CHIBOK: Bring back the female students safely, adopt anti-poverty economic programmes & order foreign troops out of Nigeria – Femi Aborisade

 

I wish to add my voice to the demand for the immediate safe release of over 230 Chibok secondary school young women students who were abducted by the Boko Haram about three weeks ago.

 

The Federal Government has the primary responsibility to ensure the safe release and/or freedom for the Chibok students. But the issue goes beyond the release of the Chibok young women. Policies and action should be developed and implemented to avoid repeat of the Chibok experience elsewhere.

 

As we want the safe release of the Chibok students, as we desire that the young women are brought back alive and not dead, the Federal Government has a duty to review the military operations in searching for the abducted Chibok secondary school students and in fighting the Boko Haram phenomenon. To these effects, the following 5-point programmes are suggested:

  1. End military operations.
  2. The US and other European soldiers: out of Nigeria!
  3. Pass a bill legalizing adults bearing arms in self defence and for democratic community defense groups.
  4. Immediate Declaration of Amnesty programme for Boko Haram in exchange for the safe release of Chibok girls and to end bloodletting.
  5. Formulate and immediately implement an anti-poverty programme. Commit the huge resources being used to fund state of emergency and which would be used to maintain the foreign security agents to address pervasive poverty.
  6.              End military operations: Military operations are not likely to lead to the safe release of the Chibok students. The insurgents are likely to use them as human shield. Wisdom does not support military operation as an effective tactic at this stage. Besides, community members in the three North Eastern States where State of Emergency has been imposed for almost a year (from 14 May 2013) have attested to the ineffectiveness of military operations. The Cable Network News (CNN) news items confirm the Report by Amnesty International (AI) that soldiers do not respond early to advance information about the likelihood of impending attacks by Boko Haram.

Apart from delayed or non-response from the soldiers when communities are attacked, communities testify to the fact that more community members have been killed by soldiers in the course of the bid to fight Boko Haram insurgents than the number killed by the Boko Haram insurgents themselves.

For example, according to a Sahara Reporters’ post on 9 May 2014 (http://saharareporters.com/news-page/nigerian-military-committed-genocide-birnin-gwari-communities-say-survivors accessed on 10 May 2014),

“communities in the Birnin-Gwari Local Government area of Kaduna State said the Nigerian Military committed genocide on their areas in a recent clampdown on armed gangs that the military spokesperson had announced was “huge success” during the week.

The communities of Kwalakwangi, Maikyasuwa, and Dokan-ruwa were over a four-day span, from Monday to Thursday of this week, under siege by the military, residents of the area told us. The Nigerian military was deployed in the area to uproot a series of armed bandit ‘safe heavens’ and safe houses, under the military tactics called, “Operation Restore Peace.”

According an eyewitness from the Kwalakwangi village, the military had burnt down the village, and killed all the able-bodied men caught in the cross hairs of their guns. Several of the people shot were not connected to any of the gangs military officials sought.

At least 43 people were buried in Kwalakwangi village on Friday, including the chief imam, and the district Ward head. Apart from the Mosque located in the center of the village, no single building composed of mostly mud houses, was left standing in the village”.

For the foregoing reasons, military operations should be ended and Nigerian soldiers should go back to the barracks.

  1.              The US and other European soldiers should be ordered to leave Nigeria. The US and other European armed forces could provide required technical and training, not only for the Nigerian soldiers but also ordinary people involved in community defense operations, particularly in the North East. The outcomes of US military presence in any war torn country do not recommend the presence of US soldiers in Nigeria. In Afghanistan, perhaps about 20,000 civilians have been killed by US troops. In Iraq, perhaps 140,000 civilians died in the period of the US occupation. In total more than half a million people may have died directly or indirectly from the conflict. On its part, the Nigerian security forces (as well as other government agencies) appear to have been infiltrated by the Boko Haram, thanks to public declaration by President Jonathan.
  2.              For communal protection, the National Assembly should urgently consider passing a bill legalizing adults bearing arms in self defence and for democratic community defense groups. This is particularly urgent in the Boko Haram infested States. The proposed bill should be passed urgently under the doctrine of necessity which the National Assembly had set as a precedent.
  3.              The Federal Government should immediately declare an Amnesty programme: An Amnesty program should be urgently declared for Boko Haram insurgents in exchange for the safe release of the Chibok students and an end to bloodshed. It was not military action that has moderated the activities of militants in the Niger Delta. It is the amnesty programme, including re-settlement and provision of skill development opportunities, etc.
  4.              Formulate and immediately implement an anti-poverty programme. Boko Haram is a movement feeding on chronic poverty in the Nigeria sea of plenty. The real terror that should be fought frontally is poverty. Social security schemes should be developed so that no Nigerian, as a right, lives below poverty line. Cost-free education, cost-free health care, social or free housing, employment or realistic unemployment allowance, and so on must be provided for the vulnerable classes of people in Nigeria. The North East must be given priority attention in all of these, even though the social security schemes should be universal and nationwide. Commit the huge resources being used to fund state of emergency and which would be used to maintain the foreign security agents to address pervasive poverty.\

MONDAY, MAY 12, 2014.  7:07 p.m. [GMT]

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2 Comments on “CHIBOK: Bring back the female students safely, adopt anti-poverty economic programmes & order foreign troops out of Nigeria – Femi Aborisade”

  1. Fatai Bakare Says:

    Good one, Femi and I cannot agree less with you especially on the presence of foreign troops in Nigeria. I am sure their presence has so many under tones than meet the eye. It is a ploy to sniff at our security outfit, strength and economy. In a short time time now, we will be paying them back in crude oil. They are no good at all when we think of what happened in Iraq and Libya. They are devils one should not dine with unless with a very long spoon. If our President is serious to end these war of terrorism your points are very vital and we have enough personnel in the country that can be employed. This is why we should also consider Gen Mohamadu Buhari’s advise that we should not play politics with Boko Haram issues.

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    • emotan77 Says:

      Thanks, Fatai.

      My own problem with the foreign troops’ issue goes beyond the crude oil business because sooner than later, the US and others who depend on that form of energy would find other ways.

      Jonathan’s government did not show good faith but a belated willingness on the matter of the Chibok girls. Before asking for foreign troops, he seemed to have taken the very serious issue as a distraction to a re-election he keeps telling Nigerians his mind was not made up on even though he was out on the campaign trail; in Nigeria, campaigns are huge outdoor parties – sort of – that are celebratory, especially in a country where elections are often won without electorates’ say-so. In fact, he was forced to cancel another rally with the criticisms of opposition and NGOs, etcetera.

      I do not believe we had done enough as a country before requesting help; – rather, the Nigerian government and its security apparatus more than dropped the ball on the Boko Haram issue before government decided to go cap in hand – as usual – to request help in rescuing the girls. Imagine the hurried government statement that a hundred girls were stolen and only eight had not been rescued. Imagine the fact that security agencies were passing the buck on who gave the press statement when it was discovered that Nigerian government fed her people – and the world – TWO BIG LIES: there were almost 300 girls stolen in a school AND none was rescued by government! Imagine, imagine, imagine …

      Nigerians’ collective face was being rubbed in shame – again – because of the ineptitude of those at the top.

      Long ago, I suggested that President E.G. Jonathan – ditto his Economy Czarina, Dr. Iweala who keeps telling the world she’s not “running with the hare and [while] hunting with the hounds – should resign. When is too much enough?

      It is the same on economic issue: we rake in scads of money from petroleum but take grants of less than a million dollars; loan amounts that are less than what top civil servants steal in a single day and yet we have a so-called Economy Director who did not find it shameful to revert to the Nigerian mode: we are not the only corrupt country in the world. Nigeria is so shameless that a supposed lawmaker would call on Kuwait in the law-making hall to help us with housing needs because we are a big country with a huge population while Kuwait is a small country that has money. (Check out KUWAIT, GBA WA, O! — https://emotanafricana.com/2013/01/03/kuwait-gba-wa-o-you-are-small-dont-have-housing-problem-we-are-a-large-country-with-a-huge-population-nigerian-senator-begs-kuwait-tola-adenle/) What have we done with our own money except keep “lawmakers”, politicians, top civil servants and a few others in sheer lives of luxury?

      Why did the government not send military personnel for training in the United States a long time ago because the terrorists have been at it for quite a while?
      A country that easily turns to another to solve a security matter like Boko Haram without having done much on its own is not worth to be a country.

      Thanks,TOLA.

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