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PMB And The Northeast: Giving Credit When Due

Indeed these are interesting times in Nigeria. I am sad as well as happy for the revelations regarding the commitment of the Federal Government in the prosecution of the war against terrorism. For far too long, we have been fed with various tales from North-East Nigeria so much so that Nigerians do not know what to believe anymore.

This is indeed sad and an indication that something is wrong somewhere with regards to the actual state of affairs in that region. Being a development researcher with a particular interest in the North-East, I make bold to say that I have transverse the length and breadth of the region on various occasions in the assessment of the true state of affairs.

This piece is informed by a tour organized by the Global Amnesty Watch in the assessment of the efforts of the government in the restoration of normalcy to the once-troubled region. I had mixed feelings over the revelations that came about with the findings from the tour.

Initially, I was sceptical about this assessment tour given that I had previously sojourned the region on the invitation of an international Non-Governmental Organization sometime in 2014. I must, however, admit that it was such a huge risk in the sense that the environment was not convenient with the level of insecurity at that time.

This was also a period when the activities of the Boko Haram group were rife and occasioned with lots of killings and displacement of people in various communities. It was scary, and I must confess that I was fed with lots of misinformation and made to believe that the insurgency would last a minimum of 20 years before the North-East can recover from its effect.

I won’t say that we were deceived by the international NGO that organized the tour, though. Rather, they were brainwashed to believe a narrative and little did we know it was all part of a plot to justify their continued stay in the North-East and to attract more funding for their operations which has been questioned in several quarters.

Just like other researchers that were co-opted into the tour by the international NGO, we didn’t see the handwriting on the wall. We consequently went to town with all sorts of conjectures that suits the narrative of the group in their effort for the continued justification of their stay in the region.

Just like this international NGO misled us into believing that it would take Nigeria at least two decades to rebuild communities in the North-East fully, the same narrative was pushed towards donor agencies and countries. How was this possible? These NGO depicted a very terrible picture of the situation in the zone. Some went as far as organizing chaotic conditions in IDP camps, record and then send to donor partners and agencies.

That is not all. Some of these NGOs also went as far as bribing locals to comment negatively on the efforts of government towards alleviating their plight and protecting them from the Boko Haram scourge. It was that terrible. However, I must admit that my participation in the tour put together by the Global Amnesty Watch has indeed brought a lot of hard facts to the fore with regards to the actual state of affairs in the North-East.

As a first, I must give credit to President Muhammadu Buhari for his unalloyed display of commitment in the prosecution of the war against Boko Haram insurgency.

The revelations garnered proved that there is indeed a grand conspiracy against Nigeria in its efforts towards addressing the challenges posed by the Boko Haram terrorist group in the North-East.

 


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