Islamic terror group hires assassins to make June ‘bloodiest month yet’
This could be the “bloodiest month yet” for Christians – if one Islamic terror group has its way.
Nigerian Islamic terror group Boko Haram said it is commissioning 300 suicide bombers to spur a Christian bloodbath.
The group made a statement to online news agency Sahara Reporters that it also plans to get revenge for security forces killing Boko Haram guerillas.
This month, Boko Haram and allied criminals, masquerading as religious anarchists, have gone out of sync. In a seeming climax to what could well be dubbed Sunday-Sunday bombing of helpless Christians in churches all over the North, Sunday June 17 was especially bloody.
In coordinated attacks by suicide bombers on three churches: ECWA Church, Wusasa, Christ the King Catholic (CKC) Church, on Yoruba Road, Sabon-Gari (both in Zaria), and Shallom Church of God, in the Trikania neighbourhood of Kaduna, these terrorists, posing as religious faithful, wreaked a gory and fatal harvest. The initial tally showed 16 dead and scores of others injured. Shortly after, the casualty figure had jumped to 52 dead, and still counting, and still scores and scores wounded; some of them critically, if not fatally. That prompted the Kaduna State Government to impose a 24-hour curfew to stem the carnage.
The Kaduna mayhem birthed a sinister child: retaliatory attacks along religious lines. Exasperated by lack of state protection, as clearly evidenced by the weekly and provocative bombing of worshipping Christians, suspected “Christian youth” went on reprisal attacks, killing and maiming any suspected Muslim at sight, thus consigning more innocent souls, but now on the Muslim divide, to early grave or to needless bodily harm. Two days later, it was the turn of suspected “Muslim youths” to go on their own murderous retaliation, against suspected Christians. That led to the re-imposition of a 24-hour curfew, which had remained until the time this editorial was written, thereby completely paralysing social, economic and community activities.
Outside Kaduna State, on Monday night, guns were reported booming in Damaturu, capital of Yobe State. The battleground was Sabon Pegi area, near Governor Ibrahim Gaidam’s official residence. The “combatants” were the Joint Military Task Force and suspected armed anarchists, making the mass of the citizens to dive for cover. In November 2011, this same Damaturu was the scene of mass slaughter: 70 killed and no less than 100 injured by suspected Boko Haram attackers. In May, Potiskum’s cattle market was razed, with 50 people dead, and almost the whole cattle stock razed. In the North, chronic insecurity has become the norm; and peace and security have become abnormal!
Even then, the anarchists are not done. Boko Haram is flexing fresh muscles. It has threatened to make June 2012 the bloodiest month ever in its unholy jihad of killing innocent and defenceless citizens. As a satanic climax, it would carry out “focused” and “coordinated “attacks on churches in Southern Kaduna and Plateau State (to avenge Muslim victims of reprisal attacks in Kaduna and Zaria, as well as in the war of attrition on the Plateau), aside from a massive attack on Abuja, the federal capital territory, to sign off a bloody month. Boko Haram’s clear boast: no power in the Nigerian state could touch it!
That is dreary. But it is doubtful if it is far from the truth, given the ease, the regularity and the cockiness of those attacks, while the Federal Government seems helplessly out of its wits. The situation is grave: the government is clueless, the citizens petrified and the security forces appear punch-drunk, to borrow that boxing phrase. Right here, it is a classic neo-Hobbesian state, where life is nasty, brutish and short!
What might be the reason for this security paralysis? Might Boko Haram be so formidable that even the Nigerian state, with its full security apparatus, trembles before it? That is hardly credible. Or is it a question of security giving way to conspiracy, meaning a segment of the security forces has been compromised, along ethnic and religious lines? These are scary postulations, but not absolutely without merit. How else, for instance, would security operatives pull out of the vicinity of the Zaria blasts, only for suicide bombers to hit a few hours after? Then, of course, there is the Goodluck Jonathan claim that his presidency had been permeated by Boko Haram sympathisers, if not outright elements.
This crisis started with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential nomination processes of 2011. President Jonathan won the war of the nomination and later the presidential election itself. But it is clear he is finding it very difficult to win the peace of his presidency, for many aggrieved forces appear aligned against him. Unfortunately for our country, crucial stakeholders, during the presidential zoning debate, either launched into outright emotiveness along regional and ethnic lines or indulged in crass legalism, in an outright political crisis, in which a section of the North felt– and not without merit – brazenly cheated. No one has been pinned down to be behind the sophisticated bomb attacks, which sheer logistics and precision appears beyond the ken of Boko Haram, given its hitherto humble circumstances. But it would appear there is a high-powered conspiracy of the aggrieved to deal with the Jonathan presidency – and, if it would take that, bring down the country with it. That is the dangerous pass we are all perched now.
Neither side of the dispute has shown wisdom. A subsiding bombing attack appeared re-energised by the unwise debate of Jonathan’s eligibility for the 2015 election. Edwin Kiagbodo-Clark, Jonathan’s political godfather, weighed in with his voice: Jonathan would run in 2015 and win strictly on performance. In Nigeria’s realpolitik-speak, that could mean the president would win, willy-nilly! That seemed to have sent the administration’s traducers into frenzy; and shortly after, came the resumed bombings. That debate was unnecessary and unwise. But so was the Jonathan presidential ascendancy debate, ironically kicked off by this same Chief Clark.
But those who would unhorse Jonathan too have been equally unwise. Boko Haram fanatics romanticise condemnable mass murder – in the eyes of God and in the eyes of man – as self-declared “jihad.” That is balderdash. And the aggrieved forces behind them pretend as if the mass destruction of life in the North, and the comprehensive blasting of that region’s economy, serves anyone any good. It is another study in wilful and sterile thinking. The political power scammers were mortally wrong to have thought you could skew anything, so long as you occupied the presidential chambers. The current insurrection has shown the emptiness of such thinking. But those who feel mass destruction and complete rending of the North’s social fabric, and threshing of its link with the rest of the country, only cut their noses to spite their faces. They will live to regret their vacuous thinking.
The whole crisis, as it stands now, is beyond Goodluck Jonathan and his uneasy presidency. It therefore requires a collective response. It hits at the core of a Nigeria which structure is skewed against development and mass prosperity; and whose elite often gang up for injustice, instead of justice. Let us terminate this dysfunctional structure forthwith.
Let the president send a bill to the National Assembly to convoke a Constituent Assembly to re-examine the Nigerian structural and federal question. And let the National Assembly, for once, climb down its high legislative horse, and accept Nigeria needs to radically re-arrange its political infrastructure to survive.
This is an emergency. It may well make the difference between Nigeria surviving or giving way, like the defunct USSR and Yugoslavia.