Boko Haram Republic Of Gwoza; A Bad Idea And Bad Omen Written By Obinna Akukwe
Boko Haram Republic of Gwoza is both a bad idea and a bad omen for Nigeria because the indigenes of Gwoza are not sympathetic to Boko Haram. Boko Haram Republic flags should be hoisted in territories where majority of the inhabitants are supporters of the insurgents, and definitely, Gwoza is not part of them. Currently, Boko Haram has declared Gwoza an Islamic Republic and that is very unfair to the predominantly Christian community.
Gwoza is among the communities and local government area in what is politically termed Southern Borno which has a majority Christian population with a minority mix of pagans, animists and Muslims. Such communities include Damboa (where Boko Haram had also taken over) and Chibok (where over 250 Chibok school girls were kidnapped and serially raped to death), Ngala ( where 480 soldiers fled from to Cameroun). Other such towns including Askira, Uba, Biu, Bayo, Shani, Kusar and Kwawu are mainly Christian communities yet they have no signs of development because successive regimes in Maidugeri have victimized them on account of their Christian heritage, dating to between 80-102 years.
Now Boko Haram had left the Muslim dominate areas of Borno and are now hoisting their flags in non-Muslim zones, murdering, raping and butchering people mercilessly in the name of Allah. Gwoza had recently fallen finally into the hands of the insurgents and the murderous terrorists have declared the town an Islamic Caliphate in the most recent video from them.
I have posited in a widely published piece in April 2012 titled Boko Haram Republic of Northern Nigeria; a Good Idea ‘(parts 1) that “…The Boko Haram Republic should comprise of all the states where the populace through a majority vote have rejected the Federal Republic of Nigeria as presently constituted.” and I argued further that”.a referendum is necessary in the North so that northerners will either accept or reject an Islamic Republic on their own volition and save us all these killings in the name of religion. Referendum is simply the principle or practice of submitting to popular votes a particular idea, ideal or ideology is it social, political or economic. A “Yes” vote signifies acceptance while a ‘No’ vote signifies rejection”. Had the Federal Government studied all my reports on the need for a Boko Haram Republic, the people of Gwoza would not have been massacred out of their communities, because Mallam Shekau and his band of murderers would have been busy with how to manage areas of the North that willingly seeded leadership to him through constitutional means while the rest of the north continues with One Nigeria.
Now Boko Haram had chased over 480 Nigerian soldiers into Cameroun, to avoid being slaughtered like ram, bringing a national embarrassment. President Jonathan should order full scale invasion of Sambisa, Gwoza, Gambolu, Ngala and all the Christian communities Boko Haram had taken over against their will. He should not hesitate to allow some parts of the north that love and sympathize with the leadership of Boko Haram to have their republic which they are free to name Islamic Republic, Arewa Republic or Sharia Republic. Boko Haram is entitled to a territory as long as the natives of that land willingly accept their ideology.
Below is the part 2 of the piece on viability of a Boko Haram Republic published in 2013
Boko Haram Republic of Northern Nigeria: A Good Idea (Part2) by Obinna Akukwe
Boko Haram Republic of Kano, Boko Haram Republic of Borno, Boko Haram Republic of Yobe, Boko Haram Republic of Minna, Boko Hhram Republic of Arewa and Sharia Republic of Nigeria are all possible names for the new extremist Islamic Republic.
Nigerians want peace and if a people are bent on forcefully visiting Sharia on the rest of Nigeria, they should be given a separate nation and let those of us that want to be governed by the secular laws of Nigeria be left alone.
The recent attacks on the Emir of Kano by those suspected to be Boko Haram extremists and the consensual nonchalance of the Kano citizenry to the incidence portrays a dangerous shift of mindset of the people. It is obvious that Boko Haram had not thrived in Katsina because the inhabitants refused the advances of the sect, but from the main Jibiya border post in Katsina to Kano,a distance of about two hours , lies a minority element among them providing a safe haven to the terrorists and dragging the name of the silent majority of Kano citizenry to the mud. It is obvious that if a Boko Haram republic will be carved out of the north, it will include territories from parts of Kano, Borno , Yobe, Bauchi, Kaduna and Niger States.
President Jonathan and his strategy team should look into carving territories out of these states to form a Boko Haram Republic provided that the inhabitants of the ceded territories show by reason of referendum that they prefer citizenship of a Boko Haram or Islamic Republic.
This referendum cannot cost the nation more than N50 Billion naira and another N500 billion could be given to the new republic as take-off grant for infrastructural development. A strict boundary, visa and travel policy should be adopted so that the Boko Haram nationals do not infiltrate into the rest of Nigeria. Curiously I’ve discovered by close interactions that majority of Muslim professionals would not mind belonging to an Islamic Republic but the type of Islamic Republic they would want is not the type administered by Mallam Shekau, the Supreme Commander of Boko Haram.
Instead of wasting billions and trillions of naira in chasing around Boko Haram extremists, putting undue pressure on the resources of the nation (estimated 7 trillion having been spent by all tiers) since the renewed onslaught, and more trillions will still be spent while abandoning other critical sectors of the economy- let a fraction of that sum be used to flag off campaign for a Boko Haram Republic and save us wasted funds.
If sincere northern elders are against the sect, they should use the occasion of the referendum to mobilize their people against the sect while those in support of the new republic can come out in the open to canvass their ideals instead of using the sect as political tools against the incumbent president.
This strategy will also deny emergency security contractors and their political accomplice further excuse to pillage the nation’s resources in the name of fight against terror. A report from Mallam El- Rufai has it that estimated N350 billion naira has been spent as security votes in one year and it is obvious to observers that of the said sum about N320 billion must have entered private pockets. Every Governor, Minister and Heads of Government Agencies are spending and embezzling trillions annually in the name of checkmating Boko Haram activities. Therefore, this Boko Haram republic is necessary to block this gross security waste pipe.
I still insist that a Boko Haram Republic or Islamic Republic headed by progressive northern intellectuals will likely institute a society that might surpass many African countries in development. If the Boko Haram regime decides to import hand cutting machines from China as antidote to corruption- they will not need any EFCC to chase any thief around with all the accompanying legal standoff- as all the looting of national treasury will stop in one month. They can elevate Fura, Zobo and Kunu drinks and their medicinal values will enhance national health while Guinness, Harp, Star and other alcoholic brewers will relocate their trade to Cameroun. The Boko Haram Republic will have no need to spend N5billion naira as Abuja Minister proposed in the 2013 budget for prostitutes because with some 50 lashes of Koboko (Horsewhip) prostitutes will relocate to their respective villages.
If this Boko Haram Republic model enthrones a simple, law abiding and just society, soon other African countries will emulate the model, but if the model fails, they everyone to his tents.
Late Libyan Strongman Ghaddafi once advocated the division of the nation along a Christian South and a Muslim North. This genuine attempt to solve Nigeria’s lingering religious crisis may be re-framed in such a manner that Local Governments, Senatorial Zones and States that want to join the Boko Haram Republic may have their way while the rest of Nigeria continues together. This idea of Boko Haram republic is worth trying so that extremist Muslims can have their own nation while moderate Muslims and their Christian brothers can live their lives in peace.