By Efio-Ita Nyok |2 April 2015 |8:27am
In an interview with CNN's Senior International Correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, monitored in Lagos on 1 April 2015, Nigeria's President-elect, Mohammadu Buhari, made the following phrase in response to dealing with the insurgency in the Northeast of the country:
'And I believe we will effectively deal with them in two months when we get into office'.
By 'them', Buhari was referring to the Boko Haram insurgents whose activities are estimated to have taken the lives of over N20,000 Nigerians.
Another question is what does the President-elect means when he assert that he would effectively deal with the insurgency in two months? Does he mean by this that his administration will defeat the insurgents in two months? This may be the immediate meaning the President-elect intends to send across. And if this is true, I am afraid to say that the president may be wrong. I do not intend to appear cynical or overtly critical of an administration that is tet to be sworn into power. But, it is imperative to begin to address the statements of anticipated public office holders in view of certain realities.
By the insurgents, namely Boko Haram, should we to refer to Abubakar Shekau and his disciples of evil, or refer to the wicked and criminal ideology of carnage to human lives, properties and general destabilisation of the peace which they embody?
If the president-elect refers to the former then he may as well 'effectively deal with them(Boko Haram) in two months…' after assuming office as president especially when his administration enjoys the diplomatic support of her neighbours, to wit, Chad, Niger and Cameroon. But if we refer to the later, namely, what ideology the sect represent then two months into office is far from actualising such a vision.
The lives, properties, and destruction the Boko Haram sect has effected cannot and will never be 'effectively addressed in two months'. No human administration can bring back to live the lives of N20,000 Nigerians taken in a most wicked way! They may repurchase the personal effects already lost to these criminals, and even resettle them, but they cannot reverse the pains, maimings, tears, disappointments, disillusionments, etc that have been forced on recipients of their wickedness.
The quality of our critical infrastructures in the northeast has been totally depleted and profoundly compromised. Our educational, health and security infrastructures, etc are in a sorry state. Are these what Buhari intends to effectively address in two months into office? I doubt and I think you share in my doubt.
The incoming government should not only think of a military solution to the insurgency, they should also consider a political solution. Again, they should not only contemplate a short term solution to the security challenge but they should reflect on a long term solution as well. They should rather think of how best to effectively address the repair of our critical infrastructures.
Two months into office, supposes an intention to address Boko Haram from a purely military perspective. We should swerve from thinking of Boko Haram as being basically comprising Shekau and his army, to perceiving them to mean the indented ideology they embody. The extent to which any administration can frustrate the resurrection of the insurgency in the northeast will suggest how 'effectively' it has been able to 'deal with' them. A military, political, short and long term solution will suffice. 'Two months into office…' may be a miscalculation.
God grant Mr. President wisdom. God bless this Nigeria!