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Opinion: A letter to Nigerians on Boko Haram

by Richard Chilee

BokoHaram-WIT-GUNS

America, in all her financial might, military finesse and technological sophistication, battled the world’s biggest terrorist many years before he was hunted down.  Remember that President Bush didn’t capture Osama or deal with his terror throughout his stay in office, even though he went tough on him. It even took President Obama some time to finally rid America and the world of Osama’s terror.

Fellow Nigerians,

I know this is a very difficult time to be proudly identified as a Nigerian, this is a period when the garment of patriotism seems to be stripped off our national image. The menace of terrorism has beaten us to the point of near despair, I know. But giving up now is something we should never do, because if we did, the terrorists would believe they have succeeded in breaking our spirits and, eventually, winning the war.

One of the rules of terrorism is that the terrorists turn the people against their leaders, and from every indication, today’s terrorists in Nigeria have almost succeeded in doing so. As more than a few people know, terrorism has never been an easy nut to crack; it is not just a simple war that can be won with a single gunshot. No! Terrorism is more than just a fight, it is a psychological war with a cataclysmic effect – it breaks the strands that connect the national will of a people.

America, in all her financial might, military finesse and technological sophistication, battled the world’s biggest terrorist many years before he was hunted down.  Remember that President Bush didn’t capture Osama or deal with his terror throughout his stay in office, even though he went tough on him. It even took President Obama some time to finally rid America and the world of Osama’s terror.

This treatise is not to justify our President’s aloof attitudes toward the fight against Boko Haram, God forbid! If I do that, it will be a spit on the graves of those that died in the various bomb blasts. It will even be a rape on the sufferings of the kidnapped young girls from a secondary school in Chibok community. What I’m saying is that now is the time for us to cultivate the fundamental triple Cs of unionism – communication, connection and collaboration, against terrorism, just like America did when they were plagued with Osama’s missile.

This is the time to come together and engineer and strategize on how best to combat this evil that has befallen us. This is the time to come together and tell those terrorists that we are one – they will never, can never, break the strength of our unity no matter how hard they try. This is the time to rise up with one voice and show concern for all those that have been affected by Boko Haram’s terror in one way or the other.

Blaming and cursing our leaders now will not yield any fruit – it has never yielded any fruit. They may even be as confused as many of us are. Also blaming and cursing our leaders will further be a morale booster and propel moral certainty to the terrorists.

Do I think our leaders and military need our support and prayers? Yes, I strongly believe they do. So I’m calling on all Nigerians, irrespective of political affiliations, tribe and religion, to rise up and face today’s challenges. We need all the support and actions we can get. Therefore, if you can pray – pray, if you can tweet – tweet. If you can organize peaceful protests and tell the government how painful their lackadaisical attitudes have been – please do. And finally, if you have any material support for affected people, I believe there are existing channels for those purposes, all you need do is find out.

Yesterday on twitter, a Nigerian journalist, whom I respect so much, said “5 years ago, we didn’t know we’ll get here. 5 years from now, we don’t where this will get to.” I replied “5 years from now, Boko Haram will be History..’ And I strongly believe that with every drop of blood that runs in my vein.

Boko Haram cannot kill Nigeria. Nigeria will kill Boko Haram. Someday we will look back to this dark period and be grateful that we lent our voices and actions to the plight of our dear mother Nigeria when she needed us most. Yes, that day shall soon arrive…

Yours brotherly,
Richard Chilee

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Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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