Boko Haram and a Nation collapsing under the weight of Corruption, Deception and Religion

Just as I finally summoned enough interest to write about the Baga killings, news came in that Islamists terrorist group, Boko Haram, has struck again, this time in the city of Maiduguri. According to Sahara Reporters-

Top security officials just confirmed to SaharaReporters that Islamist fighters today overwhelmed the 243 battalion of the Nigerian Army stationed at Monguno Barracks. The insurgents killed an undetermined number of soldiers and wounded the brigade commander of the barracks.

Our sources said soldiers who put up resistance to the invading insurgents were killed, adding that many soldiers then ran in different directions. They disclosed that 1,400 soldiers were stationed at the barracks at the time of the attack, adding that military authorities were not aware of their exact whereabouts or how many of them had been killed. “We still don’t know what has happened to them [soldiers], but we know that Boko Haram now controls the barracks and Monguno town,” one officer based in Abuja confirmed.

When the Islamists terrorist group Boko Haram struck in Baga and killed a disputed 2,000 people , it was no longer considered newsworthy, at least not in Nigeria. I must confess that even as a Nigerian, I did not bother to check out the news, deven though the headlines screamed at me.  According to CNN –

During the raid that started January 3, hundreds of gunmen seized the town of Baga and neighboring villages, as well as a multinational military base.

Attacks started at dawn and continued throughout last weekend, according to residents.

Though local officials gave conflicting death tolls, they agreed on the massive number of fatalities.

More than 2,000 people were killed in attacks on 16 villages, Bukar said. He could not explain how he arrived at that toll.

But the local district head said hundreds of people had been killed, not thousands. The actual toll will be known after a headcount of households is complete, Hassan said.

And BBC reported an eyewitness account- 

Two days after the attack, a man who claimed to be Abubakar Shekau [the leader of Boko Haram] came and addressed us. He said: “Today, where is your government from local to highest level? You are now under our control.” And he preached to us.

After that, Shekau and many of the insurgents left the town in the hands of some Boko Haram members who are from Baga.

These men have taken control of the young women in the town. They rape and abuse our daughters.

In the evening they choose ones who are neither pregnant nor nursing mothers and take them away. They don’t bring them back until the morning. If it is not rape what are they doing to them?

I guess we are now so desensitised to the atrocities of Boko Haram that it seems more murders in boko_haram561_2the name of Allah is no longer news, at least not when it involves Boko Haram. This might sound callous or insensitive, especially since the Baga killings occurred around the time of Charlie Hebdo killings, which I took the time to write about. So, why this seemingly uncaring attitude towards the Islamists terrorists presently ravaging my birth land (Holy FSM, I can’t even bring myself to call it my homeland anymore)?

I think this ‘What else is new’ attitude towards the misadventures of Boko Haram is indeed sad and scary. When an abnormality becomes the norm, there is cause for concern. It is not a case of indifference but a case of wondering how to write about what has been written about so many times. What words that have not already been used can one use to condemn the ever-latest atrocities of Boko Haram? We are surely running out of adjectives to write yet another screaming ‘Boko Haram has struck again’ headline. Even as I was finally writing on the Baga killings, news filtered in that Boko Haram has struck again, this time in Monguno and are making a bold attempt to capture the big city of Maiduguri.

Sadly enough, what grabbed the headlines in the atrocity of Boko Haram in Baga was the disputed number of victims of these callous Islamists terrorists. The government, when it finally deemed it fit to comment on the murders via some comments made in a hurry by a government official, claimed that the number of deaths was about 150 people. International papers and some Nigerians have pegged the number at 2,000. Of course, there should be total outrage regardless of the number, however this is Nigeria where lives means little and certainly means nothing to the government in power and politicians jostling for power.

How does a country that cannot even verify the number of people killed in yet another terrorists attack be bothered to sympathise with the families of the victims? Even now, it is still difficult to verify how many schoolgirls in Chibok were abducted by Boko Haram.

Nigeria is a country fast collapsing under the heavy weight of corruption, deception, and religious platitudes. Corruption reigns supreme. The country is like a headless chicken running helter-skelter with no sense of direction. It knows it is nearing its death but well, it will still run, even if headless.

When I think of my once beloved motherland, my heart feels heavy. They say there is no place like home, and that home is where the heart is.  However, I dare say, home is not necessarily, where the heart is, but where we feel most welcomed and safe. Our hearts can be in a place where we are definitely not safe and we truly can’t refer to that unsafe place as home. So yeah, I now find it difficult to call Nigeria home especially since the passage of the anti Lgbt law, which stipulates 14 years imprisonment for engaging in same sex relationships and 10 years jail-term for advocating for LGBT rights. I dare say, #NigerianLGBTLivesMatterToo.

Many wondered why the world did not condemn the Baga attacks with as much gusto as they did the Charlie Hebdo attack in France. I was not surprised at the seeming indifference. Even the Nigerian newspapers hardly covered the Baga attacks and of course, the government could not be bothered to make official statement on the attack. Maybe President Goodluck Jonathan got tired of recycling the same old statements and empty promises. More so, his election campaigns can’t be derailed because a few more people lost their lives to Boko Haram, afterall #Electionmatterstoo.

I can’t blame the world leaders for not making noise about the latest Boko Haram atrocity in download (1)Nigeria. In fairness, the world did make a lot of noise about the abducted girls. The hashtag #Bringbackourgirls generated a lot of publicity and there were many leaders and celebrities brandishing this demand. Yeah, “Bring back our girls”, they all demanded but the girls are yet to be brought back. However,  one must wonder, was the demand directed at Boko Haram, the Nigerian Government, or the international investigators that were dispatched to Nigeria by concerned world leaders to assist with this investigation? I guess we will never really know. Maybe it is a demand to all concerned. Yes, bring back our girls. Sigh.

I wondered though if after all that ‘Bring back out girls’ outcry, the international investigators discovered the mess that is Boko Haram is indeed a mess that can only be sorted out in-house.

Boko Haram is an in-house mess.

Boko Haram is Nigeria’s Shit and only Nigerians can clean it up.

Many greedy Nigerian politicians contributed their excreta towards making the shit that is Boko Haram.

Boko Haram is a mess created and sustained by Nigerian leaders and politicians who use religion as a tool of power.

Boko Haram is a mess that is consuming its creators and has grown wings above the contributors that excreted the shit.

Boko Harm is a mess that has taken a life of its own but it is still very useful to those that are willing to play the religious game to gain political power.

I was not surprised that Boko Haram chose to attack again as elections gets near, after all it is just buhari and jonathanabout 3 weeks to the Presidential election.

What better way to put the fear of Boko Haram in Nigerians than to strike when the elections are at hand?

What better way to show Nigerians that the present president cannot curtail these rampaging Islamists terrorists than to kill at will, very near the presidential election period?

What better way to send the message across that they would prefer power goes to the only other viable presidential contender (who btw, happens to be a sharia fanatic who was handpicked  by Boko Haram to negotiate on their behalf), than to kill as many as they can and cause people to be more disgruntled with the present government?

I won’t be surprised if we witnessed more Boko Haram attacks leading to this February 14 elections. They probably are saving their signature assaults for the week leading to the presidential election.

Nigeria is a country collapsing under the weight of corruption and deception. It is a country where fellow Nigerians don’t even trust what is coming out from the mouths of their own neighbours, never mind the mouths of their leaders and politicians.

This deception is endangering social movements in Nigeria and the lack of transparency is affecting just how willing we are to be part of these movements and in what esteem we hold these movements.

How are we going to have grassroots led revolution when the masses can’t even trust the self-styled social crusaders?  For example, during the ‘Bring Back our girls campaign’, there were actually women who were hired by social groups to pose as mothers of the kidnapped schoolgirls. People blame the first lady for lashing out at these groups when they paid her a visit. I can imagine the contempt she feels for them because she knows just what game they are playing.

As a Nigerian who has been very much involved in protests and social movements, paying people to join protests is actually the norm, it is nothing new or strange. It is simply how it is done. Simples. Nevertheless, why would anyone need to hire women to pose as mothers of these kidnapped girls? As i stated in my post Boko Haram, #Bringbackourgirls, conspiracy theories, media and the mess called Nigeria, these actions only serve to compromise the investigations. It is also self-serving, as the group who claims to have the mothers of the kidnapped girls becomes the group to reckon with. And with recognition comes publicity, money and all sorts of funds. It is a sad case. But well, this is a country where some people are actually hired to cry at funerals, so really, it is nothing new.

Deception and corruption is not just a government ill, but also an illness that has eaten deep into the fabrics of the social movements in Nigeria. This monster is having a field time bedevilling the socio-political groups close to my heart and that include the LGBT community, and the burgeoning Nigerian atheist/agnostic /freethinker community. However, that is a story for another day.

Even the socialist/progressives/left groups were distracted from demanding a better government and preparing for the political elections by the juicy money on offer in the recently concluded National Conference charade. It was a case of satisfying what we Nigerians call ‘Stomach infrastructure’.

Their participation in the fruitless National Conference had nothing to do with genuine change. The progressives can pat themselves on the back for the few minutes they had on the floor to accentuate, postulate, and jargonise their rhetoric, but they know and we know that these ‘postulations’ are all going to end in the dustbin. In fact, all the papers and talks have already been consigned to the trashcan of history. It was not the first national conference and it won’t be last, at least not until a truly sovereign National Conference is convened. In the meantime, the self-styled social crusaders/activists can pat themselves on the back and smile to the bank with their share of the National Conference bounties. That is the face and spirit of Nigeria.

Boko Haram is not necessarily what is killing Nigeria, the country is collapsing under the weight of corruption, deception, bad leadership and lackadaisical citizens. Boko Haram would be a thing of the past if we had a country that was not already ravaged by corruption, deception, tribalism, religious fanaticism and the ‘God is in control’ attitude of Nigerians. I guess even international leaders and their investigators had to wash their hands off Nigeria and the Boko Haram saga when they realised it is a home problem that requires a home solution.

Nigerians can demand this solution from their government by demanding that Boko Haram be brought to justice and doing it not just via hashtag but the Egypt/Tunisia revolution style, and with a concrete vision of what type of people and ideology they want in power.

On its part, the government can curtail Boko Haram by first starting with cleansing its funders and sympathisers from the seat of power and make sure the large security votes actually goes towards equipping the army and police force. However, I guess, that would mean blocking the source of corrupt money going to the thieves in power who are the backbone of the leaders.  A dilemma indeed, especially for a president seeking re-election.

We don’t know the number of people killed in Baga because life really means little. What difference would one more life or one thousand lives lost to Boko Haram make to a failed nation like Nigeria?

Just the other week, I suffered a personal tragedy as i lost my 3-day-old niece because doctors in Nigeria were on strike. The doctor in the private hospital where the child was delivered gave false assurances about his capacity to perform a needed minor surgery on the baby. As it turned out, this was just so the baby could be delivered in his hospital to enable him charge for the delivery, knowing fully well he wouldn’t be able to perform the needed surgery. He ended up sending the new-born baby to a deserted General hospital where doctors have been on strike for months and after three days of waiting for a doctor who kept promising to perform the surgery but kept postponing the operation, the baby died. It was such a needless death. Just another life taken so young, another life that was unfortunate to be born in Nigeria. Sadly, there will be no justice for the innocent life cut short by greed, deception, corruption, and a failing state. This is Nigeria and life is not sacred in Nigeria.

When we argue about how many lives were lost in Baga, let us just remember that Nigeria is not a country that values the lives of its citizens.

It is a sad situation and I hope we get to a place where all lives matters. But right now, Nigerian lives don’t matter, at least not to Nigerian leaders. If Lives don’t matter to doctors, why should it matter to Nigerian politicians? And if Nigerian lives don’t matter to Nigerian leaders, I wouldn’t blame the world leaders and celebrities if they are not hashtagging #Nigerianlivesmatter.

Charity they say begins at home and I concur.

Related articles-

Boko Haram, #Bringbackourgirls, conspiracy theories, media and the mess called Nigeria.

Choosing between the Sharia fanatic and the inept, incumbent President: The sad case of a gutless nation

Why I can’t be bothered to wish Nigeria a Happy 54th Independence Anniversary.

Boko Haram kills in the name of God, AGAIN; Nigerians pray to God for solution, AGAIN.

Another inglorious medal for religion as Boko Haram invades secondary school hostel, Kills 43 students in the name of Allah

 

 

The Charlie Hebdo tragedy: The five crowds that are getting it wrong

In the wake of the atrocious murder of Charlie Hedbo’s journalists by Islamist fundamentalists which led to #Jesuischarlie, it is sad that some people have chosen this horrendous time to falsely accuse the magazine of the very thing it stands against; Racism, Sexism, Homophobia and Misogyny.

As Libby Nelson wrote in Charlie Hebdo: its history, humor, and controversies:

Charlie Hebdo is known for its cartoons, which are often raunchy and provocative, whether they depicted the Prophet Mohammed or portrayed the Pope performing holy communion with a condom.

Charlie Hebdo’s editor, Stéphane Charbonnier, who was murdered in the attack, described the newspaper’s positions in 2012 as left-wing, secular, and atheist.

Below are 5 different crowds that are getting it wrong and why.

1- The “Charlie Hebdo is racist and sexist” crowd

This crowd eagerly post some of Charlie Hedbo’s cartoons with the aim of accusing the magazine of racism and L4057-1011.0sexism, without caring to dig into the context.

The context of Charlie Hebdo’s Parodies/cartoons is easily understood by the French but not easily understood by outsiders, unless they are conversant with French politics. Some of these cartoons can be viewed and understood under the piece What are some of Charlie Hebdo’s most famous cartoons?

At first glance, these cartoons might appear racist, sexist, and ill-thought-out, but after reading the contexts, this is usually not the case.

So, “What was the context of Charlie Hebdo’s cartoon depicting Boko Haram sex slaves as welfare queens?”

This is what Libby Nelson has to say:

Charlie Hebdo covers often combined two unrelated stories to make a satirical point. In the context of the magazine’s leftist politics, this seems to be about spoofing not Nigerian trafficking victims, but French welfare critics, who have argued that France should cut welfare programs to prevent immigrant women from exploiting them. The cover, in this view, seems to say, “Hey, welfare critics, you’re so heartless that you probably think that even Nigerian sexual slavery victims are money-grubbing ‘welfare queens.

This is what French people have to say about it on Quora [Read more…]

Choosing between the Sharia fanatic and the inept, incumbent President: The sad case of a gutless nation

Nigerians seem to have lost their memory, again.buhari and jonathan

Who votes for a man who truncates democracy?

Who votes for a man who has repeatedly shown his disdain for the rule of law?

Who votes for a man with a record of appalling human rights violations?

Who votes for a man who advocates for Sharia law in a supposedly secular society?

Who votes for a man who cares not that lives, especially young lives, were lost because he lost an election?

Who in their right mind endorses such a despotic being as a presidential candidate?

How could a decent person openly campaign for votes for this despot?

What type of self-acclaimed progressive party fields such a candidate?

I was flabbergasted when General Muhammadu Buhari, a 72 year old ex-military despot and Sharia law fanatic was adopted as the [Read more…]

Islam Deserves No Respect From Me

No religion deserves respect from me. However, when in this modern age, a particular religion is always grabbing the headlines when its adherents kidnap and open 396079_10150480627647772_276988682771_8924818_2014902550_nfire on innocent people in shopping malls and cafes while screaming, “There is no other God but Allah”, and murder children for simply daring to seek an education, I can say, Islam deserves nothing but contempt. My heart bleeds for all the innocent lives lost in the latest atrocities committed in the name of religion and a mythical skydaddy.

No lie or myths sold as truth deserves respect and all religions are myths and lies. However, when lies are used as brainwashing tool to harm innocent people and cause havoc in the society, that lie deserves nothing but contempt and condemnation from decent people.

Child marriages, subjugation of women, persecution of LGBTs, stoning of women found guilty of adultery, public flogging as punishment for drinking alcohol, cutting off hands as punishment for stealing,  jungle justice, Jihads, Fatwas and beheading for blasphemy are just a few things of my least favourite things about Islam and its holy book, Quran.

What do we expect from followers of the Abrahamic God who took pride in ordering the execution of children? Genocides were a thing Skydaddy was proud of, and some of his delusional adherents are still proud to follow his sadistic orders. [Read more…]

Boko Haram, #Bringbackourgirls, conspiracy theories, media and the mess called Nigeria.

I have so far refrained from writing about the Nigerian ‘missing girls’ for some reasons. Firstly, I wouldn’t want to cause any more pain to families of the missing girls, if indeed there are missing girls.

download (3) Secondly, I am not a fan of conspiracy theories.

I got a glimpse of just how much Nigerians love conspiracy theories when Lee Rigby was hatched to death on the street of London by Nigerian/British born Islamist fanatics, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale. Many Nigerians went into conspiracy frenzy on social networks. They claimed it was all a set up and made the murderers out to be victims of a twisted immigration plot! Surprisingly, many of the conspiracy theorists were self-identified skeptics and freethinkers. I got fed up of their conspiracy theories showing on my newsfeeds that I reached for the block button. One thing I emphasized was how much pain their insensitive posts were causing the bereaved family. So, let’s get this out of the way, I loathe conspiracy theories, not just because they are mostly misguided but because they do tend to cause pains to the victims and their families. [Read more…]

Boko Haram kills in the name of God, AGAIN; Nigerians pray to God for solution, AGAIN.

The notorious Islamist terrorist group, ‘Boko Haram’, strikes again in the name of Allah, this time killing more than a hundred bomb-m-1people and leaving hundreds more injured with some lying critically ill in the hospital.  In the early hours of Monday 14th April, 2014, members of the religious terrorist group, Boko Haram, sets off a bomb in a crowded bus park in Nyanya,  a highly populated area in the outskirts of the federal capital territory, Abuja.

This is not the first time the barbaric group has committed such atrocities in Abuja. In recent past, their bombs have also gone off in  Yobe, Nasarawa,Borno, Kaduna etc. killing thousands of innocent people including school children. In the face of the seemingly helplessness of security agencies to curb the atrocities of this menacing, religious fanatic group that originated from the Northern part of the country, Nigerians are left fearing for their lives.

Sadly, waking up to the news that another Boko Haram bomb has gone off and killed many innocent people is no longer news. Seeing maimed arms, legs and rolling heads amidst burnt debris seems like a routine show now. Many Nigerians on social media scamper to post the goriest pictures of the victims of the latest bomb blast on facebook and twitter, leaving one to wonder if they derive a sort of macabre pleasure in these gory pictures. These pictures are posted without even a trigger warning alert. This act does nothing but diminish our humanity. [Read more…]

Archbishop of Canterbury irresponsibly blames the atrocities of Boko Haram on same-sex Marriage

Justin-Welby-009

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, speaking on an LBC phone-in program suggested that African Christians will be killed if the Church of England accepts gay marriage. According to the Freethinker, he claimed he had stood by a mass grave in Nigeria of 330 Christians who had been massacred by neighbours who had justified the atrocity by saying: “If we leave a Christian community here we will all be made to become homosexual and so we will kill all the Christians.”

He was also quoted in the Guardian as saying:

I have stood by gravesides in Africa of a group of Christians who had been attacked because of something that had happened in America. We have to listen to that. We have to be aware of the fact. If the Church of England celebrated gay marriages the impact of that on Christians far from here, in South Sudan, Pakistan, Nigeria and other places would be absolutely catastrophic. Everything we say here goes round the world.

[Read more…]

Another inglorious medal for religion as Boko Haram invades secondary school hostel, Kills 43 students in the name of Allah

On February 25, 2014 the world woke up to the news that Boko Haram, the Islamist terrorist group in Nigeria, ha409263_194632337300826_100002621825953_318303_1770217189_ns once again invaded a secondary school hostel, this time the Federal Government College in the town of Buni Yadi in Yobe state and killed 43 students. The terrorists in the name of Allah hurled explosives into dormitories, sprayed sleeping students with bullets and even hacked a few to death. The death toll is still rising.

Since the news of the killings broke, I have been in a kind of dazed state of mind, heavy-hearted and not able to post or say anything on it. I have been kind of numb. I am numbed, not because it is the first killing of such,  after all, just a few months ago, they did the same thing in a different secondary school, leaving about 35 young students dead. I think I am numbed because it is finally sinking in that this kind of barbarism has become normal in Nigeria. And the world would read this kind of story, look at the gross pictures of murdered children and just turn the page because it is no longer news.

We look at the horrific pictures of children with their intestines blown out by some bearded jihadists, we shake our head and sometimes express our outrage but within minutes things go back to normal. And the sad fact is these killings are now fast becoming part of what is ‘normal’. Children screaming in the middle of the night as their brains are blown up by some adults whose group’s name BOKO HARAM means ‘No To Western Education’, is now the norm in Nigeria.

I despair when I read posts of fellow Nigerians on the latest killings of Boko Haram. Many are busy calling on God (or is it Allah), to punish the evil doers. They pray for the dead students to find peace. They pray that God comfort the grieving parents. I read all these posts calling on God to act and I wonder about the logic in that. [Read more…]

Killing in the name of their Skydaddy: Boko Haram Militants Kill 29 Students, Teacher in Yobe, Nigeria School Attack

409263_194632337300826_100002621825953_318303_1770217189_nKilling in the name of God is unfortunately as old as the first time Man created God in his own image. Boko Haram, the Islamic terrorist group against western education in Nigeria struck again early this morning. According to reports: boko_haram561_2

 Armed Islamic militants have killed 29 students and an English teacher in an attack on a boarding school in Yobe State in northeastern Nigeria.

 

Survivors being treated for burns and gunshot wounds said some students were burned alive in the attack, which allegedly took place early Saturday and which is believed to have been carried out by the radical Boko Haram Islamic group.

 

Gunmen stormed the premises of Government Secondary School in the town of Mamudo in Yobe State at around 3am, setting fire to parts of the complex.

 

Dozens of children from the 1,200-student school escaped into the bush and have not been seen since, reports Sky News

http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/boko-haram-militants-kill-29-students-teacher-in-yobe-school-attack/152599/

484898_433952073352485_1826309972_nIt is said that those who make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. These horrible people are living testimony to this fact.  Pigs that are for no just reason, much loathed in their various Holy books, are definitely better than those cold blooded murderers; after all pigs don’t kill for any imaginary Sky daddy.

 

BTW, people who want to stone LGBTs to death in the name of their God are no better than these Boko Haram terrorists. [Read more…]