he appalling contemplation of the Federal Government to grant amnesty to the faceless Boko Haram terrorist group is to say the least embarrassing to the citizens of the world who have human feelings running through their veins. It is despicable to humanity, the guts the group has to request for an amnesty while some leaders are in the festive mood about granting Amnesty to the Masquerades. The Federal Government rejected the demand for amnesty for the faceless masked ghosts at Yobe and Jonathan administration made a U-Turn to grant amnesty, poses the question who is asking for amnesty for the heartless group. At the turn of event, the group rejected the amnesty plan while the northern leaders and Emirs insisted and persuaded the Government to grant amnesty.
As it is, Boko Haram may not be the real problem facing the country, rather than the 'ENEMIES WITHIN' that have to use the group as a mask to vent their anger on the administration. Our most recent publication on the notorious witches and demons that have taken over the road network in the country might have impacted on the psyche of some Nigerian leaders, meaning that the 'ENEMIES WITHIN' might have to be examined alongside the unavoidable devil within Boko Haram on the boulevard to its Amnesty journey. The amnesty would mean that the victims are sacrificial lambs for the inefficiency of the Nigerian Intelligent Agencies.
Is Jonathan really a wimp, coward, toothless, with no back bone?
Ridiculously, the group is asking for a Ministry of Northern Affairs, meaning that all States within old regions should ask for their own Ministry. Boko Haram is asking for the Ministry of Northern affairs to stop Boko Haram; or to revive the arable lands deliberately left fallow; or the ridiculous mental enslavement of their children by reciting, not understanding, the Holy Book of Quran; for the Feudalism that does not pay as the Arabs world is kicking against that today (May 2013). It is unfortunate why Nigerians always pick up the ancient practices that are obsolete.
Boko Haram demand for Ministry of Northern affairs, to make up for the creation of the Niger Delta Ministry, is irrational and uncivilized. The Nigeria monolithic economy that is sustaining the country is from the Niger Delta Region ironically turned into squalid. Unlike the deliberate despicable destruction of life and properties as embarked on by Boko Haram, asking for Amnesty is loutish.
This might be a pointer that some 'Enemies Within' the key Northern leaders are in support of their method of making their needs known to the Government of the day as if the northern situation was created by Jonathan administration. In other words, Boko Haram is saying that States within old Regional set up should ask for their own Ministry.
In addition, the terrorist group wants Cash payment of N3million each; for the masquerades; as done during Nigeria Census that always put Kano population above that of Lagos. Where would the cash end up if N3m was given to the unaccountable number of faceless Boko Haram or just a way of openly swindling the country since they have exhausted other avenues of cheating the government, through oil blocks given at give away prizes; fake contracts; fake Civil Servants positions that has devalued the merit system.
Among other demands is a House to each of the Boko Haram; (possibly in Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt so that they can continuously have places to plan their atrocities); N20 million cash to their leaders; and possibly their sponsors; send Boko Haram members abroad for training. If we may ask which country will habor Terrorists in their countries, or it is a way of reinforcing their trainers to design another strategy for unleashing further painful actions on the country. Alternatively, is it a way of compensating their trainers.
The group also asked for a monthly salary of N100,000.00 for a period of 3 years. With the housing, cash payments, they would be on the regular payroll of N100,000.00 to further empower them for the next three years. Requesting to rebuild Borno, Yobe, and other States for the self destruction of their activities as if reinvesting the gains from the products of the States, and security contact for the group, while the Government removes JTF from the northern States; when there are no security to monitor their activities then they can unleash their terror acts on anyone at any time.
What a country of some kind of headless blind leaders that are leading the country into an obscure darkness. Boko Haram demands is an encouragement to others in that group to start planning for how they could easily get rich by life and properties destruction, making communities inaccessible and ungovernable.
The irony of the whole deal is the Boko Haram backing out from these luxurious demands from the Government. Then the big question is that who is making these demands? Their Sponsors who want to capitalize on their thirst to cripple the country by all means necessary; or making Jonathan administration ineffective and ungovernable. Who are those behind the mask?
The Boko Haram group appears to be psychologically derailed, indolent and torpor, wasting God given talents, skills and resources to seek quick means to wealth. Granting Amnesty to Ghosts, masquerades is a wrong signal the Government is sending across to Citizens of the world, that, in Nigeria, once you engage in one sort of disturbance, violence, insurgents, or destroying human life and properties, the government would give you amnesty with cash, properties, and training outside Nigeria by the crippled Jonathan's administration. In other words, without any legitimate reason for fighting or attacking Nigeria government, you will be fabulously enriched.
Soon Armed Robbers, Rapists, Human Traffickers, Area Boys, Human Sacrifice Practitioners, Fulani Herders, Yahoo-Yahoo Boys, Illegal Miners, and Vandals will demand be demanding for Amnesty. The Cultists could be asking the Federal Government some concessions to end that practice. The Militants could be warming up, because they are running out of the resources accorded them and then demand for another set of Amnesty. Meanwhile illegal refinery operators in the Niger Delta have demanded amnesty as a condition to end the illicit activities.
Is the pressure from the north for amnesty is as a result of an avenue to grab more oil allocation to the north? On the other hand, is it a replica of rotational presidency where the north says it is her turn to produce the next president of Nigeria? Is the Group saying that it is their turn to grab the amnesty, since the Niger Delta got it first? Is this a rotational amnesty after Niger Delta, now it is Boko Haram, then MOSSOP as Boko Haram has requested, then OPC would come up with its own style of amnesty as they too could be warming up for the Boko Haramites. Definitely, MEND will not be left out of the equation, as it has allegedly announced its preparation to embark on "Operation Barbarossa", meaning, bombing of Mosques, Hajj Camps, and Islamic Institutions, large congregations of Islamic events and assassination of clerics who have been propagating the doctrines of hate in Nigeria.
Definitely, there are some agents behind the Boko Haram acts. With the Northern Emirs seeking freedom for the detained Boko Haram, it is like adding sweet items on the spots where we are about getting rid of termites. The first attempt to resolve the impasse failed as the two clerics involved in the negotiations were believed to have very close contacts in the Boko Haram sect, and shuttling between the sect's self-proclaimed leader Abubakar Shekau and government officials.
Definitely, something is not right about the menace of Boko Haram in Nigeria. The moment the Government is thinking of granting them Amnesty, the more Boko Haram flexes its muscles as to say that Nigeria is having two sets of government, while Boko Haram seems to be taking the upper hand.
What does the group wants? Divide Nigeria which some are agitating for? Fight the real war which no one ever wished from the Nigerian Civil War experience? Restructure the natural resources along side its revenue sharing formula which could spell doom to some group if and when Nigerians agree that each State should control its resources and send some percentages to the Central Government that seems to be too powerful now; while the power should actually return to the States?
The northern Governors reaction to the needs in the North has been lukewarm. There has been no sufficient injection of funds for some meaningful projects in alleviating poverty within the region. The Northern Governors forum has not come up with solid tactic to make the north better including security. Do they fear that Boko Haram would disrupt the projects? In the faces of the huge complaints about what is lacking in the north, the northern governors ought to have come up with some meaningful strategy to ease the tension in the region. In 1999, I sent a strong warning to the northern governors titled, "My agenda for my Northern Governors" published on www.nigeriaworld.com, most specifically on Agriculture.
The big question is that has President Goodluck Jonathan lost grip in tackling insecurity challenges facing the country?
Since the Boko Haram has resurge what positive move, has the administration established to stop the insurgents? Commission has been bastardized in the country where their reports would form the grocery bags for the street hawkers', akara traders, Idanre dodo (fried plantain) patriots, Ogun State banana chips, Ilorin 'warankasi' cheese, or Obbo-Aiyegunle yam tuber marketers.
In a civilized world where the Intelligent Agencies are up to their responsibilities, there should not be superfluous anticipation and fear of where Terrorists would explode next or how many people would be killed tonight. Boko Haram is an indictment on the entire region, the political, social, and traditional leadership of the entire North.
Nigeria, as member of the Global Village, witnessed how United States of America fished out the Boston marathon Bombers within days. The Intelligent Agencies combed all houses in Boston to capture the suspect of the Marathon Bombing. Not necessarily using the avenue to set up commissions, committees in resolving social issues. At least the Nigerian Government ought to have made some moves, made some noise, either yell, or shout at the Group, as the custodian of Intelligent Services, and even as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The case of the Boston Marathon bombing involved two brothers, Russians, The intelligent agencies set in motion and within reasonable time, the culprits were apprehended one was shot dead in the process. The dead one was granted US citizenship in 2012, while the second one is still on the waiting list. If there are illegal aliens in Nigeria, bring them to book and invoke the law of the land on them.
Part of the Nigeria amnesty is compensating 2011 election victims which escalated to Boko Haram. That is a way of mismanaging the public fund, which ought to have been used to beef up the security agencies in Nigeria.
Why should amnesty be the reward for atrocities committed by Boko Haram?
President Goodluck Jonathan bowed to the pressure from notable personalities from the North and set up a 26-member Amnesty Committee to work "for the granting of amnesty; setting up of a framework through which disarmament could take place within a 60-day time frame; the development of a comprehensive victims' support programme, and the development of mechanisms to address the underlying causes of insurgencies that will help to prevent future occurrences."
One interesting observation is the masked impenetrable black veil Female member of the Committee. Could she be one of the 'ghosts', 'faceless', elusive Boko Haram guys, that President Jonathan had spoken about? From the list, she is Barrister Aisha Wakili. Beside her is Mrs. Esther Conda, also a member of the committee. On November 13, 2012, Boko Haram terrorist nominated her as one of the individuals the Group trusts to negotiate on its behalf with the FGN. Picture does not lie. She could have opted out from the picture taking session or shaking hand with the President.
Nigerians do not expect any magic from the committee as it is another display of the inability of the government to provide basic security for Nigerians. What a shame on Nigeria government that each time it has a challenge, it ignores the services of the Nigerian Intelligent Agencies to set up inquiries, commissions, committees as another avenue of government wastage, instead of funding the Intelligent Agencies.
Do terrorists have the same pattern of their activities as foreigners are believed to be behind them? What has Nigerian government done with the allegations that those involved in the Boko Haram activities are invaders from some North African countries, as the Nigerian Immigration Agency repatriated 235 Nigeriens in April 2013, amongst other nationals, without valid visa.
The three-way out of this peril is for the Federal Government to accept designating Boko Haram as Terrorist Group. It is our opinion that Boko Haram is a terrorist group and should be treated as such. Unfortunately, the Federal Government is cowardly recluse from designating the group as terrorist. Since the terrorist leader has insisted to fight and attack, the Federal Government should go ahead and officially designate Boko Haram as Terrorist organization.
Nigeria should fund the Intelligent Agencies with appropriate training on modern technology in their intelligent services; and finally, Nigerians should stop harboring Criminals in their communities.
Femi Ajayi is a Professor of Policy, Management & Conflict Resolution; Head, Political Science and Public Administration Department, Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State