The Nigerian military yesterday confirmed the killing of one Muhammed Bashir, the replica of Abubakar Shekau, who had allegedly been mimicking the leader of Boko Haram.
According to the military, Abubakar Shekau himself had been killed a year ago in a confrontation with soldiers fighting Boko Haram insurgents.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) regards the killing of Muhammed Bashir as a feather in the cap of the Nigerian military. It is no mean feat to get close enough to the leader of deadly insurgents and to succeed in killing him. The Nigerian Army should also be commended for achieving this feat in spite of its limitations which include sabotage, acute lack of supplies, complete absence of motivation and a criminal deprivation of arms.
MURIC recalls the atrocities of Shekau and his alleged replica under whose brutish leadership Boko Haram unleashed terror on the people of the North East, bringing untold hardship and grinding the economy to a halt. Nonetheless, we regret his death on the battle field as this does not adequately demystify him as the monster behind the assassination of more than three North Eastern Emirs, the killing of scores of Islamic scholars and Christian clerics as well as the attack on the late Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero.
We regret that Shekau’s death or that of Muhammed Bashir has elevated the duo in the den of terrorists to the lofty status of martyrs. Alive and in chains, they would have served bitter lessons to rebellious subjects, enemies of peace and apostles of death and destruction.
But what next after the death of these two terrorists? It is quite unfortunate that the only lesson men learn from history is that they learn nothing from history. We charge the Federal Government to learn some lessons from the killing of Bin Laden whose death merely fuelled the rise of terrorism and gave birth to ISIS and Boko Haram. FG must therefore be told point blank that it is not yet Uhuru.
Abubakar Shekau may be dead. Muhammed Bashir may have been put under. Boko Haram is still alive and kicking. FG therefore has a Herculean task before it. To kill Boko Haram is a task that must be done. What steps must FG take to ensure that Boko Haram is dead and buried?
MURIC suggests the following:
1. Soldiers battling Boko Haram insurgents must be adequately catered for in terms of welfare, medicare and the relations left behind by fallen soldiers;
2. The procurement by the military and prompt supply of state-of-the-art weapons and equipments to soldiers confronting insurgents must be FG’s priority from now on;
3. The revitalization of the economy of the North East in particular and the whole North in general and the provision of jobs for hitherto idle youths have become mandatory in order to prevent similar occurrence in future;
4. FG must, on the basis of equal rights, justice and fair play, establish as a matter of urgency, a Nothern States Development Board and a Ministry of Northern Affairs in the same manner that there now exists similar institutions in the Niger Delta and
5. In view of submissions by experts that Boko Haram is a fallout of bad governance and socio-economic injustice, governments at all levels must henceforth ensure that justice is done to all its citizens.
It is not over until it is over.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)