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Home Opinion - Blogs - Columnists 20 reasons why Boko Haram crisis may not end soon 20 reasons why Boko Haram crisis may not end soon
Posted about 161 days ago | 4 comments
Boko Haram crisis started like any other protest, but it seems to have come to stay. Why is it difficult for security agencies to crush the sect in few well-coordinated operations? It is not clear, but below are some of the reasons. 1. Extrajudicial killings: This is the primary source of the violence. At least, that is what the sect has continued to harp upon. Its leader, Mohammed Yusuf, was killed while in police custody, and many members of the group have been killed by security personnel in a manner that has kept human rights organisations raising alarm. 2. Access to lethal weapons: The sect seems to have unfettered access to deadly weapons, including bomb-making materials in spite of the closure of Nigeria’s borders and the alertness of security forces. 3. Detention of suspects without trial: This is another argument by Boko Haram. They claim hundreds of their members are detained in various police cells and prisons without trial. There was a speculation that government may have built a special detention camp for arrested members of the sect. Boko Haram has asked for detained members to be set free by government. 4. Poor understanding of the sect by government: Close to three years after it went violent, there is no evidence that security operatives clearly understand the philosophy, the leadership structure and operational schemes of the sect. This is in spite of the fact that many supposedly leaders of the group are in the custody of security agencies. 5. Unguarded utterances by government agents: Top security chiefs in the country have made utterances that experts in the intelligence community have tagged as unguarded. Statements like ‘Boko Haram’s days are numbered’ have angered the group and, in response, Boko Haram has attacked sensitive locations across the country. 6. Lack of commitment to dialogue: Many elements have called for dialogue between government and the sect, but there seems to be no commitment on the part of government and the sect to discuss. For one, the group remains faceless and has continued to make impossible demands, like asking for the North to be ruled by Shariah. 7. Suspected complicity of security agencies: Though this has not been proved, there is the suspicion that some security agents may be associated with the group. President Jonathan once mentioned that Boko Haram had infiltrated his government. 8. Lack of trust for JTF: The group has thrived, mainly because the communities where it operates don’t trust the Joint Task Force enough to give it intelligence information. There are reports that some who gave security agencies information were killed, hence residents are afraid, not only of Boko Haram, but also of giving information to security agents. 9. Poor intelligence: This is associated with No.8. Security agencies don’t seem to have the kind of intelligence needed to tackle the sect, hence it is perceived that Boko Haram is always five steps ahead of security operatives. 10. Rivalry among security agencies: In spite of the concerns raised about this, there is still evidence that security agencies are not coordinated. The SSS, police, NIA, Immigration, may not be collaborating properly. The fact that government disputed a warning by the American intelligence that there was an imminent bomb attack on Abuja showed that the agencies were not working in tandem with the world intelligence community. 11. Support of foreign fundamentalist groups: There is the suspicion that Boko Haram gets support...