Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Niger Delta militants and the Boko Haram: Complex contrast

26 July 2011

Niger Delta militants and the Boko Haram: Complex contrast
VANGUARD of July 20, 2011 ex pounded on its front page headline: “Reps afraid to discuss Boko Haram” as follows:”The fear of a possible reprisal attack against them or members of their families has kept members of the House of Representatives from discussing the growing menace of the Boko Haram sect which has been engaged in violent confrontations with security forces in Borno and other Northern states of the federation, Vanguard investigations have revealed”.

Prior to this report, two governors have publicly apologised to the sect, thus fulfilling one of the conditions for peace stipulated by the sect. Government on its own has taken a placatory step by ordering the prosecution of the members of the Police Force accused of extra-legal killing of the leader of the Boko Haram sect while he was under the custody of the Nigeria Police.

These happenings point to a remarkable difference between the government’s perception of the threat posed by the Niger Delta insurgency and that posed by the Boko Haram sect. That difference is captured in the deployment of amnesty as the solution acceptable to government in resolving the Niger Delta conflicts and a genuflective deference to the Boko Haram as the solution canvassed by government for reconciliation with the sect.

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