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Smoking Out a Boko Haram Closet Supporter By Rev. Olufemi Oluniyi

boko-haram-charlie-hebdo-artist-carlso-latuffBoko Haram, the terrorist Islamic organisation crashed into the Nigerian national stage with fury (2002), fire (2007) and firestorm (2009). The word Boko, a Hausa adulteration of the English word “book,” and haram, the Hausa word for forbidden, together mean aversion to Western education. Initially the organisation was reportedly an apprentice of Al Qaeda and the Taliban in its formative stages; however, its allegiance is reported to have shifted to the Islamic Group (ISIS/ISIL) in more recent times. Whether within the orbit of Al Qaeda or the Islamic Group, the destruction of lives and property in these years in Nigeria is unrelenting and inestimable.

Through it all, I have maintained an implicit faith in an axiom: it is not possible for Boko Haram to sustain its carnage with its kind of weapons and logistics without the firm but implicit support of co-religionists in very high places in the northern parts of Nigeria. Well, it was an unproven theory. This week however, developments in the presidency seem to confer credence to the axiom when the President Buhari ordered the arrest of the former National Security Adviser under President Goodluck Jonathan. As it will be recalled, the latter lost the presidential election in April 2015 largely due to his widespread failure to defeat Boko Haram which was and still rampaging the northern part of the country. Unknown to most Nigerians and indeed the global human family, the man who was charged with ensuring that Boko Haram is defeated is the same guy – National Security Advise – who was allegedly fuelling their staying power by diverting funds meant for counter-Boko Haram activities to pro-Boko Haram sources.

As part of his strategy to fight corruption, President Buhari inaugurated a committee on 31 August 2015 to unearthed several illicit and fraudulent financial transactions in the immediate past. Although the committee is yet to complete its work, nevertheless, it had unearthed sufficient information to kick start what Nigerians have been yearning for – change – which up till this week has been an electioneering slogan only. Below are some of the committee’s functional findings:

Who is Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) who is at the centre of the on-going investigation which is most likely to reach the courts? He is the eldest son of a Sultan of Sokoto who was deposed by General Sani Abacha, 1996, for corruption-related charges, in the last lap of the military era.

There is euphoria on Nigeria streets this week but if you ask me, I will tell you that my euphoria is half filled or half empty until the matter can safely land in court and the legal process allowed to run its course because this is not the first time promising scenarios have been aborted on the way to the court, showing that justice remain a captive in Nigeria as far as the poor, who are worst hit by corruption induced poverty, are concerned. This writer will follow this story for Transcend.


Rev. Olufemi Oluniyi, Ph.D., Executive Director, Centre for Values and Social Change, Lagos, Nigeria.

This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 23 November 2015

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