Opinion: The Malady Called Boko Haram


Though I have not the dire misfortune of being a Boko Haram fan, I am quite fascinated by their many strange theories and suicidal exploits. And while in movies, especially the several martial art dramas I have often watched, it very unusual for the good guy to die, the Boko boys are, in a real life sense, the amazing die-young heroes of their fellow fanatics. Many have wondered who founded the group, what their values are and why they subscribe to such archaic beliefs about education. But giving interest to these suicidal boys was not a sudden sensation as I had in time past, ventured into some findings on their bizarre speculations. And from what I gathered, a personal conclusion is that the leaders of this sect are merely executing pre-concluded plans towards making President Goodluck Jonathan look weak and incompetent. Well, on that, it’s painful that they seem to be doing well. The other probability is that they seek the forced separation of the predominant tribal entities in Nigeria. In other words, they seek to bring into fulfilment the rumoured United States’ prediction that by the year 2015, Nigeria would have dissolved into smaller national entities.

My curiosity about the Boko Haram theories was first ignited when I serendipitously read their underlying beliefs in a book titled, This god called Allah. In the book, written by G.O. Moshay, it was recorded that there are certain sects within the Islam religion; the Muslims and the Muslim extremists. The Muslims are a peaceful and law-abiding group while the more enthusiastic folks or jihadists are a diehard group. Usually, the Jihadists, also called fanatics by the other muslims, have slightly divergent beliefs about their Islam religion. They believe and clearly declare that there is a reward of treasures and countless chubby virgins waiting for them yonder, in heaven and that to claim these divine bonuses, a muslim must participate in the violent anti-humane war called Holy Jihad. Questions I would rather ask now than later is, “Which deity, having no virgins to himself, promised you virgins after death? And if indeed this assassination master-minder, this god you claim to work for and for whom you slaughter your fellow beings, truly intends to have you worship him forever, how then does he plan to get your attention off your hard-earned rewards and begin this heavenly devotion when you’d probably be busy attending to your imaginary virgins?” Definitely, someone somewhere is fooling a lot of people.

Again, the Boko Haram clique claim they believe that education and civilization are bringing them more evil than good and hence, they both deserve to be eradicated. In their opinion, education creates most of the problems we have today and civilization complicatedly sustains those difficulties. This is a belief I personally accredit to their lack of proper rationale and I briefly explain my reason. Over the past ages, the world has been known to follow a deteriorating fashion. In spite of the several great discoveries and inventions that the precedent centuries and millenniums have unveiled, international conflicts have not ceased, intra-national wars still occur, terrorism has waxed stronger, natural disasters and environmental degradation have increased and the abuse of innovated technologies and theories drastically progress everyday. This is not the fault of education neither is it the mistake of civilization. Instead, it is a function of unequal human thoughts and equivocal perceptions of co-human expressions. While I am not a scientist, I am aware of the axiom that the universe comprises a diversity of things, living and non-living, human (or higher) and lower animals, of the same fundamental composition but having different physical and physiological nature and we do not all have one mind. So, it should not surprise us that things seem to be getting better and worse. But then, it is the basic responsibility of humanity to protect the earth which is our habitat and to mitigate the re-current problems. And that explains the existence of bodies such as the G8 summit, the United Nations, the Commonwealth Community, the European Union, the African Union, etc. Let me remind us that the aforementioned are not groups of playful countries sending celebrity representatives to form round-table committees who appear in international snapshots and that, as opposed to what the Boko Haram chiefs and cheerleaders may have forgotten, these bodies do not consist of jobless experts drinking teas to ideas on how comical researches will be sponsored or how civilization can worsen global conditions. But indeed, they are establishments whose prime objectives border around the betterment of our planet, countries and economies.

So, it will remain indecorum, as has already been, for some anonymous notoriety-seeking literates to wake up, brainwash their thoughtless kinsmen with anti-humanistic dogma and start declaring holy wars from the cement-made buildings the same civilization they reject afforded them. It would be inhumane for them to, out of what seems like arrant insanity, seek the death of people whom you have not, cannot and will probably never be able to create simply because they hold divergent beliefs. It would also be ridiculous of their followers to not know that certain amongst their leaders consume civilization-produced paracetamol when they have headache or purchase education-and-research-afforded quinines when they become feverish with malaria. If a leader tells you, “Look, I will pay your family millions of Naira if you would go and die a holy death in pursuit of many virgins and greater treasures and blow up those infidels over there.” Why not ask him his own reasons for not being worthy of such supposedly wonderful rewards? Should he not also be qualified to explode with some bombs for the said treasures and unseen impatient virgins? Yet, the blunt truth is, there are no virgins anywhere yonder! If there were any, sex maniacs would have stopped patronising brothels and simply started committing suicide. Again, if there are supposed to be any, would they not be full of physical deformities and quite sexually distasteful since you are already blowing them away? The Boko boys, who unfortunately, are my fellow Nigerians should learn to think twice.

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