Political Support Emboldened Boko Haram

United Nations Building Abuja after the Friday Blast

United Nations Building Abuja after the Friday Blast

Boko haram is not simply a security challenge. It is also a political challenge. It has a political dimension. Recall the rhetoric from Borno Elders describing Boko Haram members as ‘brothers’, blaming the military for escalating the situation and asking the President to withdraw them. It is this political support that has emboldened them and enabled them to overwhelm the security agencies, who by the way lack the capacity to respond to the challenge. The solution must go beyond security response to include political negotiation. It requires a wide stakeholder involvement. It required community engagement. …By Okechukwu Nwanguma

Mr Nwanguma is the National Project Coordinator of Network for Police Reforms in Nigeria (NOPRIN). Last year, his organization released a finding on the root cause of  an earlier Boko Haram published in 234next on 3rd May 2010.

Their investigation revealed that the  Boko Haram crisis, nine months earlier,  that led to the death of hundreds of people in Borno and Bauchi States,  was a tragedy that could have been avoided if the government was more proactive.

United Nations Building Abuja after the Friday Blast

UN car after the blast

The investigation revealed that long before the anarchy occurred, both the police and the state governor had adequate information to avert the mayhem. A similar phenomenon in the recent attack on the United Nations Building in Abuja.

That report blamed the hypocrisy of police officers and
 recklessness of the Borno State government for the lapses that allowed the Boko Haram tragedy to happen.
One year and three months after that report, Boko Haram has struck scores of times, more than half a thousand people have died, tens of thousands injured and displaced, lots of lives ruined and the government still shows the same signs.
“Different countries suffer from terrorist attacks at different times, probably it’s the turn of Nigeria…”- was what president Goodluck Jonathan said on a visit to the UN Abuja Office blast.
His words bear no energy, rather is an admittance of the helplessness Nigeria faces at this moment. The political inclination of Nigeria, currently, favors the brooding these terrorists. Its effect is felt in our security system which finds themselves relying on brute force rather than intelligence to secure Nigeria.


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