Questions on ending Boko Haram

In the August 13, 3019, edition, Gambo Dori, author of the Tuesday Column asks “When Shall We Vanquish Boko Haram?” Sad for him, it is a question which has no answer. No one knows. In the stead of an answer, Dori elicits a million more questions. It is the second piece on Boko Haram he wrote in two weeks and I run to the conclusion that true, he has a firsthand account and a bitter experience since the insurgency, and overburdened by its consequences, he now wants a true, honest end to the craze. Poor us.

The insurgency has made a million stories; most of them remain untold, and may not be ever told. And that determines whether or not the insurgency can end. But then it has to end on its own. No one can end it, unfortunately, even if someone started it. In a narrow account of a daylong personal experience at the beginning of the insurgency the week before, Dori showed how his own family has survived the decade-long debacle. It is only reasonable that this week he wants an end to it in a followup to that unreadable must-read. Gambo was right. But his conclusion was just as predictable as our cliché thoughts through the decade. Usual. Normal. There are millions of needs for the insurgency – not Boko Haram, or not only Boko Haram again – to end.

Everyone, every reasonable human – no one needs to be directly affected to be reasonable – should want an end to it. Of course it is, it should be everyone’s wish. I read quite a number of pieces wanting it to end. Many survived it and many want its end. I have asked this question severally for the time the crisis lasted but I was ignored on every occasion. We are now coming back to it. The question, not answer, will remain important until we pinch our minds for rethinks. Is the call to ending the insurgency all about crossing a river? Do we just want to put it behind us and continue to live, like we did with the Maitasine case, only for it to resurge decades later? Can, will the insurgency end? Is it still Boko Haram? Are we still seeing every bit of attack as coming from the same concept that started it? How exact can we be? And does that indicate justice to them? And can the misconception – the tag of every bit of attack as coming from Boko Haram fair to them. Is that not a reckless disrespect to the Group? I believe Mr. President that the actual Boko Haram was no more.

So will this heap of blame on Boko Haram make sense to anyone of us, or do any good? If we want an end by negotiation (because the military tactic will not make it end for reasons of our own attitudes and behaviours), will this careless mislabels go any length to appease the Boko Haram to change heart/? Will it appease them to see reason and to give justice in spite of the calls for reconciliation, and in respect to the great sitting President of Nigeria and the new governments under those gentle amiable governors – Zulum and Buni – who are the primary concerned? Does it occur to us how much of our bad habits have undermined intelligence and military efforts and we returned it all back on the Governor, the President and the security agents as having failed? Will the insurgency end even when you know that fact and refuse to agree to it? Do you know how much of our denials of the issues about the insurgency have helped it to last this long and may not let it end? Do we really mean an end to the insurgency – a generic but safer word to use to refer to the stray attacks happening these days? What of the now multiplied-than-ever attitudes, behaviours and characters that pushed us up to issues to the founding of the insurgency? What of the harmful, archaic social bad practices which have only worsened instead of corrected, making us far from the lessons we are expected to learn, and our distance from God has widened as much, instead? But do we really want an end to the insurgency? Why do we want it end? Who are interested in the end to the attacks?

How many of yours sincerely, Gambo Dori and Governor Zulum, do sincerely want it to end? But why should it end? What are the objectives of the wants to end it? How can it end just like that? What has it served? Did it serve the purpose, the reason it started? What have we learnt from the experience? Who are those of us who want the attacks to end? What are we? Where do we come from in Borno or the North east, and where do we belong on the platform of society? What do we do for a living before and during the insurgency? How did we survive it and why? Where have we been since the displacements and the killings started? How did we escape the mayhem? What have been our socioeconomic statui since the attacks began? What are our social, cultural affiliations now? Have we changed occupation/profession since then, or have we changed as persons and how? What was the reason for the change of occupation/profession? What are our political ideologies and leanings before and now? Do we really want a break or a change from an insurgent society to one that is free, equal, equitable, peaceful, just and economically viable society where everyone will be free and not prey to anyone, to anything? Are we really serious about that? Do we really want it end or we just pay lip service? Are we ready for the consequences of its end? Do you believe that just like the beginning and the experience, the ending of the insurgency also has grave consequences we must negotiate to face? Are we ready to face them? Are we ready really in all fronts: economically, politically, socially and culturally to handle society and live in it thereafter, in peace and harmony?

Hassan [email protected]

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