Boko Haram, Kidnappers and Slain Nigerian Soldiers
By Saleh Ibrahim Bature
It is saddening that the peace we enjoyed with the beginning of President Muhammad Buhari’s administration in the northeast is about to be shattered by the recent deadly Boko Haram attack in Metele, Gajiram and Mamati in Borno state. The BBC Hausa had reported that 53 soldiers and farmers were killed in the state following a 3-day fierce battle between Boko Haram and soldiers. Other sources put 100 as the death toll of our soldiers from the Boko Haram attack. The macabre video of the attack has gone viral. The horrible sight of our soldiers being killed by the terrorists Boko Haram is an eye soar. This is one assault too many. I hate to watch the video again. In fact, I regret watching it in the first place. It is disturbing and demoralizing to our soldiers to see their colleagues being pursued and killed by terrorists. This is a sad moment for Nigeria.
At the time when Boko Haram is attempting to prove its fighting capability by ambushing and killing our soldiers, Kidnappers in Zamfara, Katsina and Kaduna states in the north western part of Nigeria are having a field day. Victims are killed, raped and subjected to dehumanizing treatment by their captors. It is true that people can endure poverty, but cannot endure persecution and killing of their loved ones. This is the lesson we have to learn.
Worthy of mention is the pathetic story of the girl who dissuaded her father from giving a ransom for the exchange of her freedom to her captors. In a voice laden with emotion, the girl narrated the dehumanizing sexual abuse she had suffered and therefore kicked against the payment of ransom to her captors by her dad. Death, she said, is better than the shame and humiliation she had been forced to bear in the hands of merciless criminals. You can imagine if that helpless and innocent victim were you mother or daughter.
Nigeria is on the edge. The precarious security situation in the country demands for caution by the Nigerian Citizens and more resolute action by our soldiers. Nigeria is a strange country. It is perhaps the only country in the world where citizens will shamelessly celebrate the humiliation of their soldiers by terrorists. We take delight in condemning the soldiers for failing to end Boko Haram violence. The truth is that there is no country in the world that ends terrorism. I subscribe to the opinion that calls for a change of tactics in our collective fight against the monster Boko Haram. Without the soldiers in the flashpoints, deescalating Boko Haram and Kidnapping will be a pipe dream. We should therefore motivate them, share their grief and pray for their colleagues who died in depending the nation and for you and I to leave in peace.
Saleh Ibrahim Bature