BOKO HARAM’s latest killings sharpen divide for security team at Nigeria’s presidency.
By Chido Nwangwu
The growing concerns over security and the brazen attacks by the radical group Boko were highlighted about 18 hours ago when Boko Haram gunmen dressed in military uniform on Sunday (October 20, 2013)
killed 19 people near the town of Logumani, closeness to the Nigerian northeastern border with Cameroon.
A senior national security adviser to Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan indicated to USAfrica and USAfricaonline.com from Abuja this morning of Monday October 21, 2013 that the latest killings reignited the ongoing disagreements and debates within the Nigerian presidency between those who say that Boko Haram has been minimized and those who argue for an iron-fist, sweeping approach. The latter have contended against key leaders of Nigeria from the core old northern Nigeria.
Those who argue for accommodation and gradualist approach insist that Boko Haram is an inconvenience Nigerians will have to live with (as argued by President Jonathan). Within the presidency, those who agree with the President make the additional argument,
according to the USAfrica sources, that “a renewed aggressive engagement might push some of the populace to some level of sympathy” towards the side of Boko Haram.
The hardliners insist that the strong assault on the enclaves of Boko Haram the past summer of 2013 will only continue “to push them to the margins.” One of those whose influential voices demanded for a mediated coexistence with Boko Haram is the Sultan of Sokoto Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, a former soldier.
Abubakar, who is also the President-General of Ja’matu Nasril Islam, JNI, said in 2012 that he preferred amnesty, arguing “That problem can never be solved by drafting soldiers into cities where there is [a] problem – and in the process innocent lives were lost….”
USAfrica News Index on Nigeria show that on March 5, 2013 in Kaduna, the Sultan asked President Goodluck Jonathan to immediately grant amnesty to all members of the Islamic sect, Boko Haram, as a path to ending the violence unleashed on millions of Nigerians and foreigners by Boko Haram and its spin-offs.
On September 29, in obvious exasperation Jonathan expressed his frustration with Boko Haram during a church service at the National Christian centre to commemorate the 53rd Independence anniversary in 2013 that “Today you will agree with me that if you are in my shoes you will lack the words to say anything. We had this programme in mind and when we went to bed last night and agreed that we will all gather here to thank God for what he has done for this country. Only few minutes after midnight about twenty one students were murdered by a group that called themselves Boko Haram…. If you were wearing my shoes what comment will you have to tell Nigerians what message will you tell the parents of these young people, our future leaders who were killed at the College of Agriculture? Can you say that the killing of these students is political? Those students belong to which political parties? Will you say it was ethnic cleansing? Those students belong to which ethnic group in Nigeria? Was it religious? Those students were they Christians or Muslims or what? This is what we see on a daily basis. It is quite depressing….”
The USAfrica News Index on this issue and period (November 2011 to March 2013) show that Nigeria’s President initially, it seemed, strongly disagreed with the calls for amnesty for Boko Haram. On March 5, 2013, he insisted that “You cannot declare amnesty for ghosts.” He made those comments in the northern Yobe state capital Damaturu.
The embattled President argued, in contrast, that those who argue he should extend to Boko Haram a similar amnesty of financial and peace deals (his government has continued with militants from his home state and region) should note that: “In the Niger Delta, if you call them [the militants], they come and they will tell you their grievances; but Boko Haram, I don’t see anybody who says they are Boko Haram.”
Of course, the reality of Boko Haram exists around Abuja and the crises torn north east of Nigeria where the Islamic radicals use as their haven to fight “western education” and values.
IF the Jonathan presidency choses to minimize the raw, violent exertions of Boko Haram on Nigeria’s national security — especially as it affects business, investments and tourism, it may continue an awkward, bloody dance with the serially violent “ghosts” of Boko Haram.
Somehow, the group of Islamic radicals and terrorists who President Jonathan dismissed as “ghosts” seem more violent than mechanized brigades of some standing armies.
•Chido Nwangwu, moderator of the Achebe Colloquium (Governance, Security, and Peace in Africa) December 7-8, 2012 at Brown University in Rhode Island and former adviser on Africa business/issues to the Mayor of Houston, is the Founder & Publisher of Houston-based USAfrica multimedia networks since 1992, first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com; CLASSmagazine, AchebeBooks.com, the USAfrica-powered e-groups of AfricanChristians, Nigeria360, IgboEvents, UNNalumni, and the pictorials site PhotoWorks.TV . He was recently profiled by the CNN International for his pioneering works on multimedia/news/public policy projects for Africans and Americans. http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/international/2010/07/29/mpa.african.media.bk.a.cnn
Dancing with “ghosts” of BOKO HARAM, President Jonathan, Sultan Abubakar and Nigeria’s national security. By Dr. Chido Nwangwu
Nigeria’s Federal Republic of Insecurity. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica, USAfricaonline.com and the Nigeria360 e-group. http://usafricaonline.com/2011/12/17/nigeria-federal-republic-of-insecurity-by-chido-nwangwu/ : IF any of the Nigerian President’s 100 advisers has the polite courage for the extraordinary task of reminding His Excellency of his foremost, sworn, constitutional obligation to the national interest about security and safety of Nigerians and all who sojourn in Nigeria, please whisper clearly to Mr. President that I said, respectfully: Nigerians, at home and abroad, are still concerned and afraid for living in what I call Nigeria’s Federal Republic of Insecurity. FULL text of commentary at USAfricaonline.com
Why Obama’s late to symbolic, historic meeting with Mandela. By Chido Nwangwu. http://usafricaonline.com/2013/06/26/obamas-late-to-symbolic-historic-meeting-with-fit-mandela-by-chido-nwangwu/
- Eight lessons of the 1994 Rwanda Genocide. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica multimedia networks, Houston. http://usafricaonline.com/2009/11/01/chido-8lessons-rwanda-genocide/——
Margaret Thatcher, Mandela and Africa. By Chido Nwangwu, Founder & Publisher of USAfrica, and the first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com. Click for newscast video of London-based SkyNEWS, the global, 24-hour British international tv network’s interview with USAfrica’s Publisher Chido Nwangwu on April 11, 2013 regarding this latest commentary http://youtu.be/G0fJXq_pi1c )
There’s a compelling political trinity to Nelson Mandela: the man, the messiah and the mystique. http://usafricaonline.com/2013/07/18/mandela-95-hearty-cheers-to-his-footprints-of-greatness-by-chido-nwangwu/
- Margaret Thatcher, Mandela and Africa. By Chido Nwangwu, Founder & Publisher of USAfrica, and the first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com. Click for newscast video of London-based SkyNEWS, the global, 24-hour British international tv network’s interview with USAfrica’s Publisher Chido Nwangwu on April 11, 2013 regarding this latest commentary http://youtu.be/G0fJXq_pi1c )
FULL text of this tribute-commentary at USAfricaonline.com click link http://usafricaonline.com/2013/03/22/long-live-chinua-achebe-by-chido-nwangwu