Communiqué from the proceedings of the 4th ENDS.ng Consultative Assembly; held via global media conference on the 10th of May, 2014. Re: Chibok Abduction, The Best Approach on National Security, and Risk Management of Provocative Tensions in Light of Suspicion, Failure and Conspiracies.
There are countless conspiracies being disseminated about the causes, failures and implications of the current state of the nation and the management of Boko Haram terror. Increasingly, the following and more questions and accusations are floating across various media platforms: Were the girls really abducted? Is this, or rather, this is US’ ultimate technique to invade Nigeria; this is CAN (Christian Association of Nigeria); this is Jonathan; this is Jonathan, CAN, CIA and the man; and numerous other conspiracies.
In lieu of the above, we release the following statements, which we believe are in the best interest of the Nigerian citizenry and foreign partners:
1. Who is Shekau: Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau is a mythical figure, empowered and held in existence by the news media. According to military spokesperson, Maj. General Chris Olukolade, as contained in a press statement on Saturday, “’Shekau’ is a title and not an individual.” [DHQ claims Abubakar Shekau is not Boko Haram leader’s real name; DailyPost.ng; 10th May, 2014] “Talking about the personality that has been presenting himself as head of that group, besides knowing the fact that the term Shekau is more of a title than a name, there are many issues around it that makes it still fake. I don’t want to get into the details of that.” – Olukolade.
This statement comes after the United States Special Forces team arrived in Abuja to assist Nigerian security services in rescuing the 234 Chibok abducted girls.
Local and international media have curiously released several different versions of Abubakar Shekau without appropriate disclaimers. This media slackness has helped promote Boko Haram’s narcissistic goals. “Shekau” variations include a muscular version, a “Shekau” with a broken nose of average build, and a particularly lanky Shekau. Others include electronic versions of “Shekau” with abnormal movements and improperly positioned appendages. A top US think-tank, the CFR (Council of Foreign Relations) has acknowledged the various impersonations/person-variations of Shekau as promoted by the media. “On 20 August 2013, NOS (Dutch Broadcasting Foundation) announced that Shekau had died recently. Allegedly, Shekau was wounded a few weeks earlier and transported to Cameroon, where he died.” [Wikipedia archives of March 24th, 2014; Pre abduction—this was revised after the abduction crises with a new global objective].
The conduct of local and international media as such promotes Boko Haram’s desires to instill endearing fear in Nigerians and immortality in their leadership profile. Nigeria’s military confirmed the mortal wounding of a version of Shekau in August of 2013. This was verified by Dutch media as referenced above. With media’s unchecked promotion of all Shekau messages, “Shekau” remains immortal and immutably powerful. The effect of the release of the terror leaders press releases is tantamount to media terrorism and does not help in abating Boko Haram terror, which has strategic aims to instill fear and surrender via these well scripted messages of “scary” heroin intoxicated (as recognized from body itch behaviors)“Shekaus’.”
According to Raphael F. Perl, Specialist in International Affairs, Foreign Affairs and National Defense Division, Congressional Research Service [Terrorism, The Media, And The Government: Perspectives, Trends, And Options For Policymakers]:
“Terrorists need publicity, usually free publicity that a group could normally not afford or buy. Any publicity surrounding a terrorist act alerts the world that a problem exists that cannot be ignored and must be addressed. From a terrorist perspective, an unedited interview with a major figure is a treasured prize. … They seek a favorable understanding of their cause, if not their act. … Legitimacy. Terrorist causes want the press to give legitimacy to what is often portrayed as ideological or personality feuds or divisions between armed groups and political wings.”
Shekau should be considered DEAD and the media if interested in assisting the war on terror should bury this terror title. Global practice on anti-terrorism, details the role of the media in only releasing information in the best interest of the security of the people and abstaining from the promotion of terrorists. Most terror releases need only to be communicated to State security departments.
2. US Interest in Sponsoring and Fostering Terror in Nigeria: There is no credible evidence to this suspicion. The United States would be doing a poor job if Boko Haram was their technique to invade or dismantle Nigeria. Boko Haram is hardly successful at achieving this; what they have most to their credit is the destruction of Nigeria’s northern farmers and farming villages. The United States has professed reluctance to engage against Boko Haram in the best interest of their people. Till date, Boko Haram has not targeted US interests and US will like to keep it this way.
Only seven US Special Force men were sent to Nigeria as a statement of their reserved engagement. Sponsorship of Boko Haram terror can more plausibly be found toward the Middle East and Europe; as well as via the “missing $20-127 billion.” The abduction of French nationals earned Boko Haram terrorism a whopping sum of millions of dollars. This is direct sponsorship sought. Nigerian politicians to the top executive level have been directly implicated in support for Boko Haram terror. The nation’s Vice President, has been clearly implicated. Nigerians must responsibly and effectively address Boko Haram terrorism, its sponsorship and solutions at the local level; this includes from the Presidency, local politicians and individual level.
Of course, the United States has files on Boko Haram terror activities, connections and links. In seeking out the abducted girls, the US did not come to Nigeria to conduct fresh investigations, but came with folders and dossiers with actionable information harvested and available over the years. Nigeria’s failure to secure and utilize information readily available via media interception and aerial surveillance is a result of our failed, hopelessly corrupt administration and not the fault of those able and capable to mine data on their and foreign nations security situations.
The US team has already provided information on the location and movement of the girls. They first notified us that they were located in Sambisa forest, verifying information that ENDS exclusively provided Nigerians on April 25th. More recent reports indicate the US team relaying the translocation of the girls to a forest in Gombe.
3. Were The Girls Truly Abducted: Yes, ENDS has verified via its personal connections with people on the ground in the affected regions, that Nigeria’s girls were actually abducted by the terrorists. We have been in touch with the actual families; this is no “911.” The government of Borno released a detailed Press statement Saturday in which they informed that in keeping with international conventions on the rights of children, they were not at liberty to release the images of our poor girls who we allowed to be abducted by terror, due to our complacency and tolerance of worthless, criminal leadership and community elders. Politicizing and religion-izing this abduction is sheer wickedness. These victims from Chibok Government Girls School, as well as most victims of Boko Haram terror over the four years, cut across religious and geographical boundaries.
4. Root Cause, Support and Sponsorship of Boko Haram II: We the people are the root cause of the unlimited success of Boko Haram terror in Nigeria since the inception of the Goodluck Jonathan administration. By electing this president who was already implicated in militant sponsorship in Bayelsa, we signed off the nation to a future of terror. Our failure to act and our obsession with firing shots at the “opposition,” the “other religion,” the “other ethnic group,” the “other nation,” and any “other” we can find, is to blame for the success of Boko Haram terror. Very few of us have braved the risks and gone ahead to make solid proclamations against the terror group since its onset. Only today do we see prominent leaders issuing strong statements of condemnation and invoking action. We the people have been caught in silent approval of Boko Haram’s carnage because it is/was not prevalent in “our” areas or affecting “our” spheres of life. Today, Boko Haram has been pushed to marginal communities and even the leadership in Borno, possibly of different ethnicity from the areas around Boko Haram’s operational axis, are more complacent.
We have seen northern youth rise up and burn down properties and religious sanctuaries, as puppet warriors when called upon by self imposed northern leaders. We have seen the Ahmed Datti lead Council for Sharia in Nigeria, call for war in regard to beauty pageants, Osama, so-called Sharia banking; but we are yet to see their calls for Jihad against Boko Haram, and we do not require it of his council.
We failed for the many years of Boko Haram carnage, to see clear condemnations fromm the Supreme Council on Islamic Affairs, from the office and organization of the Sultan. But these leaders are not alone in the blame. What have we the people done? Have we since gathered with the same fervor we do when we feel our religion is threatened, to go to Sambisa and exterminate Boko Haram? Have we the people pushed for our right to defend ourselves and gone to protect our people? But we are the first to blame the US, and eager to declare that we know how to fight and are ready to wage battle against other ethnic groups or religions that share and face the same problems of poverty, administrative oppression and insecurity that we all face in the hands of the government and Cabal terrorists and Boko Haram.
The real sponsor of Boko Haram is the image we see in the mirror. Not the US, not CAN, not Jonathan, but our very selves, because if we participated in more than divisive riots, and took a single physical action against first Boko Haram terror then government terror, Nigeria would not be in the shameful state it is today and our girls will not be subjected to Boko Haram rape.
Groups like the Muslims Against Terror, headed by Dr. JP Amadi Jnr., and individuals like Sheikh Gumi, late Sheikh Albani Zaria, Sheikh Jingir, Sheikh Pakistani, and others not mentioned, have been bold enough to risk their lives in spelling out the truth to Boko Haram from the onset. Many have lost their lives in the process, but these are the people with a difference and not partakers in the sponsorship of this monster.
Conclusion: Boko Haram has the ability to engage and defeat Nigeria. They have the vehicles, equipment, morale, skills, finance and media advantage that if they so desired, they could drive right to Nigeria’s capital and overthrow our government.
In a Wikileaks release, during discussions post annihilation of Boko Haram by the Yar’Adua government, it was mentioned that the error Mohammed Yusuf made was accepting a header, “Western Culture is Bad,” “Boko Haram,” as against a more favorable and embraceable caption like, “Crusade against malgovernance.” Had Mohammed Yusuf done so, perhaps today he will be the leader of Nigeria.
We have the errors and drug overdose derived blunders of Boko Haram, to thank for the present limitation of the crises, not our actions/inactions or the helplessness and treachery of our government and State security services.
Comment: As a final personal rendition, I must say that Nigerians should be thankful that a person like me (Dr. Peregrino Brimah) has no political intentions. If a man like me was ever governor or President of Nigeria, I would for the first two weeks in office, command every single Nigerian who has done nothing other than participate in the dissemination of rumors, or the participation in or incitement of divisive and ethnic riots and strife, and not actively fought the government or civilian terrorists, to two weeks of kneeling down with hands up on the road side.
Involvement of ENDS
ENDS has been publicly involved in the war against terrorism since March 18th, 2013. The organization has provided Civilian-JTF and communities of Borno, several tools to assist in the war against Boko Haram. Recently as featured on Borno State Television and NTA in April of 2014, ENDS donated Taser torch-lights, pepper spray and walkie-talkie’s, procured since mid 2013, to the Civilian-JTF to assist in their frontline engagements. In May 2014, ENDS commenced the delivery of Bullhorn alarms for affected communities to alert their people of impending Boko Haram attacks.
ENDS has also provided handheld alarms and other confidential non-lethal anti-terror modern equipment to the Civilian line of defense. ENDS solicits the right of civilians to defend themselves and is encouraging a thousands of members, civilian armed force that will combat and eliminate Boko Haram this year. ENDS is also strongly pushing for global resolutions and sanctions against the leadership of Nigeria and their private partners who are implicated in the nation’s state of insecurity and sponsorship of Boko Haram terror. ENDS also solicits regional responsibility and determination as a way forward in Nigeria.