In the wake of the incessant Boko Haram attacks that have plagued the country, various individuals have given their perspectives on why the situation has degenerated to this point.
One of such individuals is Senator Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello, daughter of former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo. She recently wrote an open letter to Boko Haram:
Dear Boko Haram
The fact that you have taken arms against the Nigerian state is no surprise. The question should be why haven’t more young people organised themselves against the state?
Even the fact that your motto, ‘Against Western Education’ is in a way reasonable given the fact that your leader, martyred by the Nigerian state had university education and found no reasonable employment but had to resort to thuggery for politicians to survive, as the story goes.
He, like millions of Nigerian young people and college graduates, seeing a blighted future are doing anything to survive.
They have become opportunistic desperados, almost sub‑human as the stepping on and trampling on each other to death at the Immigration employment debacle indicates.
Where you’re wrong
Where I think you have gotten it wrong are in two areas, if you can pardon my giving you some unsolicited advice.
First, your victims are becoming more and more the people you should be attracting to your side. Take the Nyanya bus massacre.
The people that live in Nyanya are usually the clerks, messengers and other lowly office workers that live out in relative slums compared to the rest of Abuja and take public transportation to work to receive monthly salaries they barely get by on.
Consult any written work of successful revolutionaries be it French, Russian, Cuban or even the more recent uprooting of communism in Eastern Europe, to succeed you need the people to be on your side. Right now you are not achieving this.
You are targeting the group you need most. This does not make for a successful revolution but you are making yourselves into nuisances to the people and in the end while the state, including its military machine may not be able to conquer you, your downfall will be alienating these potential allies, i.e. the oppressed and down-trodden.
To read the entire letter, click here