A few years ago, many Nigerians would have sworn with the very last drop of their blood that acts of terror were indeed un-Nigerian. The gory sight of senseless killings as being painted in other continents around the globe often did make us wonder how an individual or a group of persons will participate in such horrible acts.?

While many Nigerians watched and cursed, they hoped secretly that these barbaric act would not become a part of the country with the ?happiest people on earth? but alas, time again proved them wrong as terrorism not only encroached into our consciousness, it soon became a part of Nigeria.

?The pains of terrorism have suddenly become a part of the daily lives of many Nigerians. The gruesome killings of many Nigerians in the northern part of the country estimated to be close to a million since 2010 has left many wondering how these Boko Haram insurgents have continued to carry out these acts of terror with impunity. The killings, destruction of properties and villages and abduction has continued to defy any human logic.

?Even the declaration of a state of emergency in the North East states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa has done little or nothing in creating the respite needed in these areas as the terrorists have continued to carry out attacks after attacks to the point of taking control of villages and towns within the affected states.

?But while terrorism is condemned globally, sponsors of terrorism have gotten little attention in comparison to the issues of terrorism with many forgetting that funds are necessary for terrorist acts to be successfully implemented.

?Nigerians in recent times have hoped and prayed earnestly for a day when the ?real? sponsors of the dreaded Islamic terrorist sect, Boko Haram would be revealed. So when Dr. Stephen Davis, an Australian employed by the Presidency to negotiate with members of the Boko Haram sect over a possible ceasefire named some prominent individuals and politicians including a former governor of Borno State, Senator Ali-Modu Sheriff, former Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Azubuike Ihejirika among others as sponsors of the Boko Haram sect, many Nigerians hoped for an immediate prosecution of the accused but recent events have shown that such expectations might not see the light of day.

?Ordinarily, allegations of terrorism are matters of national security. However, recent political happenings reveal that these allegations have become political weapons in the hands of the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress in the battle for elective positions in the 2015 general elections.

?One would recollect how the two leading parties engaged each other in a war of words when over 75 Nigerians were slaughtered on April 14, 2014 in the now famous Nyanya park bombings in Abuja.

While the alleged sponsors have verbally declared their innocence, the ruling PDP and the APC have continued to point accusing fingers at each other with the real issue of terrorist sponsorship being swept under the carpet. One at this stage wonders why no arrests have been made or statements collected apart from press releases.

?While the former army chief has debunked the allegations linking him to Boko Haram, he has turned to point accusing fingers at a chieftain of the opposition APC, Malam El-rufai as the sponsor of the sect. However, one wonders why these allegations were not made when he was in power and arrests made if he indeed was telling the truth. Why wait for Mr Davis to fire the first shot.

?For Senator Sheriff, extricating himself from the web of accusations might not be an easy task as it had been severally in times past that the former governor was a sponsor to the terrorist group. It would also be recalled that a serving lawmaker in the National Assembly, Senator Ndume of Borno State has also been accused of being a sponsor of the sect but apart from a number of adjourned court cases, nothing has been heard from the case.

?Also implicated among others are the Central Bank of Nigeria and even the United States of America who Davis accused of not sharing necessary information with the Nigerian military forces.

?Davis, who was in Nigeria for four months to negotiate the release of the abducted school girls from Chibok, Borno State, with Boko Haram commanders, questioned the value of the United States? involvement in the war against insurgency.

??Americans claim they are doing aerial reconnaissance. Why are they not passing the information to the Nigerian military? With this information, the Nigerian military could intercept the Boko Haram convoy before it reaches its target,? he said.

?Davis, while recounting the days and weeks he spent talking with commanders of the sect over the release of the Chibok girls, revealed that the terrorists usually move in a convoy of 20 to 60 vehicles at night, before they expanded and started launching large-scale attacks in the daylight.

?Painting a graphic picture of how the terrorists carry out their attacks, he revealed that the sect usually ambush Nigerian soldiers as a result of the hostile environment in the North-East, and described the incident of last six months as worrisome. He said most roads in the rural north of Borno are very narrow.

??The militants normally strike at night, so they lay in wait where the military has to slow down to a crawl due to the poor road condition. Sometimes they dig the potholes deeper to entrap a convoy. On getting wind of the ongoing attacks, the Nigerian military would dispatch soldiers in a convoy of vehicles.?

Unfortunately, and unknown to the soldiers, the insurgents may have enlarged a big hole on the road. So in a convoy of say 20 vehicles, the first vehicle draws to a halt as it encounters the ditch. By the time the soldiers realise what is happening and try to make a U-turn, they are ambushed by the insurgents as the convoy struggles to turn around on the narrow pot-holed road,? he said.

?The negotiator, however, noted that military action alone is unlikely to end the insurgency currently bedeviling the country.

?It would be recalled that after Boko Haram kidnapped over 200 female students from Government Girls Secondary School, in April 2014, the U.S.A. promised to help Nigerian government fight insurgency. It gave some of its military personnel to training Nigerian soldiers, as well as shared some aerial reconnaissance data and equipment, but did not send any ground troops.

?Other international communities like the United Kingdom, Israel and China also offered to help, but, despite the promises from these international powers, the menace of the dreaded terrorist group is yet to be fully curtailed.

?Most worrisome is this whole scenario is the fact that this ugly trend is centered on the 2015 general elections. More cases of terrorism have been recorded as the countdown to the general elections has begun in earnest.

?Prominent Nigerians have called on the nation?s security forces to arrest and interrogate the alleged sponsors to get to the root of the matter. Reacting to Davis? allegations, human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, urged security agencies to investigate all the people accused of sponsoring terrorists. He noted that before the revelation of Davis, the Jonathan administration had set up the Ambassador Usman Galtimari Panel to investigate the genesis of the insurgency in the North East region. He said it recommended that the Federal Government should direct the security agencies to beam their light on some politicians who sponsored, funded and used the militia groups that later metamorphosed into Boko Haram and bring them to justice.

?He said, ?The security forces should, without any further delay carry out the directives of the Federal Government by investigating and prosecuting all the indicted sponsors of the Boko Haram sect. If the directives are not carried out forthwith I shall apply to the Federal High Court for a Writ of MANDAMUS to compel the security agencies to discharge their duties in the public interest.?

?On his own part, a security expert, Dr. Ona Ekhomu, said that it was unfortunate that the issue of Boko Haram was being used to foster partisan politics and score cheap political points when political parties irrespective of ideology, should be cooperating to put insurgency to an end.?

Ekhomu, who is Nigeria?s first chartered security professional, berated the Australian hostage negotiator for making unsubstantiated claims. He said Davis should not be taken seriously as he was only grasping at straws having failed to negotiate the release of the schoolgirls.

?He said, ?In Nigerian politics, a lot of people make crazy statements but nothing happens and no one is punished for it. That is why you see that right now, the PDP and the APC are exchanging allegations of Boko Haram instead of them to come together to fight a common foe. How can they be making reckless statements about Boko Haram without substantiating? Probably after spending sometime in Nigeria, Davis also felt he could make reckless statements and get away with it since no one ever holds anybody accountable.?

?Nigerians deserve to know the sponsors of Boko Haram and these sponsors should be brought to justice. The politicking of this issue is regrettable and must be stopped as the lives of Nigerians continue to remain in danger as long as the truth is buried


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.