Opinion: After Boko Haram

5 Min Read

No Nigerian should think that the successful defeat of terror group, Boko Haram, will be a one size fits all cure to the many problems with Nigeria. Sure less people will die as a result of the carnage, death and destruction meted out on the people of the North by the violent Islamic sect, but will that be enough? A more accurate question, is how does the death of Boko Haram affect the current market price of Garri?

The answer is it doesn’t, and that in itself is the fundamental problem. The reason terror groups thrive and are able to get able bodied recruits by the hundreds to join their flanks is simple – injustice.

Insofar as there is a wide disparity between the standard of living between the haves and have-nots, insofar as there are grumbling stomachs, collapsing buildings, slums in the midst of suburban wonderlands and grand political larceny in the midst of so much want and despair, there will always be the possibility that a hydra-headed monster can creep up.  Another Boko Haram or even worse is possible after the army tackles this present Boko Haram nightmare. The why is simple. Societies, like the mad scientist always create their own Frankensteins, wittingly or unwittingly and Nigeria falls into the latter category.

If people call President Jonathan clueless, then how clueless are we all as a nation.

Amazingly the disconnect between the rich and poor is as wide as the gap between the average age of Nigeria’s political leaders (70) and the age of the general population (17). Sadly despite the age of our leaders, the capacity for wisdom is fleeting. Only recently, the Chairman of Akwa Ibom’s Udim Local Government Mr. Nse Ntuen was caught smuggling $82,000 into the United States.


$82,000 can do a lot in a local government in Nigeria, it can provide pipe borne water, solar energy, and at least three libraries, maybe a maternity center. Yet the money was on its way to be looted and has been seized by the American government.

Our leaders are an ever present Boko Haram, always with us. Looting the resources that could provide Nigerians with better lives, depriving us, yes even depriving some unto death. The balance will not forever be in their favour and as Nigerians mature and come of age, there will be several revolutions. Some will be radical, some will be violent, some will be intellectual but the violent ones will get the most attention as always and society will always be scarred for it.

One doesn’t need to get overtly excited because a terrorist kingpin was killed, because our problems run deeper than whether he dies or lives. The news you can use will begin to come in Nigeria when we hear that our people are getting educated, receiving healthcare or witnessing increases in life expectancy. When child traders are not on the road hawking #100 groundnut but are in school, when child brides are not impregnated at age 13. When our streets are lit, roads are fixed and accidents decline. When there is an increase in standard of living not just for the Petroleum minister and her jet setting family but for thousands, no millions of Nigerians.

Shekau’s death will not bring about a change in the endless demanding of bribes  by Police officers on our streets, let us seek real change and not cosmetic. Let our leaders change their ways and bring about development instead of reckless looting and shameless politicking. Let there be real change in Nigeria.

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