It does not matter who wins the next election in Nigeria, Boko Haram has met its Waterloo at home and beyond its borders. It has never been about religion, it has always been about power. Boko Haram has been seeking international attention for a while, so they kidnapped young girls and boys. This time attention is for a different reason, they are on their heels. African countries have finally realized these militias menace has no respect for artificial borders or ethnic groups.
Boko Haram started with the Igbo, Churches and Southern infidels in Borno. The worst mayhem was reserved for Hausa and the rest of Northerners. Even their own families suffered. President Jonathan is not to blame solely for this. Indeed his hesitation came from fear of those that want the Country ungovernable because he won the election clean and fair. Compare his hesitation to Abacha indifference to Danzuki or Obasanjo firmness to change service chiefs and militricians.
After kidnapping the Chibok school girls, Boko Haram also kidnapped young boys that never gave them the same international propaganda. For a while, they desperately graduated to 419 kidnapping their own children, wives and families hoping for ransoms. Since they could not get added value to their causes, their brutality was extended to using little girls as suicide bombers.
Boko Haram used Chad, Mali, Niger and Cameroon to hide and as launching pad to destabilize Nigeria. They got so swollen headed, they threatened other countries if they cooperated with Nigeria and made good on their threats. Cameroon finally had enough of their threats and staged a concerted attack on them. Unlike Nigeria, there was no doubt, no sympathy and little opposition operating or mutiny within their Army. It resulted in fearless hot pursuit into Nigeria.
Boko Haram cries for Save Our Souls in their pledge to ISIS demonstrates what united Army can achieve. It is not the size of the Army, money allocated to it or borrowed to fight Boko Haram. It is unity and dedication from smaller and poorer countries than Nigeria that made the difference. Let us hope Nigeria learn some lessons from less endowed African Countries coming to our aid.
Unlike in Nigeria where politicians and militias warned of mayhem if they do not like reigning or favoured political party, Cameroon unified and dealt with them ruthlessly. Indeed, if Nigeria had done the same while raising their ugly heads, the head of the snakes could have been cut off as Nigeria did in the past. Instead, they humiliated Nigerian Army and Police. The best African Army and Police were disgraced and put on the run for lack of ammunitions and will to fight.
In the process, they stepped on Cameroon trying to take over their government. It was the last straw that broke the camel’s back. Implementation of agreement with neighboring countries by Nigeria started taking hold and they suffered their worst defeat in the hands of Cameroon Army. They were routed from their hiding place in those countries and villagers that never welcomed them in the first place, turned against them ferociously.
Corruption in the Army just as in the Government allowed Boko Haram to invade the Nigerian Army as moles until they caught fire. The most shameful is when generals started deserting. They killed Army fighting spirits against the enemies of the State. It got to the point where traditional hunters, farmers and youths formed vigilante groups to defend themselves and their families. Parents started reporting their own children that joined Boko Haram.
It is very humiliating that Cameroon and Chad are now in competition with Nigeria on which government actually put Boko Haram on their heels. Some of the ammunitions captured from Nigerian Army were abandoned while fleeing the Cameroonian, Nigerien and Chadian Armies. This is the same Nigerian Army that liberated Liberia and Sierra Leone from thugs and vagabonds in their midst as American soldiers stayed on the shores and waved.
Boko Haram turn of fortune are lack of new means of propaganda that works, lack of sympathy from Chad and Cameroon civilians, loss of captured guns and rockets from Nigerian Army. Boko Haram remaining guerrilla fighters are on the run to devise a new strategy by declaring their pledge to ISIS. Only western countries fear their allegiance and the pledge to ISIS in the face of retreat from their captured towns and villages. It must be sustained or they come back stronger.
Unfortunately for Boko Haram, ISIS is struggling to remain relevant in Iraq after Iran joined the fight against them. Before then, ISIS infuriated Jordan burning their pilot alive and then Egypt Christians were shot in Libya by affiliates of ISIS. Other Arab countries have now realized that the fight against ISIS must include Arabs Sunni if they do not want Iran Shiite to take all the credit. The war against ISIS in Iraq seems to be gaming strength against ISIS.
So Boko Haram’s Save Our Soul message is not their priority while on the run too.
Brutality of ISIS has been copied by other militias in other regions. Each militia sought influence, from ISIS, a spillover from the overthrow of Gadhafi in Libya. Some of them spread from Libya south to African countries. Whatever the case between Iran Shiite and Sunni in Iraq and Syria, Boko Haram can only gain international attention with their pledge to ISIS, it will not generate material support they had at the beginning of their terrorist launch in Northern Nigeria.
As long as Iran Shiite cooperation with Iraq in driving out ISIS from Tikrit is well managed by allowing the Sunni majority there to express their number in governing their region, ISIS will be on the run and will not have time for Boko Haram or other militias. Religious sects in the Middle East operate on delicate balance. Miscalculations always reverberate beyond their countries. Let Arabs deal with their problems and do their own operations, only with outside backing.