Posted on February 22, 2012 - No comments

By Native Journalist Network

It is one thing to distort an obscure event that took place in some remote part of the world and quite another to attempt to rewrite a historic event that was observed by many. Yet that is what Hausa leaders have tried to accomplish over the past two months.

One example of this phenomenon is the press conference that was held by Arewa Conservative Forum (ACF) on Jan 30 2012. Like many Hausa leaders, ACF joined the effort to manipulate President Jonathan into negotiating with Boko Haram (BH). According to ACF, “President Goodluck Jonathan and the Federal Government must commit itself openly and unambiguously by guaranteeing the security of leaders of Boko Haram when eventually they come out for dialogue.” ACF also urged the government to determine their demands and grievances in order to address them in accordance with Nigerian laws.  

Meanwhile, ACF took issue with Nigerians who believe Boko Haram is backed by some nefarious actors that are trying to make Nigeria ungovernable for their political benefit. According to ACF, “These allegations have been written and widely publicized in the media. Considering the gravity of the allegations bordering on treason, the Forum calls on the government to as a matter of urgency investigate them for the purposes of prosecution.”

ACF’s position is very suspicious because it urged the government to negotiate with Boko Haram while asking for the prosecution of Nigerians who are probing into the political forces behind the terrorist organization. Worse yet, ACF demanded security guarantees for Boko Haram, an organization that has left Nigeria in a state of complete insecurity. Such a twisted logic begs this question: Who is the real threat to Nigeria’s security–Boko Haram or citizens asking questions?

One cannot cogently answer the above question without coming to the conclusion that ACF’s convoluted demand is informed by a compelling conundrum which left them an option that was nevertheless a bad alternative. Among the things they must have grappled with is silence itself was an indictment against Hausa leaders. But even more troubling for them, the dots are starting to be connected and Nigerians are evermore becoming suspicious of Hausa leaders. Thus, there was a need for Hausa leaders to launch a defensive offense.

A key thing Hausa leaders must be trying to avoid is a potential probe that would look into the role they played in arming Islamic militants at the dawn of this ongoing jihad. You should recall, Governor Sani of Zamfara State and other Hausa governors provided arms to several Muslim organizations, giving them the license to kill for the purpose of defending Islam in 2001. What must be turning ACF stomach inside out is that the timing of Sani’s initiative coincides with the emergence of BH. Since an investigation would likely prove that BH received funding from Sani and his colleagues, Hausa leaders are going out on a limb to assure immunity for the group. By doing so, BH would be absolved from revealing its connections with Hausa leaders.

This supports a long held concern that the tragic summary execution of Umaru Usufu, the late leader of BH, was also an initiative taken to stop him from revealing his relationship with Northern politicians including late President Yar’Adua. You should recall, Usufu was gunned down after he was captured when BH went on a blood curdling rampage in Maiduguri during Yar’Adua’s regime.

In closing, it is important to emphasize these very important points. Hausa leaders should have no reason to negotiate for a negotiation between the Nigerian government and BH unless they have a vested interest in some kind of an outcome. Also, they should have no reason to call for the prosecution of free speech while demanding immunity for criminals like BH. Moreover, Nigerians should find it very suspicious that Hausa leaders repeatedly defend BH even when they are forced to condemn them.

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