Monday, 5 November 2012

HOW BEST NIGERIA SHOULD RELATE WITH BOKO HARAM




In every age and time man has always been confronted by challenges. Sometimes it may seem insurmountable but the moment man finds a way out, he becomes ever better compared to where he was coming from.
Today Nigeria is faced with its own fair share of challenges from corruption to poverty and underdevelopment but none of these issues are more pronounced than the menace of Boko Haram which stands to threaten the basis of our collective existence as a nation except we find a creative approach out it.
 How best Nigeria should relate with Boko Haram becomes a fundamental question that stares not only the political authorities in the face but every concerned citizenry.
The history of this country is replete with examples of how we have overcome challenges that sought to tear this us apart. Two typical examples of such was the civil war and how the ‘‘no victor no vanquish’’ stance of Gen. yakubu Gowon brought us out of the war, another is the recent Niger delta militancy agitations and how the then president creatively engaged the youth of that region with an amnesty initiative. Thus curbing the restiveness in the Delta.
To this end therefore, a solution is possible with Boko Haram if we look in the right direction. Obviously finding a way out of this challenge that Boko Haram pose is impossible without understanding the factors that have led this group to evolve from just individual assassinations to large scale bombing, turning many state capitals in the north to theatres of war.
These factors hold the key as to how best Nigeria can relate with Boko Haram thus finding feasible solution to the reoccurring hostilities of this group.
The most fundamental factor to the threat of Boko Haram is the political side to the entire equation. Truth be told, politics and politicians in the country today help create this monster that threatens us all in Nigeria. The recent call by the group that it wants Gen Buhari to lead its peace talk with the federal government speaks volume as regards the level of political colouration of the violence so far. At least every discerning mind would clearly agree on this. On the other hand, the political option seems to be one of the most potent factors we can use to relate with them only if men of proven pedigree and character lead such an effort. Then the nation is can be said to be on the path to peace.
Another factor is the economic dimension to this entire situation. A large percentage of the young men recruited to carry out these attacks are largely jobless making them vulnerable to these kinds of enticement that is leading many of them to their early graves. Again we can relate with Boko Haram through economic empowerment. No society anywhere in the world makes meaningful progress where its active young population is idle. This is the case not only true in Northern Nigeria but throughout the country. When government fails in this task one begins to ask what then is the basis for it, even where the preamble of the 1999 constitution clearly direct that the purpose of a constitution was for the promotion of  ‘‘.........good government and welfare of all persons.........’’
Also, another significant factor we can use as a means to relate with Boko Haram is religion. The need to lay emphasis that Islam is a religion of peace and not war is of utmost significance too. In line with this view, we must let them know that this is a secular state and that everyman is free to find God the best way he deems fit. True worshippers of Allah know that the fundamental tenets of his teachings are ‘peace, harmony, love for your neighbour’, Boko Haram by virtue its conduct, is in clear violation of this principle

Yekeme
an observer