AFTER DEFEATING BOKO HARAM, WHAT NEXT?

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The gallantry and patriotism of the armed forces under the leadership of one of the most gallant infantry Generals to emerge in the history of Nigeria, the terrorists network was decimated, and now they are on their heels.

ABUBAKAR MOHAMMED (MAIDUGURI),DIWA PINDAR( ABUJA)

There is no doubt in the minds of Nigerians, and indeed all the world that the gallant Nigerian armed forces have finally defeated the most vicious and deadly terrorists’ network in the world according to the World Terrorism Index. Boko Haram has been responsible for the death of thousands of innocent civilians and the military; they have ravaged and sacked whole communities; they once defied President Barrack Obama in a video clip; in fact many analysts still believe that the terrorists’ network contributed to the defeat of former President Jonathan Goodluck. But somehow the government of President Buhari has been able to defeat the group.

*As eight children die daily *Health Minister orders emergency team to state

*These are some of the negative impact of the terrorists network.

Secondly, governments at all levels must rise up and identify young entrepreneurs’ in the region. It doesn’t matter if they are not originally from the region. The main criterion is that they must be Nigerians who are residing in the north east region. For example government can identify beneficiaries of the YouWiN (Youth Enterprise with Innovation) project and re-in burse them with funds to revive their businesses so as to employ the jobless people in the region.

While President Buhari and his American counterpart are busy celebrating the victory, and each of them was praising one another, Nigerians know that the main reason why the terrorists’ network was defeated was because a square peg was put inside square hole. This not withstanding the fact the army chief recently said that the Presidential directive given to him to relocate the army’s command center to Maiduguri was responsible for the victory of the armed forces over Boko Haram. First of all the President got it right by employing the right human resource. This is one area where the President has got it right. As far as back as December 2015, President was able to say these words: “But articulated conventional attacks on centers of communication and populations.. they are no longer capable of doing that effectively.So I think technically we have won the war because people are going back into their neighbourhoods. Boko Haram as an organised fighting force, I assure you, that we have dealt with them.”

The same can not be said or written about his economic team.

The gallantry and patriotism of the armed forces under the leadership of one of the most gallant infantry Generals to emerge in the history of Nigeria, the terrorists network was decimated, and now they are on their heels.

And this was recently concurred by the army chief recently in Jos. “You can see that our efforts in the northeast has really paid off, as you can recall the incessant bombing of market places and different places of worships and populated areas has virtually stopped now,” Buratai said during a visit to Plateau state. “The Nigerian army has not only succeeded in rooting them from their camps in the northeast, we have been able to block these criminal elements from crossing down to these areas or building their camp anywhere in Nigeria,” Buratai added. The gallantry and patriotism of the armed forces under the leadership of one of the most gallant infantry Generals to emerge in the history of Nigeria, the terrorists network was decimated, and now they are on their heels.

As far as back as December 2015, President was able to say these words: “But articulated conventional attacks on centers of communication and populations.. they are no longer capable of doing that effectively.So I think technically we have won the war because people are going back into their neighbourhoods. Boko Haram as an organised fighting force, I assure you, that we have dealt with them.”

WHAT IS THE NEXT STEP TO TAKE?

First of all the federal government needs to commit a lot of resources to the north east region through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Victims Support Fund (VSF) and registered community organizations (CBOs) to rehabilitate the people of the region and their livelihoods. At the moment this is not the case. NEMA is underfunded, and the VSF is yet to receive about 50% of the funds pledged to it. Yet we have seen the kind of effort organizations like NEMA and VSF. For example VSF was responsible for the rehabilitation of a whole town in Borno state; they re built all the public buildings in Dikwa town—police stations, local government secretariat, hospitals and schools.

Grow Your Business With Govt Helping Hand

Government need to help people of the region to grow their  business with loans and grants.

Secondly, governments at all levels must rise up and identify young entrepreneurs’ in the region. It doesn’t matter if they are not originally from the region. The main criterion is that they must be Nigerians who are residing in the north east region. For example government can identify beneficiaries of the YouWiN (Youth Enterprise with Innovation) project and re-in burse them with funds to revive their businesses so as to employ the jobless people in the region. The government must give them grants not loans like the one being done by the Bank of Industry.

Another important thing is for the state governments in the region to commit massive funds to the educational sector. The 2016 budgetary allocation for the educational sector in the north east is very poor as none of the state governments was able to allocate even 10% of its budgetary allocation to education. This is despite the fact that the global standard is at least 26% of the total budget. A situation where education is not taken as a priority will give opportunity for the same condition that gave rise to Boko Haram to thrive again.

So many people are of the opinion that if the government really wants to crush Boko Haram once and for all, it must stand up and bring to book all those who have hands inside it. There are prominent people with links to the sect and some of them have been taken to the courts. For example Senator Ali Ndume and some military officers have cases to answer.  The military is handling their own matter in a professional way as all military personnel with hands or links to the terrorists network are being tried but the same cannot be said about non military dimension of the matter. No any single politician has been brought to book. There are elderly people like Lawal Kaita, Asari Dokubo and others who also need to be questioned. There was a time a state governor said that if he opens his mouth to talk about Boko Haram heads will roll, yet no one is investigating him. In addition to this the government must try to dialogue with the members of the sect through a credible means like the United Nations or the Sudanese government.

Senator Ndume emerging from the court

Senator Ndume emerging from the court

Lastly the government must take adequate steps to document how the military under General Buratai was able to defeat Boko Haram. This is important for the future as the case of terrorism will always show its ugly head once in a while. And it is also vital for the government to put in place a structure where the military will not be distracted by negative media whenever a situation like this arises in the future. The smear campaign and blackmail staged against the army chief can be counter productive had it been the President decided to give attention to it.

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