There is a war coming between the Christians and the Muslims in Nigeria. In this war only the prepared would survive, not the strong. And certainly not the ones that say they are killing innocent people: women and children, in the name of their God. They would be defeated.They would only succeed in murdering more innocent women and children than they had done already. But in the end they would be defeated. That is not in question. I would tell you why they would be defeated in the end later on. At this point I am just concerned with the attitude of the very people who are supposed to fight the coming war, and with what I think they should use to engage in the coming battle.
Let me pause here, and clarify a significant point. I said there is a war coming between the Christians and the Muslims, but that is mislabeling. That is what the sect bringing the tidings of the war wants us to think, what they want to see happen. Boko Haram represents only a tiny and insignificant segment of the Muslim community in Nigeria. But they want to present their sick psychological state of mind as the only path to true Islam. I saw the youtube video of the so called leader of Boko Haram, where he said he would eat up President Goodluck Jonathan within three months. As soon as you see him you understand that this is an Osama bin Laden wannabee. We should all listen to him, and take him seriously. But not because he is what he wants us to believe he is, on the contrary. We should take him seriously at the moment because if we don’t he would only kill more innocent people. And he would still lose the coming war anyway.
There are two parts to the conflict. The first part is mainly psychological, the second part mainly practical. Let me start with the first. What attitude do we all need to have to make sure that we do not lose the coming war? The answer is simple. Boko Haram wants us to believe that the fight is between the Christians and the Muslims, between the North and the South. We should in fact embrace and believe the opposite, and let that conviction be the guide of our thoughts and actions. The coming war is not between the Christians and the Muslims, nor is it between the North and the South. It is between Boko Haram and everybody else. The two sides of the conflict are well demarcated. If you are not with us, the people of Nigeria, you are with Boko Haram. This is the first part of the war, the war of the mind and conviction. The conflict at this point cannot be simpler. Are you with us or with them? Whoever is not found with us must be with them.
At the moment a lot of northern politicians, especially those who lost party primaries and general elections in the past two years, appear to be on the side of Boko Haram. It is in the political interest of people like Ibrahim Babangida and Mohammadu Buhari that security in the country gets jilted for the current administration of President Jonathan in the country. One northern state ex governor had been indicted by Boko Haram itself in a confession that the ex governor had helped in funding its murderous ventures. But these elements that appear to be on the side of Boko Haram are in the minority. If they do not change their minds, and come over to the side of the Nigerian people, they too would be defeated along with Boko Haram. The Arewa Forum, the special interest political group of the northern elite, has released a statement reminding us that 90 percent of those killed by Boko Haram were northerners. Therefore it is erratic to imagine that Boko Haram is killing only southerners and easterners. This is a significant point and a valid argument to make in the psychological war against the people who say they are murdering innocent women and children in the name of Allah, and who have deluded themselves into the bloody conviction that the best way to please Allah is to detonate bombs in the midst of people who had done them no wrong whatsoever.
The second part of the war is the practical part. Once we all understand that the coming war is between Boko Haram and the rest of us: Muslims and Christians, Northerners and Southerners, every Nigerian in fact, it becomes easier to see why Boko Haram cannot win this coming battle which it seems so eager to enter.
Every Nigerian that is not on the side of the people who have no qualms about the wanton and random murder of innocents in the name of Allah must become part of the security intelligence machine that would dismantle Boko Haram. The government cannot do it alone. Have you ever wondered how it is possible for Boko Haram to operate so successfully? A lot of people obviously know about their activities. They are not invisible. And if they can be seen, they can be tackled.
The security enforcement operatives must move their orientation from force to intelligence gathering. It no longer makes sense to drive around the city with sirens blaring in an effort to curtail a movement with as much time on its hands as it has money to cause mayhem. If you impose curfew and mount road blocks, or drive around with sirens blaring, they would only wait for you to get tired and move elsewhere. Then the strikes will continue. But if you know something they do not know that you know about their activities there is no way any terror plot could not get nipped in the bud. At the same time shooting Boko Haram members in the head on the principle that the only terrorist from whom society is free is a dead one would not work altogether in the long run. The more you kill them, the more they multiply. If you know something about their activities you can stop them from operating, and bring them under the long arms of the law.
The Israelis have proved most effective in combating terrorist activities in the world. The Israelis balance the use of force with intelligence gathering. One method is sure to flop in the battle against terror if pursued in isolation of the other. Intelligence, for instance, on Boko Haram funding, would go a long way in curtailing the murderous rampage of the misguided ones.
Now why did I say, with such certainty, that Boko Haram would be defeated? The answer lies in simple mathematics. There are far more peaceful Muslims in Nigeria than the crazy ones. But it is on the shoulders of the more good ones that the few bad ones would be eventually eliminated. However, the good ones must come forth and take responsibility. Boko Haram must be cut off from any religious credibility. And it is not non-Muslims that must do it. It is fellow Muslims that must tear the bloody tenets of murderous radicalism and fundamentalism from the their fold, and thus isolated Boko Haram would have no intellectual propaganda to wave at the base of the masses of Muslims which they target to connect with.
Nigeria would win the coming war, not Boko Haram, let me repeat. Every person must be involved in the conflict and contribute to the victory, with this winning awareness. If you do not understand the awareness go through the write up again. If you do, teach it to your neighbor. Let your neighbor teach it to his friend. And so on. Nobody must feel untouched, unconcerned. That would be a most unfortunate attitude. Let us all come to terms with the new reality that terror is here among us. Any moment we lose in the failure to appreciate this is incalculable. But in this chilling appreciation of the new reality let us be confident.