Boko Haram: Where The Western Media Is Wrong – By Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye
The western media likes to create its own news. News is about perspectives. Beyond the real events, the reportage, a critical factor in determining the perspectives of the news matters as much as the news itself. Nigeria is no longer one country according to the western press. Nigeria has since become the Muslim-North and the Christian-South. All they needed to divide us was to make it convenient to make everyone believe that Boko Haram the terrorist group based in the so called Muslim-North is fighting not just a battle of religious ideology but indeed out to kill Nigeria’s Christians. That is Nigeria in the eye of the western press.
That is not the reality. Boko Haram as a matter of fact has taken deadly blows at Nigeria’s unity in recent times and has altered the people’s way of life. It is far more an attack on the Nigerian state than it is on Nigerian Christians. The last national Independence celebrations had to be help behind closed doors on the 1st of October last year. That, until then had never happened. It was in the real sense an acceptance by the government of the day that Boko Haram was winning the terror war. Boko Haram started in Nigeria’s most under-developed region the North-East.
It started in the most under-developed state Borno state. Everyone above the age of 9 in this state is seen as an exception if not hooked on some kind of drug addiction or the other. The human development index of this state would read below zero if the metre for measurement was that marked. They are the poorest of Nigeria’s poor and here Boko Haram has a ready pool of recruits. The depression in the land and the anger against government are two conditions that make an average young person here susceptible to the lures of joining Boko Haram.
They are an abandoned people. Despite the many bombings and atrocities, the last time Nigeria’s president visited Maiduguri the capital of Borno State was to go and ask for the people’s vote with the promise of development if voted in. The President was quick to visit Kano after another round of bombings that took well over 200 lives. President Jonathan would visit Kano for obvious reasons. Kano is the most populous and most powerful northern state.
Unlike Borno, Kano commands far more clout and prestige. Most of those living in Borno State are of northern origin and are mostly Muslims. There was no discrimination when the terrorists bombarded Kano with bombs and bullets. They killed Christians and Muslims, they killed northerners and southerners, they killed Nigerians.
The first suicide bombing by Boko Haram and indeed the first suicide bombing in Nigeria took place on Tuesday the 16th of June, 2011. It was an attack on the country’s Police Head Quarters. It was an attack on an organ of the Nigerian state. The bombing of the United Nations’ office followed soon after the following August. That was also an attack on an international organ of state. Both attacks had nothing to do with Christian-South or Muslim-North. They were attacks on symbols of government.
As a matter of fact, most Boko Haram attacks in the early days were directed at police stations and prisons. Attacking the police remains a Boko Haram obsession to this day. In their early days in Borno, the police killed them in droves. The fight is a revenge mission in itself. The complexity of Nigeria’s largely bloody politics has added a new dimension to the bombings and killings.
Recent events have increasingly shown that there is a carefully laid out plan, which is now being expertly played out to make the bombings look like an ethno-religious affair. The Madalla, Niger State church bombings on Christmas day were carried out in response to alleged killing of Muslims in Jos, Plateau state according to Boko Haram. Apart from that nothing has been proven to show that Boko Haram is just out to kill Christians. As it is, there is a force in place, playing out the bombings to fire the embers of secession.
Events have shown that Boko Haram alone may not be behind all the bombings that have since taken place since the UN building bombings. Reports from Bayelsa State last year showed this. A man was caught trying to bomb a church. The said suspect has been confirmed by the State Security Service to be a Christian from Edo State – a Southern Nigerian State mostly made up of Christians. He had no affiliations with the now convenient chief evil officers of the federation Boko Haram. If the bombing had been successful, all it’d take for it to be a crime committed by Boko Haram would be to have someone claim responsibility on behalf of Boko Haram.
The President himself only recently admitted that there were elements within his government working with Boko Haram. That this is shows that Boko Haram has since ceased to be about religion and sharia, it is about the quest for the soul of Nigeria. The press has to be more responsible.
I understand another person, this time a woman was also caught about to blow up a church far north in Bauchi. She was not a member of the dreaded sect. There were also non-Boko Haram incidents elsewhere but that these incidents happened is not the issue, the issue for me is the fact that they happened without the attention of the general public. It amounts to hypocrisy if the media always finds it convenient to tell the world Boko Haram has “claimed” responsibility but the same media goes mum when Boko Haram is not involved. If those acts had been successful, all it would take for “Boko Haram” to claim responsibility is for someone to make a call to the right authorities and claim responsibility on behalf of Boko Haram.
Nigeria’s current security challenges are not insurmountable but there are many hurdles to cross. We must before anything at all identify these hurdles and find the right strategy and eventually tactics to solve them. N3.1 billion ($20 million) gets spent on Nigeria’s security everyday. It is obvious most of these monies end up in private accounts. Would Nigeria need to budget $20million for security if we did not have to deal with Boko Haram? Could this in itself be a motive for someone within to keep Boko Haram active without? This is beyond Christian-South and Muslim-North, this is a grand conspiracy against the government and people of Nigeria.