Just last week, the lamentations of veteran politician, Audu Ogbe, Chairman of a Northern Peoples Forum on ceaseless killings in the North came to the fore. He appealed to Nigerians to rescue Northern Nigeria from complete self destruction.
At various times in the past, prominent Northern political leaders had threatened to make Nigeria ungovernable if certain developments did not go in favour of the North. Could the current bloody conflagration enveloping the North be a case of self fulfilling prophecy? As fate will have it, Northern Nigeria has become ungovernable not due to any Southern antagonism. The North and South living together has always been likened to a war between two enemies who sleep on the same bed. Nobody knows when the clash of steel can occur.
Attempting to pin the Northern insurgencies on symptomatic factors may just be superficial. The fact that rogue politicians are lashing on them to fester their nests and to pursue ethno political agenda cannot be ruled out.
Northern Nigeria has over time provided fertile ground for war and pestilence. By breeding like parasites, they have overpopulated their semi arid desert which lacks the natural endowments to support population explosion. Malthus population theory elucidates this fact. Most of these conflicts are driven by survival instincts that can extend to the South.
While giving insight into the onslaught by Boko Haram in the Northeast, an indigenous leader, Senator Ali Ndume spoke about how the insurgents attack communities to steal foodstuff and basic daily needs. This is also replicated in a more pervasive manner in the Northwest and North central where insurgents additionally rustle cattle and grab land.
Senator Ndume made mind boggling revelations on why the Nigerian Army is incapacitated in the 11 years failed war against insurgency. Remember that Chad Republic, an impoverished desert country with population of 13.5 million defeated Boko Haram in seven days. One of the reasons given by government for inability to defeat Boko Haram is because foreign countries refused to sell weapons to Nigeria according to Senator Ndume.
Is it not shameful that Nigeria that prides itself as giant of Africa cannot even manufacture weapons for its defense? Senator Ndume also identified shortage of troops and poor tactical strategy by the Army making it lame duck in battles. These observations are surprising considering that Nigeria has huge unemployed factors of production (especially labour) to raise an Army of 4 million soldiers to dominate the numerous battlefields.
All the challenges sighted by Ali Ndume preventing the country from destroying Boko Haram borders on national leadership failure. Just like Ndume, Nigerians continue to question the rationality behind granting of amnesty and financial gratification to repentant Boko Haram mass murderers, while other petty criminals continue to serve various jail terms.
Meanwhile, the victims of Boko Haram’s terror and massacre are in destitution scattered in several IDP Camps. After all that have been said, the increasing outcry by various Northern leaders for help should no longer fall on the deaf ears of Southern leaders.
The precarious situation in the North has escalated food inflation in the South and damaged Northern based Southern businesses. Southern leaders in response to the need for self preservation, should urgently come together and mobilize resources through donations and contributions into a common purse, to empower the civilian vigilantes and hunters in the North to defeat the insurgents. The military cannot win this war having been crippled by ethnicity, corruption, petty rivalry, poor tactics and under capacity.
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