…repentant terrorists negotiated release.
…helicopters drop arms and supplies for the terrorists.
…some parts of Northeast of Nigeria without power for two months.
The 317 students of Government Girls Secondary School Jangebe, Zamfara State, abducted by the Bandits were released early this week. The students were in the terrorists’ dungeon for almost a week.
The governor of the state, Bello Matawalle, said that their release was voluntary by the Bandits. Continuing, he said that it was facilitated by some “repentant Bandits”. When they were kidnapped, we were told that they were 317. But 279 of them were let off the hook of the terrorists. The governor said that it was the original number abducted. Independent verification of this claim is difficult because of Nigerian politics that lacks transparency.
There is nothing like “repentant terrorists” and “release without ransom”. These obnoxious ideas have fueled terrorism in Nigeria, strongly. When government officials boast publicly that over their dead bodies would they pay a dime to the terrorists after paying huge ransom to them, the denial becomes a catalyst for the terrorists. They feel very powerful that even government is afraid of them. And does not have the courage to expose them and the techniques of their nefarious activity to the public.
A reputable research agency in Nigeria discovered that $11 million were paid to the terrorists from the first quarter of 2016 and March 2020. This amount is big anywhere even in the US. If you convert it to the Nigerian currency, it runs into billions. However, this is not all. If you added the scattered and isolated “proceeds” they made from private citizens, the amount will continue to swell. This is why terrorism apart from being a jihadist model has become a lucrative business in Nigeria.
The idea of “repentant terrorists” is nonsense and untenable in Nigeria. Armed robbers can repent, not terrorists. Many boys into armed robbery are in it because of frustration and bad company. Terrorism is different. It has religious connotation; political, and tribal connections.
Armed robbers’ sponsors hide while keeping their association with them. That is, they conceal their dealings with the dare devil men. This is not so with the terrorists. Since terrorism is based on mere religious sentiments, the terrorists are bold and do not camouflage their identity. Neither do their leaders, influential sponsors, and their political power brokers. This is why you have Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. And President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria and his aides are openly heavy-handed against innocent people agitating for self-determination, but allow terrorists to flourish.
President Buhari assured that the Jangebe school abductions on Friday last week would be the last in Nigeria. On Monday, ten people were killed by the same Bandits in Sokoto, many injured, and others kidnapped. On Wednesday, yesterday, three students were kidnapped by the Bandits on their way home from school in the President’s home state, katsina. The fourth student escaped narrowly. Governors in the North of the country are now considering to abolish boarding schools. This system has an advantage over day school. It has less distractions and enables students to concentrate on their study.
In Nigeria, the terrorists are more audacious because of government backing. And their number continues to increase. Just consider the amount of money, $11m, they collected from government within four years. It’s from these “revenues” that they finance their wicked campaigns. It’s no longer hearsay that choppers drop supplies – arms and daily needs – for them. Even governors in the most affected states had voiced out, calling on the federal government to stop the evil enterprise. Government lacks the will to stop it since the boys are carrying out hidden instructions from hidden public officials.
The foremost government negotiator, Sheikh Ahmed Gumi, cautioned that the terrorists should not be called “terrorists” or “criminals”. He described them as “gentlemen” who were zealous for their religion but were not recognized by society. He accused Nigerian Christian soldiers of killing the insurgents because of their Islamic religion.
Some governors in the North have advised the federal government to recruit mercenaries to fight the terrorists. They believe that effort of the military is not enough. That unless there is a taskforce of military, police, vigilante, and mercenaries, the war against insurgents would not be won. If the first three groups could not win the war against the insurgents, duplication of duty can hardly do it. It could make it worse. Some soldiers are already into arms deals with the terrorists.
The federal government should look inward and know why it is not winning the war against insurgency in the country. Chad, a country that is less than ten percent of Nigeria demolished the terrorists’ offensive within a week. Parallel forces are not needed. It’s sincerity of the government to fight terrorism that is needed.
Meanwhile, the terrorist groups in the Northeast of the country, Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province, have thrown the area into darkness for more than two months now. They attacked the electrical installations and knocked them out. This was done to give them leeway to operate in the dark.
The federal government and its officials are not done with using the terrorists to rig elections. It uses them to cause confusion in particular states that are not controlled by its party and threatens the governors with state of emergency. A terrorist leader recently revealed how they were paid and supplied with arms by the federal government to foment troubles in some particular areas. This is done to dent the image of those governors.
This is Nigeria! A land of extremism. What About Nigeria Today?