© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Only Black Panther can stop Boko Haram
By Fredrick Nwabufo
Boko Haram has brandished its fangs in the most daring way this week. Attack after attack, but with a new onslaught trouncing the old one in audacity, gruesomeness and fatality.
Between Thursday and Friday, Boko Haram launched coordinated attacks, like Hitler’s blitzkrieg, on Adamawa, Yobe and Borno. The insurgents hit two villages in Madagali local government area of Adamawa state reportedly abducting some locals and killing innocents.
In Borno, the insurgents attacked a military base in Rann, killing four soldiers. They went further to hit a camp of internally-displaced persons in the area, killing four UN workers.
In Yobe, a female suicide bomber strolled into a mosque; detonated her death merchandise, killing a worshipper. It is has been a week of bloodshed and horror.
On February 4, Rogers Nicholas, theatre commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, said Boko Haram had been “completely defeated”. He also said: “We have broken the heart and soul of Shekau’s group.” Few days later, Dapchi schoolgirls’ abduction happened.
How did a “completely defeated” Boko Haram rise like the phoenix from the ashes in weeks?
I must say, the military has become superlatively effective with propaganda. Terrorism, everyone knows, is asymmetrical; it is disingenuous and embarrassing for the military to make categorical statements on the war – soon after which the insurgents will scandalised it with another daring attack.
The war against Boko Haram is already in its eight year, and it may linger for more years, if not decades. Why? Boko Haram is powered by a deadly ideology. And that ideology cannot be extinguished by the fire of artillery.
Also, the insurgency will linger because there are 10 million out-of-school children on the streets in the north, some of whom lessen the pain of their quotidian and famished existence with hard drugs.
At the risk of saying it ad nauseam, the possible antidote to this problem is education, but more importantly, de-emphasising religion in our national life. Religion should play little or no role in our public lives. But when governors spend millionaires of naira building vulgar churches and mosques instead of investing prodigiously in education, you wonder if they are really ready for a solution to the security problem.
In the movie, ‘Black Panther’, T’Challa, the Black Panther, rescued some abducted girls from insurgents in Sambisa Forest by the strokes of his claws. It was a telling scene for me. Perhaps, we need the Black Panther to rescue the Dapchi girls in captivity and to stop more abductions.
As it is, we are not ready to do the needful, besides military campaigns, to solve the Boko Haram problem. We need a superhero.
You can reach Fred on Twitter: @FredrickNwabufo, Facebook: Fredrick Nwabufo