] Olaoye] Wole Time to roast the vul­ture

Daily Trust - - VIEWS -

The vul­ture is the ul­ti­mate cheat. It feeds on ev­ery­thing but noth­ing and no­body feeds on it. Pa­tiently it stalks the weary so­journer in the desert, wait­ing for that mo­ment when the body can no longer hold the spirit pris­oner - and then it cir­cles round in a dance of death which at­tracts its kin be­fore swoop­ing down de-flesh this lat­est of­fer­ing.

In many ways the ter­ror­ists rav­aging the land are like the vul­ture. They trade in death; they’ll die if they must in the process of de­pop­u­lat­ing a tar­geted area. They kill at will. But the so­ci­ety has not yet reached that stage of de­prav­ity that would make us, the vic­tims, be­have like them. They are as pa­tient as the vul­ture. They lie in wait for their tar­get to soften up in a false sense of se­cu­rity and then det­o­nate their in­stru­ments of death. Our grief is their joy. While we wail in in­con­solable sorrow, they ul­u­late and hi-five.

While the mer­chants of death con­quered ter­ri­tory af­ter ter­ri­tory and even sacked a mil­i­tary bar­rack, we re­sorted to the blame game, play­ing pol­i­tics with hu­man tragedy. While over 200 of our fe­male stu­dents were ab­ducted by these ter­ror dis­pensers we started cir­cu­lat­ing all sorts of con­spir­acy the­o­ries, some in­dict­ing the Jonathan ad­min­is­tra­tion and oth­ers de­mon­is­ing prom­i­nent politi­cians from the north­ern part of the coun­try. So, ter­ror fes­tered while we bick­ered.

I am not one to blame the vic­tim. Ev­ery Nige­rian out­side the tiny ter­ror cau­cus is a vic­tim or a po­ten­tial vic­tim. If your fam­ily hasn’t been hit yet, it is be­cause it is not yet your turn to har­vest man­gled bod­ies as pro­grammed in the cal­en­dar of ter­ror. You may be a Mus­lim or Chris­tian or Hindu or Or­isha wor­ship­per; as long as you don’t sub­scribe to the phi­los­o­phy of hate which pro­pels the killers, you are fair tar­get in their warped world­view.

Mer­ci­fully, we are be­gin­ning to grow up. It has dawned on the po­lit­i­cal elite that they may soon have no coun­try to hag­gle over if the ter­ror­ists have their way. There is now a gen­eral re­al­i­sa­tion that this par­tic­u­lar evil has noth­ing to do with Is­lam. Maybe I’m cir­cu­lat­ing in the wrong cir­cles, but I am yet to meet a sin­gle Mus­lim who be­lieves in the geno­ci­dal world­view of Boko Haram. It is there­fore fit­ting and proper that true Mus­lims have been speak­ing up of re­cent.

More people need to speak up as can­vassed by Lead­er­ship colum­nist Abba Mah­mood: “No amount of money can be spent that would de­stroy the im­age, rep­u­ta­tion, in­tegrity and good name of Is­lam and Mus­lims like what is hap­pen­ing now, which is as­cribed to the Boko Haram in­sur­gency, is do­ing. No pro­pa­ganda could tar­nish the re­li­gion of Is­lam and all its be­liev­ers worse than the ter­ror­ism that is be­ing per­pe­trated in Nigeria, sup­pos­edly in the name of the re­li­gion. We know that this is not Is­lam. We know that only the dis­ci­ples of Lu­cifer can do this… Why are the Is­lamic lead­ers keep­ing quiet and not openly coun­ter­ing this?”

Mah­mood says it is time all hands were on deck. “Those of the in­sur­gents who are Nige­ri­ans ought to be well known to their com­mu­ni­ties. Their fam­ily back­grounds and rel­a­tives must be known to the people of these ar­eas. The tra­di­tional in­sti­tu­tions are so or­gan­ised that there is no way any stranger could come into any of these com­mu­ni­ties with­out be­ing de­tected by the ward, vil­lage or district head. The state and lo­cal gov­ern­ments are also the clos­est to the people. Does it mean all these lead­ers who are clos­est to the people have failed?”

Mah­mood has a soul­mate in Gover­nor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State who re­cently de­clared: “We must protest se­ri­ously against the syco­phants who hide un­der re­li­gion to per­pe­trate evils in our land; it must be done na­tion­wide. We re­ject ev­ery­thing that Boko Haram rep­re­sents. Our re­li­gion re­jects ev­ery­thing these evil char­ac­ters project in the name of Is­lam. We must not be silent, be­cause Boko Haram rep­re­sents evil.”

No­bel Lau­re­ate Wole Soyinka, speak­ing at the book fes­ti­val in Port Har­court, did a me­thod­i­cal dis­qui­si­tion of Boko Haram and global ter­ror. He is stunned that a mil­i­tary in­stal­la­tion could lie pros­trate be­fore the ter­ror ma­chine of Boko Haram.

“An army that re­mains in the bar­racks even when as­sailed by en­emy forces is clearly no army at all, but a sit­ting duck”, he says. “We can­not rec­om­mend that we all sign up and join the uni­formed corps as they make their res­cue sor­ties into caves and swamps in the for­est, not only to de­stroy the en­emy but now, pri­mar­ily, to res­cue our chil­dren who were vi­o­lently ab­ducted from their learn­ing in­sti­tu­tions to be­come – let’s not beat about the bush, let us face the ul­ti­mate hor­ror that con­fronts us, so we know the evil that hangs over us as a people – to be­come sex slaves of any un­washed dog. Those chil­dren will need mas­sive help when­ever they are re­turned to their homes.”

“To re­main in de­nial at this mo­ment is to be­tray our own off­spring and to con­sol­i­date the on­go­ing crimes against our hu­man­ity. There is no al­ter­na­tive: we must take the bat­tle to the en­emy. And this is no idle rhetoric – the bat­tle­field stretches be­yond the phys­i­cal ter­rain. We are en­gaged in the bat­tle for the mind – which is where it all be­gins, and where it will even­tu­ally be con­cluded. ”

The re­cent en­larged Na­tional Se­cu­rity Coun­cil meet­ing is but the be­gin­ning of what should be a new di­rec­tion in the fight against ter­ror in Nigeria. The old ways have failed. Let’s over­haul the se­cu­rity in­fra­struc­ture in the land. There is al­ready a ca­coph­ony of voices of self-styled se­cu­rity ex­perts jab­bing the air­waves Hol­ly­wood­style as if the sub­ject un­der con­sid­er­a­tion is the Su­per Bowl. We should all back the pres­i­dent on this one. Boko Haram is our com­mon en­emy. We can play pol­i­tics later. We can even ditch Jonathan when he pre­sents him­self for re-elec­tion in 2015. But right now, he de­serves all the sup­port we can give him be­cause in this war his fail­ure is our col­lec­tive fail­ure. Next week, I shall be look­ing at how we can over­haul our se­cu­rity ap­pa­ra­tus. Send in your sug­ges­tions if you have any. Get kick­ing; it’s time when to roast the vul­ture.

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