Wednesday 2 May 2012

Insecurity in Nigeria: El Rufai Speaks on Terrorism

FORMER Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, yesterday, warned the Federal Government to review its stance on the security situation in the country,  but if it fails, “they will not be in government for too long”.

He also disabused the minds of many Nigerians that the insurgence of the sect was the handiwork of some Northern leaders to make the nation ungovernable for President Goodluck Jonathan.

Mallam Nasir El Rufai (center)
Specifically, he exonerated the former military rulers, General Ibrahim Babangida and Muhammad Buhari from the bloody confrontations of the dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram which have led to the death of more than a thousand people since its emergence.

The ex-minister who was the guest speaker at the 2012 annual May Day lecture organized by the Silver Knights, Lead City University spoke on the topic entitled “Between Terrorism and Corruption: Implications for Nigeria.”

While ruling out the use of force to silence the aggrieved sect, el Rufai said: “There is nowhere insurgencies like Boko Haram have been defeated purely through military force and occupation. Those who are saying “crush them” should know that recent history of the war on terror is not on their side. We want a country that works for everyone, and this senseless loss of lives must end soon. The government that has the responsibility for our security must bend over backwards to deliver it. If they continue to fail in this regard, they will not be in government for too long”.

Explaining the reason why he exonerated the former military leaders from the activities of the sect, he said the insurgence of the sect started when the late President, Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua, who was a northerner and a muslim was at the helms of the affair and that there was nothing like Boko Haram during the tenure of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo who is a Christian and a Southerner.
He said: “Those who are saying crush Boko Haram have not got the true picture of the situation. You can only kill and crush those you know. Give me the roadmap of where it was done anywhere in the world. I am not an apologist for Boko Haram.”

In addition to reviewing what he described as failed military strategy now in place and scaling back what has become militarization of the North, he called on the government to  “work with community leaders in Borno, Yobe, Plateau, Kano and Kaduna States to identify interlocutors that would enable honest discussions with Boko Haram to establish what they really want.”

I don’t think that anybody really knows what they want. The government knows what they want, but they do not want us to know”.

The former government officer who said at the beginning of the speech that he was not representing his political party-Congress for Progressive Change(CPC) but would speak from his own personal view further noted, “Terrorism is a harder nut to crack. I am of the view that a multi-track approach is necessary to increase the chances of its success. First, the prevailing narrative in the in the Jonathan camp must be discarded. This narrative is what the national security adviser tried to communicate at the Asaba summit of South-South leaders, but he was misunderstood by the media. Jonathan and his inner circle believe that Boko Haram is a Northern conspiracy to prevent Jonathan enjoying his presidency. And Northern political leaders like IBB and General Buhari aare the sponsors and financiers of Boko Haram”.

This narrative, he added, was the belief of most Niger Delta leaders because of their own experience in organizing, training and arming the militants and providing funding for Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta(MEND) during the period of resource control agitations of the Obasanjo administration. Because theirs was a conspiracy of the political elite, they think the North must be doing the same and they also feel that Boko Haram largely kills northerners or “parasites” as one presidential aide allegedly tweeted.

He traced the genesis of the insurgence of the sect to rewarding those who take up arms against the state with the cash hand-outs called amnesty programme has to be reviewed.

Any society, he continued, that rewards bad behavior with cash creates a moral hazard that may consume that society. “Those giving out the cash should know  that they are doing no favours to anyone. Indeed, they are fostering an entitlement culture that would be ultimately be the undoing of that part of the country. Boko Haram does not appear to be motivated by money, so those thinking of an amnesty-like program may need to go back to the drawing board.

According to him, there are four variants of Boko Haram. He clarified that there are normal Boko Haram members who operate in the North East and North West of the country, this group, he said, is very few.

He second variant, he said, is the criminal Boko Haram who mainly attack banks and the third one is the political Boko Haram which the politicians use to attack perceived opponents and the fourth, he noted, is the security Boko Haram who are being sponsored by the fifth columnist.

“But, each time, we hear of bombings, people say they are Boko Haram. But, those of us who keep records know that not all of them are Boko Haram. There are bombings that Boko Haram disclaimed, but the media keep saying it is Boko Haram even when the sect did not claim responsibility, we overlook that”, he noted.

Culled from Vanguard News Online


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