– a Radar reporter collaboration
The response on the ground to the decision to delay the Nigerian elections has been decidedly mixed, however, regardless of the implications there is a nationwide consensus that the Boko Haram insurgency is a real threat to Nigeria’s democratic future.
[“Boko Haram bombings” – Image Courtesy: Diariocritico de Venezuela ]
Fiepre Samuel, Bayelsa State, interviewed Mr Owugha Victor, a Public Relations Official for Nembe City Youths, who sought to express his concerns for Nigeria’s future. Mr Victor commented, “It simply means total threat to democracy in Nigeria. The more they [Boko Haram] possess more territories the more they will be tempted to extend to acquire even a whole state, thereby forcing a state of emergency. One basic threat is that they are out to flash the democracy we are enjoying today and may even lead to ethnic religious or civil war as other groups and people will not sit back to reason with their agenda.
“Yes – there is concern because we are Nigerians and we have being deprived of our day to day business and other vital activities.”
STRONG GOVERNMENT IS CRUCIAL TO DEFEAT “JOKER” BOKO HARAM
As the situation evolves, it is unclear as to whether the response to the Boko Haram threat will influence the race to secure the Nigerian Presidency.
Damasus Henry, Delta State, interviewed Mr Alh.Zakari – a Hausa Community leader – aged 69 years. He stated “Boko Haram can be stopped if only the leaders can educate the people living in remote far northern areas. These are the people who sell their children to Boko Haram.”
Robert D. Nitabai, Bayelsa State, interviewed Mr. Timothy Gabriel, aged 48 Mrs. Tessy Pinanawei, aged 37, residing in Kaiama. Both Bayelsan residents remain optimistic that the Nigerian Government will defeat the Boko Haram insurgency.
Mr. Gabriel began, “The Boko Haram will be defeated despite their attack on government & private institutions, but adequate measures should be taken so that they cannot surface again. The government should not relent with the effort the Nigerian Army had taken, so that her citizens will be happy at the end of the day for business to grow ahead.
Mrs. Tessy Pinanawei, aged 37, residing in Kaiama, added, “Boko Haram is a joker with the Nigerian economy because they will be wiped away no matter what they do to stop Nigerians from going into the polls next month. The Niger Delta militants are not ready to exchange war for war & blood for blood despite what is happening in the North Eastern part of the country.”
However the conflict ends, there appears to be agreement that the 1.2 million Nigerians displaced, the vast majority as a result of the insurgency, must be supported as they are reintegrated back into normal life. [latest NEMA statistics]
Mr. Zikite Alamene, aged 54, residing in Nembe, said, “the general elections scheduled for March will bring a new look, a new leadership style in the history of Nigeria & Africa as a whole. The Boko Haram insurgents will be defeated but the Nigerian government should be wary of making the displaced citizens happy after all achievements has been made after the election.
He continued, “In the Niger Delta, with the militants, the government intervened with different type of jobs to the repented ones & peace was restored back to the region. The people from the North Eastern part who were affected will be happy with the government of the day.”