Nigeria: Kano Blasts…Between “Boko Haram” And Boko Haram

 I had my first nightmare of the year. I had two in a row last night. It is difficult not to connect them with the horror at Kano yesterday where we experienced yet again preventable deaths of fellow brothers and sisters in Nigeria’s much troubled northern region. Again Nigerians have died not from a natural disaster but from the disaster of the gross absence of leadership. It remains to be seen what needs to befall our nation before our president takes charge of our national security. This president who increasingly looks like a lump of matter whose only responsibility is to himself wreak more havoc on Nigerians, has never done anything right with respect to ensuring the safety of lives and property or indeed got a decision right on any front.


It is indeed a shame that while the northern part of Nigeria sits on an active “Boko Haram” volcano, its precarious situation was not enough for the government to prioritise the movement of its armed forces. Lagos is currently run by military men who have since rendered the lives of peaceful citizens tougher than ever. Lagos is about Nigeria’s most peaceful state as we speak but in its usual characteristic way of never getting any right thing right, the government sees peaceful protesters as more dangerous than terrorists. In fact, while 20 protesters were taken down by the guns of government ordered police men, a major suspect of bomb blasts that killed as many as 40 Nigerians Kabir Sokoto “escaped” from police custody.



In essence, ordinary citizens are deemed more dangerous than terrorists who have proven to be deadly and dangerous over the months. To prove that none of the bomb blasts matters to it, no single security chief has paid the price for this all-encompassing incompetence amongst Nigeria’s security honchos.  You would rightly think their jobs were to ensure our  insecurity. It follows a logical thought because in the midst of their abysmal ineptitude, these men have been honoured and decorated for “offering great services” to the nation and people of Nigeria. What a disservice to the tenets of service and value creation!


It is saddening, that the human life increasingly loses its value in Nigeria. We are getting used to hearing of deaths like they were news of corrupt practices that have since attained new heights under this administration. The dead is gone but they left the world with families and relatives. The least the government of a country whose primary essence of being is to ensure the security of lives and properties can do is to at least prevent more occurrences of this ilk if they cannot bring the culprits to book.


We are indeed an endangered people with our unity revealing more fault lines. The recent protests across the country have shown that the unity of everyday Nigerians is not in doubt; it is the obvious desperation of the rulers to use religion and ethnicity to rule and divide us. This is beyond being a shame; it is a crime against the tenets and values of nationhood and humanity.


Hardly a day passes without me thinking and discussing “Boko Haram.” I know one thing without a doubt; there are more important Boko Haram members within our security units than there are carrying out the attacks. This is a sad reality.


As long as this government continues to see the North as an inconvenience and the South-West as a political threat, something will always be missing. A lot of useful energy will always be directed at the South-West’s media and politics as we have seen with the deployment of soldiers to a peaceful Lagos while the north that needs urgent and regular attention stays abandoned.


Priorities are everything. President Goodluck Jonathan intends to spend another N17billion on yet another presidential jet. You would begin to think if the presidency intends to compete with British Airways for commercial air services. That N17 billion will school 340,000 Nigerian children in a year if they each need N50 thousand per year. As long as we abandon our children on the streets without education, as long as our undergraduates need divine intervention to be in school without strike actions, as long as it’d be easier to achieve success dubiously than it is for our youths to do same through merit, “Boko Haram” like the president said is a “burden we must live with.”


Presidents speak from available knowledge and if President Jonathan has already concluded that the menace of terrorism is something Nigerians must live with, it is because he has since concluded that he cannot do anything about our deep socio-economic malaise. Isn’t that the reason the same men who have supervised the death of almost 500 hundred Nigerians through terrorism remain in charge and are indeed enabled to supervise more?


In the days of Gen. Sani Abacha NADECO reigned supreme. General Abacha’s men planted bombs that’d eventually explode killing innocent citizens. NADECO was blamed for all the bombs. After the fall of that regime, we have all come to know that Abacha’s men were indeed responsible for the blasts. If you have noticed that I now have “Boko Haram” in quotation marks, it is because there is Boko Haram and there is “Boko Haram.” We need not argue that because time tattles and time will tell.


May the souls of those lost in yesterday’s blasts Rest In Peace. God Bless those they have left behind and may God grant them the fortitude to bear these losses. God be with Nigeria.