Sorry, Boko Haram, time to change tactics -By Bolaji Tunji

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Sorry, Boko Haram, time to change tactics -By Bolaji Tunji


This is not an appeal. I am not even begging. I am certainly not concerned about what Boko Haram think of this. All I want is for the sect to take note. I do not know who in the leadership of Boko Haram is reading this. I know they read newspapers and surf the Internet for information, ( in spite of their opposition to Western education). Would it be Shekau two or is it Shekau three now? We have even lost count of how many Shekaus there are or how many have been killed and how many are still alive. It does not really matter. What I am driving at is for the sect to be more creative and change its tactics. The sect should do something else. Why am I advocating a change in tactics by the deadly sect? The answer is simple and obvious . A look at some of the sect’s past atrocities will provide answer.

On the last day of December 2010, there was an attack in Abuja leaving several dead. The following year, the sect claimed responsibility for the attack on the police headquarters. Indeed, the whole of 2011 had more attacks combined than when the sect started in 2009.

That year, a beer parlor was bombed in Maiduguri leaving 25 dead, churches in Suleja were bombed with several deaths in its wake, there were attacks in Abuja, Maiduguri leading to a temporary closure of the University of Maiduguri.

The following year 2012, the blood-letting continued. Churches in Kaduna and Bauchi were attacked leaving over 65 dead. In June of that year over 130 bodies were found in Plateau and were presumed to have been killed by the sect. In 2013, there was a bomb attack in Kano bus park leaving several dead and many injured. One of the deadliest attacks of Boko Haram also took place that year in a battle with security agencies resulting in about 260 deaths and about 1000 people injured.

More killings were recorded this year in Abuja. Twin attacks in Gamboru and Ngala in Borno states left 360 dead and the sect equally started the month on a brutal note with attacks in a Kano mosque which left over 130 dead while Maiduguri (Borno) and Damaturu (Yobe) had over 100 deaths recorded.

Early last month, the sect had attacked the Government Technical College, Potiskum, Yobe state while the students were on the assembly ground. 48 of the students, aged between 11 and 20 were killed.

The deaths resulting from Boko haram insurgency has been put at over 5000, while about three hundred thousand have been displaced. Such loses and displacement can only be found in countries at war in which citizens become ‘refugees’ in their country.

Now, looking at the above scenario, it is obvious that Boko Haram is bereft of idea. They should change strategy. Nigerians are no longer moved by the senseless killings. It has become jaded. The shock factor is no longer there. Newspaper headlines on Boko Haram killing does not sell newspapers again as people are no longer interested in reading about such killings. So what should Boko Haram do now? I think the best thing is for them to surprise us and declare that they would stop further killing.

That their strategy would now be that of persuasion to convert people to their type of Islam. Preach the word of the great Prophet and convert a whole lot of more people.

This is likely to upset a lot of permutations. It would put all our military to shame that in spite of their military might, they could not stop the sect.

The rating of the sect would even rise and unbelievably, some people’s perception about what Boko Haram is all about would also change. There could even be a few high profile converts. Most people who secretly fund the sect activities would now come out and openly identify with the sect. On a more serious note, all the people who had been displaced would return home. Economic activities would resume, development would return to the ‘war-ravaged’ territories.

But I have a feeling that the sect would not heed this advice because it is not really what it claimed to be. It sees fellow Muslims and even non-muslims as infidels who must be killed. So, who then should be spared?

It sees President Goodluck Jonathan as someone it must share the limelight with. Have you ever wondered why the sect, occasionally time its attacks to coincide with periods when the president was about to do anything that would have publicity appeal?

I recall that on February 25, this year, the sect went to Bunu Yadi in Yobe state and killed scores of school children, a few days before the president was expected to hold a centenary dinner celebration in Abuja. Also on April 15, the president was scheduled to travel to Kano for a rally, a day before that date, April 14, the Chibok secondary school girls were abducted. It was also the day the Nyanya, Abuja bomb blast took place. It is like the sect has a copy of the president’s itinerary.

And more importantly, how does one justify the killing of fellow Moslems on a holy day of friday by the doorsteps of the holy place?