs going off in built-up areas under curfew and emergency rule, is it not reasonable to imagine that the insurgents or their supporters are right in our midst, living in our neighbourhoods, worshipping in the same places and going to the same markets as the rest of us?
Are we to accept that those who killed hundreds of Nigerians, now turned mere statistics, in the market in Jos came straight from Sambisa forest; that the killers that operated in Sabon Garri, Kano, rode on a bike from Chad or Cameroon? What is Jonathan doing about these people right in our midst? Or is he waiting for his foreign supporters to look for them or leave before he starts asking these questions, in case he remembers at all?
While our military complain of inadequate resources, their commanders draw up a list of unattended grievances, the insurgents increase in strength. What is Jonathan doing about the enemies within?