Maybe some levelheaded and well-meaning observer needs to point out to the lunatic operatives of the Boko Haram terror machine, that a remarkable dosage of Western-type formal education would do the clinically confused leaders of the group a lot of good. Needless to say, helping them to recover their sanity would go a long way in speeding up the modernization and salutary development of Africa’s largest oil producer and most populous nation.
Anyway, I could not help literally laughing my noggins off, recently, when a Mr. Abul Qaqa, claiming to be speaking on behalf of the Boko Haram terror mongers, told an Agence France Presse (AFP) reporter that he was giving Nigerian Christians of southern descent living in the northern-half of the country three days to vacate the largely Hausa-Fulani-dominated North, or risk constant and deadly attacks on their lives.
I was beside myself with uncontrollable laughter because Mr. Abul Qaqa, the Boko Haram spokesman, sounded immitigably absurd in pretending as if his group’s sanguinary lunacy had anything, whatsoever, to do with bona fide Nigerian citizens of Christian persuasion. For starters, most victims of Boko Haram suicide bombings and other forms of deadly attacks have been Muslims largely resident in the northern states of Borno, Boko Haram’s operational headquarters, and the Yobe and Plateau states. And for a group that claims to be about the patently ungodly business of forcibly Islamizing the entire northern-half of the country, this is definitely not the most intelligent and/or the most effective way of going about the same.
In other words, one does not start out morbidly antagonizing the very people whose religious faith and interests, one claims to represent and is about the mission of unifying and consolidating. Secondly, were Nigerian Christians that much of a threat to Boko Haram interests and aspirations, why would the demonstrably violent leaders of the group, founded about a decade, or so, ago wait all this while before deciding to massively focus its irrational and deadly attention and agenda on the minority Christian community within its operational stronghold? And on the latter score must be promptly recalled the fact that until its apparently coordinated wave of bombings of some Christian churches on Christmas Day, the group had largely focused its dastardly activities on Nigerian security forces and, once or twice, on personnel working for the United Nations.
Also, in a complaint to the AFP reporter, Mr. Qaqa, the Boko Haram spokesman, issued the following remark: “The President [i.e. Dr. Goodluck Jonathan] has never visited any of the theatres where Muslims were massacred.” He went on to allude to post-election rioting last April in which tens of Muslims were reportedly killed, largely in the northern parts of the country by their fellow Muslims. Such complaint, of course, is rather cynical and absolutely devoid of merit, knowing full-well that as a southerner of the Christian faith whose decision to contest the presidency, and thus succeed late President Yar’Adua whose quite able lieutenant he had been, had been vehemently decried by residents of the Muslim-dominated North, visiting mosques terror-bombed by fellow Muslims may not exactly be the most secure and intelligent thing for President Jonathan to do.
And on the preceding score must also be promptly highlighted the fact that regardless of who were the targets of Boko Haram terror threats, President Jonathan has not hesitated to unreservedly and vehemently condemn such rampant and erratic acts of barbarism. Mr. Abul Qaqa, the Boko Haram spokesman, also ought to have logically recognized the fact that his terror-mongering organization had rather unwisely chosen to target a Christian church located in the nation’s capital of Abuja, where President Jonathan officially resides; and even more significantly, the Boko Haram terrorists had selected one of Christianity’s most holy day to savagely attack people who had done absolutely nothing against them, except pay legitimate homage to the birth of their Saviour and Creator.
And while, indeed, it may not gibe with the doctrinal principles of their faith, nonetheless, it was quite reassuring to hear Christian leaders in the country, particularly those resident in the North, issue a strong warning to the Boko Haram terrorists of their fervid preparedness to fiercely defend themselves and their congregations against such primitive and criminal acts of savagery.
Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is Director of The Sintim-Aboagye Center for Politics and Culture and author of “Dr. J. B. Danquah: Architect of Modern Ghana” (iUniverse.com, 2005).
The opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views or have the endorsement of the Editorial Board of www.africanewsanalysis.com