Fire On The Mountain: The emergence of new insurgency in Nigeria, by Musa Gambo


It appears we Nigerians have shot memory lane and poor assimilation to learn from the past and mistakes of other people.

The people of southeastern Nigeria will be counting the consequences of their indecision for years to come if they fail to act accordingly to the rapid terrorism that is gradually becoming out of hands in their region.

It’s necessary to point them within the country to a typical example that can come out of the current development in the axis, the strafe of the crises is directly taking the colouration and characters of the beginning of Boko Haram insurgency.

I remember 10 years ago, it started with targeting security personnel and burning police stations while the communities fold their arms and watch without any attempt to salvage the situation, to some extent many have either directly or indirectly supported their cause.

No one thought the monster will grow this big and consume everybody, it’s in the nature of the masses to support almost anyone fighting the system, feeling he is doing it for them, but the reality of the northeast and elsewhere have proved this assumption to be wrong.

People’s mindsets have been arrested in a way that all they can see and hear is bigotry and other irrelevant affiliations above national interest.

It guaranteed beyond words of mouth that, should the hands of time be turned in a mysterious way for people to choose again in the northeast with regards to this crises, they would have acted differently to save many lives, their economy and above all, they can do and give anything to retain the then peace.

The uprising is currently in a stage where the populace maybe feels not affected in any way but the truth is, insurgency actually makes its existential place a battleground, we must remember that the northeast has never been itself since the inception of this crisis, the insurgency created a dangerous picture where both the enemy and friends in the community look the same and many young people have innocently lost there lives for that reason in the initial stages of the crisis.

Over the past one month, many security personnel have been mercilessly killed, police stations have been burned down and many destructions within the southeast.

If this reached up to the headed destination of an all-out insurgency, it will render the entire region a battleground between government and the terrorist just like the northeast and of course, collateral damages are inevitable and can not be ruled out and the economy of the region will suffer beyond expectations, the devastation of the war will majorly affect the people in the community more than the fighters as we have seen in the northeast.

The motives behind the wars might be different, but one does not need rocket science to know that the results will be very much the same.

We must remember that by making enemies out of our security forces, we have chosen to be friends with criminals and of course, everything has its own price, sooner or later the community will have to pay for choosing the wrong side.

In his declaration, Asari Dokubo said the government will buy guns but they will have no one to kill, and that the succession will be bloodless, however, that is clearly a phantom as we have seen their actions are going contrary to his words.

Since when did breaking criminals from custody become a bloodless approach?

When did targeting security formations and burning police stations with over 30 cars in Owerri become a peaceful approach?

Do not be deceived that breaking apart will solve our problem in this country, this is pure confusion in comparison with the realities of the day, after all, the same elites that are here in Nigeria are the ones who would form the basis of whatever country people call themselves, Nigeria is not the problem as a country, the problem is the people and their mindsets.

If by any chance people think breaking out means living in safe heaven,  what about south Sudan?

the non-predation is not visible at the moment in the region but it will definitely find its way through the succession.

For those thinking that speaking the same language and practising the same religion is the basis for a dream country let’s take Somalia as a classical example, they speak the same Arabic language and practice the same religion but they are still one of the most unstable countries in the world.

It’s an imaginative failure that many think multilingual and religions are the foundations of our problems in the country, Switzerland for example has more religions than Nigeria and have many tribes among its people but that has not stopped it from becoming one of the most advanced countries in the world.

It’s a crystal delusion that inequality can be addressed by simple unity of religion and tribe, there will always be a calamity of the power struggle which will be fought with the predation inevitable emergence.

As for the way forward, the community and indeed leaders must publicly denounce this terrorism and disassociate itself from this rampant madness, as silence in this kind of violence saturated temperature only speaks of tactical and systematic approval.

And it’s obvious that a united Nigeria is more friendly and economically valuable to Igbo than all other tribes, there is basically no single state or local government that one can’t find an Igbo man in Nigeria,  with a divided country that is no longer possible.

The truth is, the masses are asking the wrong questions, they should be asking for transparency and judicious utilisation of their resource not even the prominent agitation for budgetary percentage increase,  what have the previous allocations been used for?

There are many states in the north that are doing far better with their little resources which many states of the eastern parts receive double of but still owe salaries of workers.

The government must be proactive and deal with these crises before it escalates, Nigeria already had pressing security issues ranging from the herdsmen undermining the fragile trust between northerners and westerners, through rampage killings that are gradually taking regional profile thereby endangering the unity of Nigeria; and the bandit who has gained strength to overpower security checkpoints in the northwest, in addition to Boko Haram with their recent long-range weapon attacks on Maiduguri and fighter jets shooting propaganda video, technically, any addition will only submerge us to a further state of chaos in an unexpected acceleration.

Before people choose sides to support this dilemma, they must remember that the battleground is always bloody and it doesn’t segregate as to whose blood is absorbed.

We have seen it here and we can speak from bitter and long experience of more than 10 years and we are attesting that it is not a good destination, reconstruction alone will take decades in addition to permanent traumatic induction and thousands of orphans, therefore, whoever chooses to eat with the devil must have a long spoon, the community must come together and fight this disaster side by side with the government to arrest the situation while there is still time.

Musa Gambo is a Junior Chamber International (JCI) Ambassador in Maiduguri, Nigeria and can be reached on Twitter: @musagambo143.


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