Imagine you and I are fighting, we both have guns, mine is old while you have the new model and are wearing a bullet proof vest, I am carrying an umbrella, my vehicle just produced smoke and is short on fuel, while you are riding a vehicle equipped with anti-aircraft gun.”; this is what one Nigerian soldier, who was recently dismissed for fleeing the battle field, told a reporter. No doubt that the deep rooted corruption has made the Nigerian army out-gunned and over-powered by the ruthless militia, Boko Haram (BK). BK is now eying not only advancing towards Central Nigeria but its neighbouring countries are also under attack. However, Nigerian politicians have something else on their minds, the upcoming presidential elections.

Not to reveal his army’s weaknesses, President Goodluck Jonathan’ government has rejected the AU or UN’ intervention but no one can deny what’s written on the wall, the prized city of Maiduguri, capital of Borno state, fell to BK like a house of cards, just one day after the president’ visit. The lightening advancement of Boko Haram is no different from what we have earlier witnessed in 90s, when the Taliban took over most of Afghanistan in few months’ time, or when Daesh occupied large swaths of Iraqi and Syrian territories, without anyone noticing them.

These terrorist outfits have learned from history how and when to strike on the countries wherein systems have collapsed or trembling with corruption. They know very well how to establish their writ, reign of fear of mayhem, beheadings, indiscriminate killings, and kidnappings are their trademark. They feel no shame in justifying their acts per religious scriptures, but in real life they all are bandits who are using religion, prevailing corruption, ongoing civil wars to their favour. They have no standing among masses but they rule with a gun. Nigeria is losing precious time; keeping aside elections campaign, it needs to take up seriously the fight against Boko Haram, otherwise, Abuja is not far from BK’ reach. In fact they are already eying Abuja as the capital of their Caliphate in Africa.

MASOOD KHAN,

Saudi Arab, January 27.