By Onyiorah Chiduluemije Paschal
If there had been any iota of doubt on the part of any person or group of persons over the nature and/or manner of the unalloyed support and the seemingly disguised protection being offered to the Boko Haram sect by a number of Northern leaders, especially those of them occupying public offices, by now such a person or persons would have begun to obliterate the vestige of such unnecessary reservation from his/their psych in the light of the memo reportedly authored and addressed to the19 state Governors of Northern Nigeria by no other person than Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa state.
Understandably, though the raging activities of the Boko Haram sect now appear like a whirlwind apparently blowing almost everybody and everything to pieces, there is no gainsaying that all the disgruntled Northern politicians whose unguarded utterances, actions and inactions did interact to give birth and vent to the prevailing security situation the country has found itself, would undoubtedly be rankling with deep regret that the original script of their political shenanigans designed to be used to destabilize the government of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan via the instrumentality of the Boko Haram sect may have been abandoned by the latter and replaced with the one of their foreign pay master – Alquada – which has invariably blown up in their faces. To be specific, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who once reportedly threatened the country (during the countdown to 2011 presidential election) with his remark that “he who makes peaceful change impossible, makes violent change inevitable” appears nowadays to be more concerned than anybody – as if this evil remark credited to him does not with hindsight betray his possible foreknowledge of all the diabolism and machinations that were supposedly on ground for members of the Boko Haram sect at the time. Curiously, it then boggles one’s mind that this very unpatriotic statement credited to Mr. Abubakar – among sundry others of its kind blurted out by scores of Northern leaders – seemed to have eluded the short memory of Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa state while he garnered his jumbled-up canards, hate words, grave allegations, etc; and constituted them into a memo.
To say the least, it is most unfortunate that a person like Governor Murtala Nyako with such military and governance pedigree in Nigeria governance “enterprise” could turn around to intensify his efforts towards holding brief for the Boko Haram sect. like a friend would put it, Nyako’s style of advocacy for the Boko Haram sect is simply “typical of the many tragedies of belied solidarity for the activities of the sect often adopted by most Muslim northern leaders.” Instructively, it smacks of no surprise that in dissecting issues relating the Boko Haram and the Federal Government of Nigeria, Gov. Nyako rather chose to adjudge the latter guilty of genocide against the people of Northern region in much the same way he accused Jonathan-led government of aiding and abetting the kidnap of “thousands of our (Northern Nigerian) girls and boys” alike. On the other hand, in an apparent romance with the Boko haram side of the facts in issue, Nyako wants it clear that he is more inclined to believe that all the havoc being wreaked every now and then in almost all the states of the Northern region are by no stretch of imagination the unlikely misdeeds of the “so-called Boko Haram” – hence his submission that “we no longer accept let alone believe that our prominent Mallams in the mosques in Kano and Zaria have been killed by ‘innocent’ Boko Haram members”. Hmm… ‘innocent Boko Haram’ members? Wonders – indeed – shall never cease.
Arguably, there exist possibilities that certain killings of “some prominent mallams in the mosques in Kano and Zaria” as well as “pastors and other worshippers in the Christ Apostolic Church in Jemita-Yola”, among many others across the different states of Northern region, may well transcend the usual attribution to the gory activities of the Boko Haram sect. Nevertheless, not a handful of Nigerians may be somewhat disposed to share in this view – at least for now. In essence, much as one is inclined to empathize with Murtala Nyako over the state of confusion the operations of the Boko Haram sect has brought to bear on his pattern of thinking, there appears to be absence of concrete evidence to rebut the claim of Nigerians who are wont to point at the members of the Islamic sect in the event of any act of killing, assassination and/or wanton destruction of properties perpetrated anywhere within North. Clearly, it is worthy to note that it is no fault of any Nigerian or anybody living in Nigeria to have had his/her mindset to be so stereotyped. For one, come to think of it, the failed attempt to take the life of the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ade Bayero, could not have born less the hallmarks of the typical Boko Harm encounter or the imprint of its usual atrocities, yet this attack was reportedly ascribed in certain quarters to the activities of unknown gunmen. Somehow, still bearing in mind that a certain well-known Nigerian from Kano state had reportedly indicated his undying interest or what some persons would prefer to call his wishful thinking to succeed the present Emir as soon as the latter kicks the bucket, will it be abnormal if someone reasons that this potential aspirant to the throne of the Emir of Kano could have plotted the failed assassination attempt on the life of Ade Bayero? Or can anybody stand out to vouch for the innocence of the Boko Haram sect on this travail of the Emir? Surely, this is one key angle to the raging insecurity in the North that Gov. Nyako did not pay attention to – either by omission or commission – while dwelling on the allegation of the so-called “genocide in Northern Nigeria”.
What is more, Nyako’s claim that the alleged attacks on his convoy and those of Benue state Governor, Mr. Gabriel Susan, and the Senate President, distinguished Senator David Mark, could not have been the handiwork of the “innocent Boko Haram” is, to say the least, risible. By his thinking, for the alleged attack on the senate President to have reportedly taken place in Imo state would not have meant anything short of part of a whole gamut of the “demonic policy of evil few in and around the administration that have advocated how Northerners, both Christians and Muslims, are to be so dealt with, ill-treated and oppressed”. No doubt, this is certainly funny. But while it must be admitted that Nyako is duly entitled to his view, it seems with hindsight extremely difficult to fault the perspective of Nigerians who did say and still maintain that the members of the Boko Haram sect can hardly be exonerated from all these alleged attacks as mentioned by Governor Murtala Nyako, for some obvious reasons. First and foremost, despite serious attempts by people like Nyako to deny the deep involvement of the Islamic terrorist group – the Boko Haram – in the cruel activities of the Fulani herdsmen across the length and breadth of the North-central geo-political zone, the emerging truth clearly points at the opposite. That the so-called Fulani herdsmen recently arrested by men of the Nigeria Army in Taraba state openly confessed to being full-fledged members of the Boko Haram sect goes to unmask the real identities of the Jihadists lurking in the bushes, forest areas and destroying farm lands across the Nigeria territory. To therefore submit that this set of Fulani herdsmen were the ones or among the ones who reportedly ambushed and attacked the convoy of the Governor of Benue state – Mr. Gabriel Susan – is by no means an exaggerated premise. Similarly, taking a cue from the historical murder of Major-General Aguiyi-Ironsi in Ibadan by the then so-called “Northern mafians” led by General T.Y Danjuma and which was initially schemed to be projected as having been perpetrated by the people of the Yoruba descent if not for the brutal murder of their own Fajuiyi in the course of that bloody activity, one can as well appreaciate that what Governor Murtala Nyako calls “attempts to assassinate the senate President (Northerner) in Imo state” was simply a well- calculated machinations of the Muslim Hausa-Fulani and their Boko Haram killing squad aimed at replicating General Ironsi scenario on Senator David Mark – with a view to blaming the fate that was to befall him (the latter) on the Igbo. Needless to emphasize that David Mark’s “sins” in this regard might not be unconnected with the fact that he professes Christianity and has so far proved himself to be an unwilling tool in the ever manipulative hands of the power-drunk Muslim Northerners. Otherwise, how does one begin to rationalize the awkward thinking within the Hausa-Fulani enclave – as was widely reported sometime – which tends to portray and at time treat the person of the Senate President as a “peripheral Northerner”? Honestly, to assert that the alleged attack on distinguished Senator David Mark in Imo state could not be anything short of the handiwork of certain Islamic fundamentalist in collaboration with their benefactors (in the persons of some of the political elements in the far North) – who have been desperately using the deadly platform provided by the Boko Haram sect in pursuing their vicious political agenda and career – can hardly be discarded in the final analysis as a wild assertion. In fact, this becomes tenable given the fact that these same blood-thirsty elements in the North seem to have succeeded so far in breeding some indigenous ‘foot soldiers’ within the Middle-Belt region. Expectedly, therefore, that the Middle-Belt region is now confronted with the harsh reality of having one of its sons in the person of Abubakar Sadiq Oguche (an Army deserter from Benue state) as one of the prime suspects in the recent bombings at Nyanya in Abuja only goes to further underscore the fact that there is clearly more suspicion flowing from the North than the South over what Governor Murtala Nyako calls “attempts to assassinate” the Senate President, himself and the Governor of Benue state.
But be that as it may, the fact is that for a man who was once the Chief of Naval Staff and the first and last Deputy-Chief of Defence Staff in the annals of Nigeria, Mr. Murtala Nyako’s seemingly questionable military experience vis-à-vis the threat to national security and unity of Nigeria as embedded in his memo to the 19 Northern state Governors is nothing but a sacrilegious defecation in the temple.
Onyiorah Chiduluemije Paschal writes from Abuja via