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"A faceless sect is seeking the Islamization of northern Nigeria"
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"A faceless sect is seeking the Islamization of northern Nigeria"

Terror attacks unleashed by the shadowy Boko Haram sect in Nigeria have aroused concerns about the country’s future direction, reports Tayo Elegbede, 22, a Commonwealth Correspondent and radio presenter from Lagos.

Nigeria’s peaceful existence in recent times has been threatened by bombings and general insecurity, especially in the northern part of the country.

Daily, Nigerians, and indeed the international community, are treated to news of woe and anguish resulting from explosions in various parts of the oil-rich African nation.

A faceless Islamic sect which is seeking the Islamization of all northern states, including the nation’s capital, has claimed responsibility for the bombings which have wasted scores of lives in more than two years.

The name of this sect, Boko Haram, simply means ‘Western Education is prohibited’.

Just over a week ago, on 20th January, Boko Haram unleashed terror on the cosmopolitan city of Kano in northern Nigeria. A coordinated series of explosions killed over two hundred people including a young journalist, Enechie Akogwu. While counting the loss of the havoc caused in the state, the sect carried out another attack on the same state, and a couple of others which left over 320 lives dead that same week.

In the face of all of these explosions, killing, maiming and general insecurity, the socio-economic and peaceful co-existence amongst Nigerians especially in the north has been halted. Meanwhile some Christians are beginning to perceive the issue as a religious one between Muslims and Christians.

Bilateral relationships across Nigeria are suffering due to the current insecurity for both citizens and foreigners. This creates a bad image globally for Africa’s most populous country.

Hence, while Boko Haram has held the country hostage for over two years, Nigerians are not convinced that the present government under the leadership of President Goodluck Jonathan has the political, will let alone the appropriate strategies, to tackle the menace.

In its lately revealed resolve to redeem the country from further destruction the national government has offered dialogue with the faceless group on its terms and conditions for ceasing violence. The government has also taken drastic measures in reforming the nation’s security apparatus, starting with the Nigerian Police Force.

While the security situation in Nigeria leaves much to be desired owing to the perceived inability of the government to counter and conquer this terrorist group, the international community seems ready to assist. However most Nigerians are skeptical about the outcome of such international assistance.

Meanwhile some prominent Nigerians have called for a roundtable – otherwise known as a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) – in order to determine the future of the country.

If the situation remains unchecked, one would only wonder what Nigeria might become by the year 2015.

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About me:

I am a young broadcast journalist, radio presenter, writer, public relations practitioner and social entrepreneur with a passion for all-round human development. My core philosophies in life include honesty and integrity, open-mindedness, responsibility and accountability.”

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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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