Saturday, November 3, 2012


The Boko Haram crisis started on the heels of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential nomination processes of 2011. The wanton wastage of lives and property is strictly a political retaliation against the candidacy and eventual election of Goodluck Jonathan. The president confirmed this himself by saying that the Boko Haram has members in the present political ruling class including his cabinet. Recent revelations have indicted some of them but they are still free, with no meaningful investigation or prosecution. It appears that there is a high-powered conspiracy of the politically aggrieved to deal with the Jonathan presidency. It is rather unfortunate that the leadership of this same PDP have not engaged themselves on the fundamental issues troubling the party internally.
When the president came up with the idea of the single-term tenure, it was the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) that opposed it vehemently. The Northern leaders who felt cheated by the election of President Jonathan in 2011 would have supported the single-term tenure if it has scaled through the National Assembly. Attacks are launched whenever there is any comment or debate that puts Jonathan forward as the best candidate for the 2015 presidential election. Attacks are however suspended whenever there is an anti-Jonathan campaign at any level e.g. the Fuel Subsidy Removal Protest at the Freedom Park in Lagos.
The Boko Haram leadership has defended the sect as “fighting for God”. But this is far-fetched, knowing fully well the genesis of the crisis – the election of President Goodluck Jonathan. Members of the sect pretend as if the mass destruction of life in the North, and the comprehensive economic wreckage serves anyone any good. The ruling class thought that the presidency can put an end to insurrection in any region of the country.
There were once the militants in the Niger-Delta creeks that fought vehemently against perceived marginalization of its people leading to wanton wastage of lives and properties. The Igbos are still aggrieved that they have not had a democratically elected president in the presidential villa since Independence over 50 years ago. It has been said over and over again that no region has the monopoly of violence. Those who think destroying the once peaceful and serene environments in most parts of the North would meet their agitation should have a rethink.
The whole crisis as it stands now is beyond Goodluck Jonathan, and his presidency as of today. It requires all Nigerians’ attention and collective response. The ruling class should not play to the gallery when it comes to the issue of security. It is when we have internal security that we can boast of political stability and economic growth and development. The convocation of a National Conference is long overdue. Many issues still trail the political injustices across the length and breadth of Nigeria. The National assembly should, for once, climb down its high legislative horse, and accept that Nigeria needs to realign its political infrastructure to survive.
There cannot be a State of Emergency when there is an avenue that accommodates every citizen irrespective of their political inclination to sit at a roundtable. The best time to call for a National Conference is now.