Saturday, April 27, 2013

What About Boko Haram

       Nigeria is a large, beautiful country located in West Africa on the South Atlantic coast between Benin and Cameroon. Nigeria is bordered on its north by Niger and Chad. If one ever visits Nigeria the individual will witness much green forests, tropical plants, and fruits along with muddied, crooked streets and paths. Old, worn houses made completely out of concrete align theses paths,sometimes hidden within, beneath vegetation. My description of Nigeria mostly represents the southeastern part of the country, where I have spent most of my time while visiting my motherland. Cities like Lagos are crowded, busy, and very dirty. Abuja is a beautiful, tropical city but compared to settings like New York and Atlanta, still very third world. But there is a type beauty and peace within the green, muddy villages of Nigeria one cannot find in the busy streets of New York and the congested highways of Atlanta. The Peace and beauty is a reason why I often encourage people to visit Africa for themselves.Their is a large part of the country often gone unnoticed by scholarly books and media press. A country divided by ethnic races, culture, language, and yes wars. A group of people showing so much promise, displaying much individual talent but unfortunately unable to combine such gifts toward creating a powerfully significant nation.
     Unfortunately the beauty of Nigeria is being greatly marred by oppressive Islamic groups like Boko Haram who are on a mission to bomb and destroy properties and peoples of Nigeria just as the hijackers felt their duty to attack the people of Washington DC and New York. Since its founding in 2001, Boko Haram has been on a mission of jihad, harassing the everyday lifestyle of average Nigerians, while bombing Christians, churches, and Mosques alike. Like Al queda, the group is opposed to western teachings, desiring to eliminate and prevent the westernization of Nigeria. This terrorist group desires to forcefully establish shariah law within the country. Like al-Qaeda, the group is not big or strong enough to execute an all out battle against their surrounding nations so instead they continue to bomb unsuspecting people while creating havoc amongst town residents and the government. Several US departments, the FBI, Justice Departments and many US congressman have requested that Boko Haram be listed as a Federal Terrorist Organization. Regardless of when and if they are placed on this list, this group is a dangerous, extremely wicked terrorist group.
      Boko Haram mirrors other terrorist groups like as earlier mentioned al-Qaeda, Ansar al-Islam, Hamas, Al-Badr amongst many others. All of these terrorist gangs spread throughout the entire world. Many are located within the eastern Europe, Middle East, North and Eastern African areas of our globe. A few years after the attacks against the Twin Towers, West Africa was hardly ever mentioned on the terrorist radar. Yes there has always been fights, battles, wars between Christians and Muslims since the rise of the two religions thousands of years ago, but terrorist attacks against countries like Nigeria and even Niger were uncommon. Now bombings in Nigeria are becoming common and Boko Haram has been running threats and openly waging war against those Christians in the Southeastern region of Nigeria as well as the entire country.
     Hopefully this evil group can be defeated and silenced for good and soon. If not a potential all out war like the Biafra War fought during the late sixties and early seventies may begin again. And this war may not just involve the ethnic divisions in Nigeria. Nearby countries like Niger, Cameroon, Benin, Chad, maybe even the United States may get involved. Remember some of these countries still have ties to their former colonial powers. And like, Iraq, Vietnam, Korea, War World I, Afghanistan, possibly Syria, we all know that the US somehow, someway often finds itself militarily involved in many of these world conflicts.