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.
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.