A key campaign promise of the APC in their pursuit of presidential power during 2015 electioneering was that they would wipe out completely from Nigeria the existence of Boko Haram – the terrorist group that has killed thousands of people, destroyed properties and made a large area of the northeast inhabitable. Most of the innocent men and women who lived there during the height of their attacks in 2014 were moved to live in IDPs camps.
Only a few people braved the courage to live in those terrorized villages. So when the APC made that promise, it resonated with a lot of Nigerians at the time being that Boko Haram had not only held sway in the north-east and even captured some parts of Maiduguri, hosting their flags and renamed it to a country of their own but also extended their acerbic venom to some parts of Abuja-the Federal capital territory. We all witnessed the terrifying attacks in Kuje, Emab plaza and Nyanya. More than 200 people lost their lives and some maimed for life. I was one of the reporters who covered the Nyanya story for The Nation Newspapers where I worked then, because of my familiarity with that axis as I used to live close to Nyanya then and it was a frightening.
My key reasoning writing this piece is: what has changed with Boko Haram and the APC’s promise to wipe out Boko Haram – one they capitalized on to win the presidential election? APC is in its third year, what result have they achieved concerning Boko Haram? Has Boko Haram ceased its operations yet? When it appeared that these dreaded evils were beginning to spread out to more locations in the country, Nigerians were terrified. Understandably so. Some had to emigrate to abroad even to Ghana close by. Of course, I understand with them. Life is sacrosanct and what really can you do or achieve when you are in constant fear of being killed brutally by some agents of the devil who have vowed to annihilate the lives of innocent others even if it means killing themselves in the process. But the APC bounced in with a promise which I believe gave them advantage over the incumbent president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, swaying the emotions of Nigerian voters against him. According to public sentiments, Jonathan was regarded as clueless and was said to have still doubted the reality of Boko Haram even after the Chibok girls were kidnapped in the wee hours of the morning from their school and hurled to Sambisa forest. He Jonathan had believed it was the work of his enemies who were desperately out to discredit and distract his government. He thus played to the gallery with the sincerity and severity of a security challenge that was gaining quick momentum and escalating. This was the reason majority of Nigerians become convinced that his administration was joking with such a human dire security concern. Hence they sufficiently felt the need to give a chance to the opposition who kept singing sweet songs of how they would make disappear the terrorists from the soil of Nigeria.
But here we are today. What has changed after Jonathan was ousted and President Muhammadu Buhari ushered in? Nothing extraordinary, for me. It is the same old story. My question is not even a general take on the outcome of things in the country. I’m beaming my searchlight particularly on the security situation here with emphasis on Boko Haram. They are still in the business of bombing and killing Nigerians. Isn’t it obvious that these monstrous guys are very much still here with us, three years later on? Just yesterday, the news was that the UN has withdrawn all its aid workers from 3 local communities in Borno over the resurgence of warfare by Boko Haram. They feel unsafe. And rightly so. I’m not trying to wank on anybody’s sentiments here. The fact of this matter stares us in the face – the face of everyone who is genuinely concerned about the continuing reign of the terror devils. The truth is that they have not been over powered. If they have, why did they succeed in carrying out their bloodletting in Zambarmari village in Maiduguri, killing about 15 innocent villagers and farmers just as recent as last month? Who were the blood suckers who unleashed venom in Dalori, Konduga, Mammanati, Dala Karamsu villages, over powering our soldiers and carting away guns? Were they not Boko Haram? Did you read that about a week ago, the Governor of Borno wailed uncontrollably in the presence of Buhari? The reason? Boko Haram! The dare devils are very much still in control and reigning terror in his state. He went kneeling and begging Mr. President to come and do something about it.
Except you like to play politics with the lives of Nigerians, you will agree with me that Boko Haram is very much breathing. Maybe as I write, they could be coldly calculating their next move in wherever hideout they are and which has seemed excruciatingly impossible for the number one protector of the lives of Nigerians and commander in chief of the armed forces, President Buhari and his battalion of military forces to find out, and destroy them forever. With all the humongous amount of money for security budgeted year in, year out, the story remains the same. And this is very heartbreaking. The federal and state government has managed to get people returned to their familiar abode but they live in constant heart palpitations due to fears of virulent attacks by the terror groups. It is not a question of if they will come. It is of when they will come. This is sad.