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"The chess strategy of Boko Haram"
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"The chess strategy of Boko Haram"

Elijah ElaigwuNigeria’s democracy is struggling to contain the Boko Haram movement, writes Elijah Elaigwu, 25, a Correspondent from Nigeria. He describes how extremist attacks that know no religion or boundary have created strife, acrimony, and disorder in a nation that prides itself on peaceful coexistence.

The seriousness of the Boko Haram insurgence portends a grave danger to the future of Nigeria as a nation, bringing a high scale of bloodshed and sizzling urge of the youths to fight back for the cold loss of their loved ones. This crisis has been aggravated by emergent issues of interest politics in the northeast, which has spread into other parts of the country, thereby creating an atmosphere of gross distortion of economic activities within the regions and questioning of the concept Nigeria’s federalism at the international level.

The success of the violence perpetuated by Boko Haram and its dominance in the northern part of the country since 2009 shows that the Nigerian government and people lack the confronting will and power to counteract the terrorists’ approach and defeat it totally. BoKo Haram has for long used the chess strategy to carry out their operation in the country, and until Nigerians discover this fact no physical effort can proffer reasonable solution to the BoKo Haram incursion.

Boko Haram’s line of attack is just like the game of chess: move according to a unified criterion of a relative value of their belief, which is the fighting power they contribute towards achieving their ultimate aim. That aim is to pit Nigerians against Nigerians via religion and political underplay, in the disguise of exonerating the country of any ‘western influence’. The group has studied the flexibility and the weakness of the Nigerian Security Agencies and has taken advantage of it to diversify their attacking approach, which is evident in the position they take for their operations and contest against the Nigerian state.

Giving a critical look and a pragmatic analysis of the various operations of Boko Haram since 2009, the group has sporadically moved from physical confrontation with security agencies to bombing of worship centres, police stations, and military barracks. It has used assassinations and kidnapping, and made attacks on schools, banks, prison yards, bus-stops, and bars in recent times. From this diversified operation, one could see that Boko Haram activities only seek to create a bewildering sequence of fantastic chaos that will attract a reckless incursion and revolt of the masses against the government so as to achieve their desired effect.

More so, the mental philosophy and development of Boko Haram has been a gradual struggle from a state of chaos to a clear conception of dominance, in which the government and security agencies out of carelessness rushed into the turmoil. They engaged in practical confrontation without any cognate approach of emerging victory. Such prospects to counter terrorism always result in a bleak situation, as the capacity for subordinating intelligent investigative process before taking action lacks adequate financing and review.

As such, we cannot terminate insurgent activities until we reconstruct the point where the error was made that led us to this trying moment in the history of our nation. We must employ a greater power and strategy – not of the hope of capturing them at the first instance, but weakening their channel of operation so as to cripple their network chain which will further neutralize their power and dominance. The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.

Ending the atrocities of Boko Haram does not require much force, but requires good strategies that take into consideration the whole of the problem that must be solved. It must act on the challenges. Therefore, we must never lose sight of tactical practicability in the struggle for repositioning, as it is important at this point in time if we must take any alternative step towards this protracted crisis that has become a ton on the neck.

In confronting Boko Haram, let’s not out of bravery exhibit cowardice, because sending the inexperienced youths or rather civilian forces to confront terrorists means telling the future of Nigeria to commit genocide. Aside from that, have we imagined what the outcome will look like? For we need to understand the balance of the contending forces before taking any line of action. War does not determine who is right, but who is left. The view point that says that you must pick up the gun to put it down cannot really apply to the Boko Haram insurgence, because it only takes a literate to solve the unending problem of an illiterate.

photo credit: theglobalpanorama via photopin cc

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About me: I am a young, proactive, and result-oriented person with an unending quest for excellence.

I am highly creative and motivational in nature, and always work towards achieving set goals in life. I find fulfilment in writing and addressing issues with skilled professionalism.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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