Sunday, January 08, 2012

The Depredations of Boko Haram

This BBC report discusses the ongoing campaign against Nigerian infidels by the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram. It mentions that Christians in Nigeria have decided to defend themselves, but does not give an account of any such acts of self-defense. For those interested, an article about the Christian response is included among those below the video.

Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for uploading this clip:

Here’s an article on the same topic from the BBC:

Nigeria Christians Hit by Fresh Islamist Attacks

Nigeria has been hit by a fresh wave of violence apparently targeting the country’s Christian communities.

At least 17 people were killed in Mubi in Adamawa state as gunmen opened fire in a town hall where members of the Christian Igbo group were meeting. There were also reports of a deadly attack in Adamawa’s capital, Yola. The Islamist Boko Haram group said it had carried out the attack in Mubi and another in Gombe on Thursday night in which at least six people died. The group has staged numerous attacks in northern and central areas in recent months - on Christmas Day it attacked a church near the capital, Abuja, killing dozens of people. One Boko Haram faction has warned all southerners - who are mostly Christian and animist - to leave the mainly Muslim north of Nigeria. Adamawa state borders Borno state, where Boko Haram emerged. Last week President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in Yobe and Borno states, as well as Plateau state in central Nigeria and Niger state in the west, following a surge in ethnic and sectarian violence.

But the pace of attacks has increased and he must now consider whether to extend the state of emergency into other states and beef up the military presence in the north in response, says the BBC’s Mark Lobel in Lagos.

Meanwhile, the government is also facing the bleak prospect of a general strike in two days’ time amid popular fury over its removal of a fuel subsidy which has seen fuel prices double for ordinary Nigerians. Residents told the BBC that those killed in Mubi belonged to the Igbo community from the south of the country. They had been meeting to organise how to transport the body of an Igbo man who was shot dead by gunmen on motorbikes on Thursday evening. “It was while they were holding the meeting that gunmen came and opened fire on them,” a resident said. Witnesses said gunmen burst into the hall and shouted “God is great” as they opened fire. Members of the Igbo community in northern Nigeria often own shops and businesses, but the BBC’s Abdullahi Tasiu in Yola says many Igbo traders in Mubi town are reported to have closed their shops and be planning to flee the area.

Later, a man claiming to be a spokesman for Boko Haram told local media the group had carried out both the Mubi and Gombe attacks. “We are extending our frontiers to other places to show that the declaration of a state of emergency by the Nigerian government will not deter us. We can really go to wherever we want to go,” said Abul Qaqa. He said the attacks were “part of our response to the ultimatum we gave to southerners to leave the north” and called on the government to release all Boko Haram prisoners. Later on Friday, there were reports that eight people had been killed in another attack on a church in Yola. “Some gunmen went into the church and opened fire on worshippers killing some people and wounding several others,” a local journalist told the AFP news agency. A source at the local hospital told AFP that between eight and 10 bodies had been taken there.

Police have also been engaged in a gun battle with suspected members of Boko Haram in another north-eastern city, Potiskum, in Yobe state. “Gunmen who are, from all indications, members of Boko Haram came in large numbers and have encircled police headquarters. They chanted ‘Allahu Akbar’ [God is Great] and fired indiscriminately,” a resident told AFP.

Boko Haram, whose name means ‘Western education is forbidden’, is fighting to overthrow the government and create an Islamic state. More than 500 people have been killed by the group over the past year. On Christmas Day, it carried out a string of church bombings which killed 37 people at one church outside the capital, Abuja, alone. President Jonathan, who is a Christian, has vowed to crack down on the group but Christian groups have accused him of not doing enough to protect them.

A report on residents who have fled their homes in northern Nigeria after the Boko Haram attacks:

Residents Flee Homes After Boko Haram Attack in Yobe

KANO — (AFP) — Hundreds of residents fled their homes Saturday in a town in northeastern Nigeria in the wake of all-night gun battles between Islamists and security forces, police and residents said. Police have not yet determined the death toll from the violence in Potiskum, they said. “Our men engaged Boko Haram gunmen in shootouts for most of the night which led to some deaths and injuries,” Yobe state police commissioner Lawan Tanko told AFP. “It is too early to give figures because we are still investigating the incident and taking stock of the situation,” Tanko said. Dozens of armed Islamists stormed Potiskum on Friday and launched gun and bomb attacks on the police headquarters. The scale of damage was not immediately clear as soldiers cordoned off the area. The attackers fired shots and threw a bomb into a nearby police barracks but no one was hurt, said residents in the barracks.

Two banks in the town were also robbed and burnt by the Islamists, residents said. Residents of neighbourhoods around the police headquarters have vacated their homes in fear of military raids in the area in the aftermath of the attack, residents said.

The town is part of regions placed under emergency rule by President Goodluck Jonathan a week ago. Those who fled their homes moved in with relatives and friends in areas unaffected by the attacks, residents said. “Virtually all the residents of the Dogo Tebo and Dogo Nini areas have fled their homes for fear of attack by soldiers who came to the town this morning from Damaturu,” said Idris Bakanike, a resident of the Dogo Tebo area overlooking the police headquarters. Dozens of soldiers were deployed on Saturday and took up positions around the police headquarters, firing sporadic shots in the area. “We are afraid the soldiers will raid and burn our homes like they do in Maiduguri each time Boko Haram attack,” Amiru Umar, a resident of Dogo Nini said. Soldiers in the northeastern city of Maiduguri have been accused of burning homes and shooting residents after attacks by the Islamists, accusing residents of complicity with them.

A report on the Christian reprisals:
Over 50 Injured as Angry Youths Attack Muslims in Sapele

SAPELE — ENRAGED youths, numbering over 2,000, armed with battleaxes, cutlasses and other dangerous weapons went on rampage, Friday, sacking and inflicting injuries on over 50 Muslims at the Hausa quarters, Sapele in Sapele Local Government Area of Delta State. A northern security guard was shot dead in a separate incident by a gang of armed robbers that attacked a school in Sapele on Thursday. Vanguard gathered that the youths were incensed by the uninhibited attacks on churches and killing of Christians in the northern part of the country by the Islamic Boko Haram sect. Two of the persons suspected to have carried out the onslaught were, however, arrested by the police in Sapele. There was pandemonium following the attack on Muslims, who were ordered to vacate the town in their own interest since Boko Haram members had also issued ultimatum to Christians to leave the north. Secretary of a Muslim Media group in Sapele, Sadiq Oniyesaneyene Musa who spoke to Vanguard on the attacks by Sapele youths said, “We are disturbed by this attack on Muslims in Sapele and the order that all Muslims in Sapele should return to the north. I am a Muslim and an Itsekiri from Delta state, where do they want me to go to, this is my homeland”. Musa said the youths besieged Muslims in the town very close to the mosque that was bombed, last year, and injured a lot of faithful. “We called the director of the State Security Service, SSS, Asaba and the Area Commander and they responded. The Joint Task Force, JTF, on the Niger-Delta also deployed soldiers to take care of the situation”, he said.

Finally, an analysis of the political context concerning Boko Haram:

Boko Haram: Sharia or Militant Wing of Northern Politicians?

IT is a very instructive observation by some concerned Nigerians that, when the Northern Political Leaders Forum (NPLF) failed to force its way politically within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Ciroma branch of the proverbial “Kaduna mafia” was unable to gain the type of foothold it had within the NPN after its struggle with Shehu Shagari in 1979, in 2011, all hell was let loose. When efforts by a few ‘born to rule” individuals, to warehouse the office of the president failed, anarchy in the guise of Boko Haram became the next choice. The operational tactics of Boko Haram (western education is sin), a supposed religious sect with curious objectives changed and has since become a tool to return presidency immediately to a few who claim that holding on to political power in Nigeria is their god given right.

As an elder politician, a former Central Bank governor and a major stakeholder in the politics of the North East, is it not a matter of great quandary that, while the North East burned and the instigators of the bloodletting in the region extended their bloody hands to the federal capital, the news media, is voluminously silent on a single comment from Ciroma and his NPLF associates. Comments of agreement or disagreement, no matter how distasteful or insipid from the man who presided over the coffers of Nigeria over a lengthy period of time is worthy listening to? As a major player in the politics of Nigeria, he came third in the NPN contest for the presidency in 1978/79 behind Shehu Shagari and Maitama Sule. Despite his sponsorship by the astute administrator Hamza Rafindadi Zayyad, Ciroma knows what is at stake regarding the wielding of political power in Nigeria.

He was in good company when he co-opted Ibrahim Babangida, Aliyu Mohammed Gusau and Abubakar Atiku, all prominent men who have presided over the appropriation of the Nigerian fiscus over a lengthy period of time to claim the Nigerian presidency as a northern heritage, with the north defined along their very narrow perception; a northern Nigeria where northern minorities particularly the people of the middle-belt or north central are second class citizens. Hence, knowing what is at stake, it is no surprise he swore to do everything within his power to ensure that himself and his associates do not play second fiddle to anyone who was not on their side, and that they “would make Nigeria ungovernable”, if Jonathan or anyone who is not within their anointed circle became president of Nigeria.

This type of threat was taken then in the heat of the struggle as part of political angst and dispensed with. But with benefit of hindsight, and with what has happened so far, we know better and now must take it seriously because it was similarly used against Chief MKO Abiola until he was killed. Also, immediately after the PDP primaries, came the first extensive use of incendiary materials by unspecified persons at an INEC office in Suleja. This marked the beginning of many such incidents of carnage recorded at his door step to destabilise the peace of the country. What perhaps is worrisome is the loud silence of Ciroma at a time such as this. And the question to ask is where does he stand? For in truth, looking at the vision of Boko Haram and their current tactics, can we not assume that the bellum sacrum of Boko Haram has aligned with the casus belli of the NPLF? Should we not see their role as those of the political paymasters who have fueled the Taliban in Afghanistan waiting in the wings to devour the political carcass left behind, when the fanatics have had their fill of blood?

Does the silence of the NPLF and their associates not indicate acquiescence or accord? If not, where do they stand? For as William T. Cavanaugh indicated, religion is just a subterfuge and “religious violence” can be and is used to legitimate violence against “others”. So where does NPLF stand? With Nigeria or with the fanatical dissidents? Let us count the victims of Boko Haram and review their targets and see if it has much to do with western education. Insipid statements have been made by top associates of NPLF to the effect that the ongoing security threats are symptomatic of the failure of the security system in Nigeria, which should be overhauled. One agrees wholly with this assertion, but Aliyu Mohammed Gusau was in charge of setting up most of the current security system in Nigeria, having spent decades as the head of Military intelligence and later National Security Adviser of several governments.

In fact, if doctoral qualifications were awarded for on-the-job experience as a security chief, Gusau should have several doctorates on Nigerian security. One can even wager that many of the top operatives in the Nigerian security apparati report first to Gusau before anyone because of recruitment loyalties. As one of the beneficiaries of Ciroma’s dispensing of the power to rule as a representative of the NPLF, as well as his background on how lapses develop in Nigerian security, what has been Alhaji Gusau’s advise to secure the North East, and more important what was the view of Ciroma on effecting such views. In other words, where does Ciroma stand on the security of the North East and Nigeria?

Ciroma was born in Potiskum, where Christianity and Islam have co-existed side by side for decades. In December 2011, 30 shops owned by Christians were set ablaze in Potiskum, while scores of people have been slaughtered in nearby Damaturu. Through all these, we have head the voices of Muslims like Aregbesola a governor and devout Muslim, as well as Fashola, also a Muslim governor condemning such inhuman act of brutality, at the very doorstep of Ciroma and his associates. Yet, there has been no responses from Ciroma and friends. One would distance someone like him from such an act, knowing that the actions of Boko Haram as they are currently been executed would obviously lead to a point where he and his associates may eventually be left with 100 percent of nothing as against the current share of something which they are fighting to gain more of.

But it is a fact that the operatives of Boko Haram who have been caught so far, do not have the financial reserves, the banking proficiency to execute cross-country arms purchases, nor can they afford an extended recruitment of unemployed youths over a lengthy period. In addition, they are unable to pay for the use of Honda vehicles as expendable bearers of suicide bombs. Is it not therefore logical to ask; if the funds expended to recruit operatives of Boko Haram, has been associated with a Senator and former diplomat from Yobe sate, the very doorstep of Ciroma, is he unaware of these activities? If he is not, where does he and his NPLF associates stand? The loud silence of Ciroma and his associates on the operations of Boko Haram when placed against their vow that Nigeria will be ungovernable if they failed to gain political power purchase on the platform of the PDP remains inexplicable. Is this struggle a prelude for the control of the northern political space ahead of 2015 or a persistent assertion of power at the centre by proxy on behalf of the NPLF? Can Nigeria afford the outcome of this struggle?

Hat tip for the articles: JP.


Anonymous said...

Just like the Sudan, Christians and Animists violently assaulted by Muslims from the North.

Same pattern in Ivory Coast.

Muslim violence in Kenya.

Of course Somalia/Ethiopia.

Im surprised the BBC didnt attempt to spin this as the neutral "sectarian violence," as the MSM usually does, to mask Muslim violent aggression.

When the policy of containment is finally implemented, we will have to assist the African Christians southernly Africa, militarilly.


Chiu said...

It is unfortunate that the strain of overtly pacifistic Christian development which was predominant in Africa has never demonstrated any significant ability to defend itself against Muslim aggression. Mostly, they serve as a warning to the West to not follow the same unsustainable path into continuous enslavement and genocide at the hands of the servants of Allah.

LAW Wells said...

I find it also curious that the economy meme emerges here as well. "Oh, it's not Islam," they could say, "it's those fuel subsidies. If only they hadn't been abolished and those people hadn't lost their jobs, then there would be no extremists."

Alas, when India and China were poor, there was no strife of the kind. QED, a bunk argument.

Still, sounds good to a socialist. When you view everything as being related to money, alas, you can't conceive of any other motivation.