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  • on 28.02.2014
  • at 10:00 AM
  • by Kevin Hind

Boko Haram attacks, an inept government and the survival of the Nigerian state 0

On Tuesday, in an act of breathtaking savagery, members of the extremist Boko Haram sect murdered more than 40 innocent children in their school in Yobe State. For sheer barbarism, there is nothing to compare it – except of course the killing last year of another set of students in Borno State by the same vicious group.

Over the last five years, Boko Haram has been responsible for the most violent death of Nigerians outside the civil war. It is the worst threat to national security and even national unity.

Yet we continue to prevaricate. We are still not sure whether to woo them with amnesty or mow them with bullets.

Even the presidency which is privy to more facts than the rest of us seemed to think that we exaggerate the menace of the deadly Boko Haram sect. Or perhaps it just likes to play down the threat, in the hope that we will be lulled into a false sense of security.

Last week when the harried governor of Borno State, Kashim Shetima came to meet with President Goodluck Jonathan after another horror attack on a sleepy community, he told the press that what we face was war and that our army was less equipped and less motivated than the enemy.

Anyone who has followed events in that unfortunate part of the country knows that the governor had merely stated the truth. Yet the president and his handlers decided to subject him to very brutal attacks. The Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Doyin Okupe, accused the governor of peddling hysteria while the president himself used his last presidential media chat to lambast Mr. Shettima .

After Tuesday’s savage attack however, we now know who suffer from hysterics and histrionics. The presidency has made the usual condemnation, issued renewed marching orders and offered condolences. There is even talk of the army chief temporarily relocating to Maiduguri.

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