Tag Archives: terrorism

Nigeria: A Boko Haram Republic Or A Future U.S. Military Base?

The national anthem of Nigeria hails the country as “one nation bound in freedom, peace and unity.” But when one reflects upon Nigeria’s somewhat chequered past, it is quite clear that even when the anthem was adopted in 1978, freedom, peace and unity was more a thing of hope than reality.

Nigerians are a resilient people. And despite wholesale embezzlement of public funds, pseudo democracy and long-standing austerity measures, the average Nigerian has managed to survive — albeit by careful scrapping.  But terrorism is a totally different kettle of fish. Since 2010, the terrorist group Boko Haram has sustained a steady campaign of bombings in northern Nigeria. And with President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration having very little grip on internal security, the urban guerrillas now have the country on lock-down.

With the Nigerian administration being evidently clueless on how to effectively contain Boko Haram, one wonders what then is the African Union (AU) doing about the volatile situation? Well, if Africa cannot sort out her own problems, there’s always “global rent-a-cop” ready to charge to the rescue.

The U.S. clearly has a vested interest in Nigeria. Most of us know that already know that the U.S. always closely follows the crude oil trail, just as files follow animal feces and garbage. According to Professor Paul Lubeck of University of California, Nigeria “is a major source of petroleum and natural gas for international markets, especially for the U.S., because it’s outside the Persian Gulf, it’s close to American refining, and it’s of a particular quality of oil that many gallons of gasoline could be developed from every barrel of oil.”

It is therefore little wonder that the U.S. is closely watching the situation in Nigeria. The White House spokesman, Jay Carney, released a statement on Boxing Day saying that the Obama administration contacted the Nigerian government over the Boko Haram Christmas Day church bombings, offering to help bring those responsible to book.

Strangely enough, I am always somewhat wary of U.S. involvement in global political situations.  There is just too much spin, deceit, manipulation, misinformation and self-aggrandisement for my liking.  Consequently, it’s quite understandable that President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration is pussyfooting over whether to accept U.S. help or not.  But of course, this doesn’t diminish the fact that President Goodluck Jonathan and the AU ought to step up to the plate ASAP and demonstrate true and effective leadership at such a critical time.

Nigeria the Boko Haram Republic is just as bad as Nigeria the U.S. military base.  Neither is a viable option worth exploring.  And as these are clearly testing times in the already chequered history of the sleeping giant of Africa, there is no better time for Nigerians to resoundingly invoke the part of the national anthem that says:  “O God of creation, direct our noble cause. Guide our leaders right, help our youth the truth to know……….”

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Moving On From Ground Zero

As expected, the tenth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Centre was marked not only with various memorial services in the U.S. and around the world, but also with renewed threats, mistrust and sensitivities.

The images of those aircrafts crashing into the Twin Towers will forever be etched in the memories of those who witnessed events first-hand on the streets of New York and those who watched the gruesome events on television, on that ill-fated day.

In spite of the numerous hypothesis and 9/11 conspiracy theories, the fact of the matter remains that mass murder of innocent people is wrong and against humanity. Regardless of the perpetrator, or the cause, there is simply no justification for the mass murder of innocent people.

The global political and security landscape has significantly changed in the ten years since these senseless attacks. There has been a resurgence of far-right racist groups in the U.S. and Europe. There has been several unsuccessful attempts to blow up American-bound aircrafts. France banned the wearing of the Islamic veil in public. The U.S. and her allies invaded Iraq.  Saddam Hussein was captured and eventually hanged. And Osama Bin Laden, who many hold responsible for these 9/11 attacks, was allegedly assassinated by U.S. special forces.

Regardless of political, regional and religious persuasions, now isn’t the time to reaffirm the quest for more attacks against humanity.  Those who seek martyrdom, by killing themselves and innocent others,  should go back and re-read their scriptures. They will find that suicide and mass murder is an abominable  sin. In the same token, whether mass murder is orchestrated under the “war against terror” banner, or under the guise of enforcing UN resolutions, or even in a selfish quest for world dominance, these are also unacceptable acts of wholesale terrorism.  Mass murder is mass murder.

Hopefully, when completed, the new World Trade Centre will surpass that of the ill-fated structure in life span and grandeur. But more importantly, I hope it serves as a fitting memorial to the victims of the 9/11 tragedy. When we stop to really think about it, the things that unite humanity far outweigh those that divide us.