BOKO HARAM: A LIVING NIGHTMARE

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Bomb experts search for evidences in front of buses at a bomb blast scene in Abuja

Nothing is as worse as being a terrorist to your own country.  Members of the Islamic sect popularly known as Boko Haram have done nothing but bring tears and agony to the lives of their fellow citizens.

Boko Haram is an Islamist militant group waging a campaign of hate and violence in northeastern Nigeria, particularly in the states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. Now, they appear set to spread their gospel of hate to the entire North and Abuja.

The Islamist insurgency has claimed more than 3,000 lives since it began in 2009, according to Human Rights Watch.Boko Haram, which means “Western education is sacrilege” in West Africa’s Hausa-Fulani language, is fighting for the imposition of stricter Sharia law across the country, and has launched a self-styled “war on Christians and non-Boko Haram inductees” in Nigeria.

The group’s ambitions range from the stricter enforcement of Sharia law which is derived from the Koran as the “word of God” across the predominantly Muslim north of Nigeria, to the total destruction of the Nigerian state and its government. As the Nigerian government struggles to control the bloodshed since Boko Haram came into prominence in 2009.

U.N. refugee agencies estimate that more than 8,000 Nigerians have fled into neighboring Cameroon to escape escalating violence sparked by the militants, while another 5,000 have become internally displaced.Until now, Boko Haram’s focus had mainly been concentrated on areas of Nigeria’s northeast, where the group has launched bomb, gun and arson attacks on homes, schools, markets and even whole villages.

These dare devils have no conscience for humanity; they even go as far as killing innocent helpless school children; mothers and children. These men attack with sophisticated weapons, how do these weapons come into the country? How do they pass through border checks? One begins to imagine if men in authority help these men perpetrate these crimes.

If these men can have access to the Nation’s albeit security-fortified capital, what belies the fate of other states in the country. This goes a long way questioning the country’s security level. This is not the first time Abuja has been targeted; in 2011 a Boko Haram suicide attack on the United Nations building in the city killed at least 25 people.

Security forces in the capital are now said to be on alert after Monday’s blast in Abuja which left many dead. “The government has acknowledged that there have been some problems and they say they’re working to try to control it.”The government needs to put an end to this menace which is fast eating up the country and the safety of its citizens.

A brief look at some of the recent attacks by this group in the past year:

 February 26, 2014:  Attack on a Federal College in Buni Yadi near the Capital of Yobe State. At least 29 students died in that attack

February 15, 2014: Dozens of residents in northeastern Nigeria are killed in two separate attacks launched by Boko Haram, according to officials and residents.

They said scores of militants dressed in military uniforms stormed the Christian farming village of Izghe, in Borno state, and opened fire on residents, killing at least 106 people in an attack specifically targeting male residents.

In the second attack, suspected Boko Haram gunmen open fire on Doron Baga, a fishing village along Lake Chad. “They opened fire from all directions, forcing residents to jump into the lake in a bid to escape, and many drowned while others were gunned down,” a survivor says.

February 11, 2014: Suspected Boko Haram militants burnt down houses in the village of Konduga, killing at least 23 people, according to the governor of Borno state.

January 26, 2014: These Militants opened fire on a village market and burnt homes in the village of Kawuri, killing at least 45 people, Borno state police commissioner Lawan Tanko says.

Tanko says the suspected Boko Haram members were on all-terrain vehicles and shot at people while traders were closing shop for the day.

December 2, 2013: Hundreds of Boko Haram militants attack an Air Force base and a military checkpoint in the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, according to government officials.

November 13, 2013: French priest, Georges Vandenbeusch, was kidnapped from his parish church in Nguetchewe, Cameroon, about 11 kilometers (7 miles) from the Nigerian border. He is released at the end of the year.

October 20, 2013: Gunmen suspected of being members of Boko Haram attacked motorists in northeastern Nigeria, killing four, authorities say. A Nigerian Army spokesman says the men — dressed in military clothing — launched the attack on a remote road in between Ikwa and Gamboru-Ngala in Borno State, close to the border of Cameroon.

September 29, 2013: Gunmen attacked a dormitory at the College of Agriculture Gujba in Yobe state and open fire on sleeping students. At least 40 students died, local media says and a military spokesman says the evidence points to Boko Haram.

August 11, 2013: Gunmen attacked a mosque in Konduga, Borno state, with automatic weapons, killing at least 44 people, a local police official says.

July 6, 2013: Gunmen stormed a school in Yobe state, killing 20 students and a teacher, state media reports.

June 2013: An attack on another Yobe school took lives of seven students and two teachers, state news reports. Boko Haram claims responsibility, according to local media.

May 7, 2013: Two soldiers were killed in Bama, Borno state, during coordinated attacks on multiple targets. Nigeria’s military says more than 100 Boko Haram militants armed with machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and anti-aircraft weapons mounted on vehicles carried out the attack. President Goodluck Jonathan says dozens of people were killed and police say at least 13 suspected militants were among the dead.

February 19, 2013: A French family of seven was kidnapped in Cameroon. Boko Haram released a video of the hostages in which a spokesman demands that Nigeria and Cameroon free jailed members of its group. The family was later released.

POSERS:  Is the Government doing enough to stop these re-occurring attacks?

What can the government do to put a permanent stop to these insane killings?

Are Nigerian citizens themselves doing enough to end this scourge as vigilance is a key factor in identifying and containing the treacherous elements in our midst?

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