NSUKKA, Enugu, Nigeria – Following the insurgency that rocked Nigeria in 2014, I thought we would flip across another new page this year without experiencing more bloodletting.
But I was wrong, as the recent terrorist attack in Baga, Borno state in northeastern Nigeria showed.
The assault by Boko Haram, which cut a swath through Baga, has been called the deadliest in its history. According to estimates by Amnesty International, the terrorist group slaughtered more than 2,000 people there.
The horrific attack in Baga – like the case of the missing schoolgirls from Chibok – is a riddle the Nigerian military has been unable to solve. The nation’s armed forces have been on the skids since the insurgency intensified in northeastern Nigeria last year.
The northeastern region has been the worst hit, with thousands of Nigerians dead while others have become refugees, fleeing to the neighboring countries of Chad and Cameroon.
Children have turned into orphans and families are in shambles while many are homeless due to the unabated attacks from Boko Haram terrorists.
Years of violence
We have been wrestling with terrorism for the past five years without claiming victory over these hardline fanatics. The government has failed to unveil the perpetrators of these evil crimes.
Why not? When will they? Must we wait until they wipe us all from this planet before our nation’s leaders do something?
In an attempt to end the reign of terrorism here, the United States, France, the United Kingdom and China came to help Nigeria give Boko Haram a run for their money.
It was futile, though, as our military hardened their hearts and found it very difficult cooperating with them.
Analysts say that these outside countries would have helped in surmounting the bloody reign of Boko Haram, but since the problem is riddled with conspiracies theories and intrigue, all the foreign aid we got did little to combat insurgency.
I find it very difficult to fathom how people are being blown up and killed like animals before the watchful eyes of the military. The military have failed to be of help to those in greatest need – and failed to guard citizens from the insurgency that hounded our loved ones to their early graves.
The BBC reported that more than 1.5 million have been killed since the Islamic terrorists launched its first attack in 2009.
‘We are losing the battle’
Amid these assaults bedeviling the country, Nigerians have questions for the government, which has not made enough of an effort to solve the security problem.
The government’s announcement of a ceasefire last October gave us a reason for optimism. We longed for peace and security, hoping to be free of warring militants
But it all turned out to be a fiasco. We watched as our expectations disappeared into the muddy waters of hopelessness when Boko Haram launched another attack less than 24 hours later.
Judging from the fabricated ceasefire deal, the simple truth is that negotiating with terrorists is an aberration. What they need is fierce attack and total annihilation.
But the possibility of wiping terrorism from Nigeria looks bleaker each passing day, especially as our soldiers use slingshots to fight a well-armed Boko Haram.
In fact, I would say we are losing the battle. We have lost our homes, our churches, and our schools have been clamped down due to the vicious snare of terrorism.
We no longer sleep peacefully in our homes, but instead mourn our fallen heroes who have passionately fought to defeat terrorism.
Festus Iyorah is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International.
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