By Efio-Ita Nyok
Information reaching our political desk suggest that part of the brief of the military in their 6 Weeks onslaught against the much-dreaded insurgent sect, Boko Haram, is to capture its leader, Abubakar Shekau, alive.
This order, according to information sources, is informed by the fact that the military had been hitherto cajoled into believing that earlier operations made away with the live of Shekau only for them to discover that they were played upon by the insurgents.
My grouse with this penultimate order is that how certain is it that Nigeria's military will succeed at apprehending Shekau alive? What is the motivation(s) for this recent decision? Is this order honest?
Seeing that for about 6 years the military had failed in dealing successfully with this insurgency in the northeast of the country a despite heavy budget tailored in this direction, what genius will be invoked in accomplishing such feats in 42 days as against 2190 days at least!?
Could it be that President Jonathan intends to cajole the Nigerian electorates into voting him come 28 March by clamping down on the insurgents now? Why not earlier than now? What does the presidency take the citizenry for? A bunch of dullards? And what makes the presidency believe that they can succeed at this ambitious project now? Will Shekau allow himself to be apprehended like an ordinary civilian?
Should the presidency succeed in apprehending Shekau alive, wouldn't it send a negative message to the electorates that the presidency had all it would take to discomfit the insurgents 6 years ago but decided to play with the lives of innocent civilians. Wouldn't that be a plus for the opposition APC?
But come to think of it: the Nigerian military had all it takes to beat Boko Haram blue black. The financial resources where there, at least the budget and supplementary budget demonstrate this. These financial commitments were capable of getting a sophisticated armoury, secure specialised training for personnel, provide for incentives, float propaganda against the insurgents as the Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka suggested last week on the BBC, and the list continues. But there was no political will to prosecute this war for reasons I cannot still figure out.
I know that the presidency and its cohort may have thought in this direction; and they would not want to be seen campaigning indirectly for the All Progressive Congress presidential candidate, Mohammadu Buhari, thereby shooting itself in the foot. It therefore seem to me that the presidency do not really wish to take Shekau alive. At best, they just want to make an impressive account on the insurgents in order to impress the electorate.
In whatever way we look at it, the intention of this 6 Weeks onslaught against the insurgents was not to go serious in the war against the insurgency in the northeast, rather it was an attempt to bully and blackmail INEC into postponing the 14 and 28 February dates of the general elections to allow President Jonathan the ample opportunity to campaign into an advantageous position against Buhari.
The electorate should get wiser and vote a credible candidate come 28 March presidential elections. My words are finished.