Monday, September 28, 2015


So some days ago, I was listening to JJC’s “we are Africans”. I always tell people that I am not the best dancer out there, and this is very true. Well as I made a conscious effort not to embarrass myself by attempting to “bust a move”, I decided to focus instead on the lyrics of the song; and the very catchy chorus- which by the way, sounds very familiar to the famous scene from one of my favorite movies, 300, where Gerald Butler’s character declares, “this is Sparta”- sent my already restless mind into analytical overdrive. Somehow, I began to reflect on bits and pieces of history I still had preserved somewhere in the hidden corners of my mind, about the late Ghanaian leader Kwame Nkrumah, and his championing the cause for Pan-Africanism. I pondered, “Just how alive is Pan-Africanism today?”
As a concept and ideology, Pan-Africanism advocates the solidarity of African people(s) everywhere as a means of achieving continental unity and development. For me, even though Pan-Africanism was championed by men like Kwame Nkrumah, Ethiopia’s Haile Selassie, or even African Americans like Malcolm X, I think we can also trace its roots much further back to the slave plantations of centuries ago, where black slaves who had been forcefully and unjustly uprooted from their motherland and sold into a life of servitude to white slave masters, longed again for home and for re-unification with their kin. But it was in the 20th century though that modern Pan-Africanism began to flourish, as African countries began gaining their independence from their various colonial masters. As an advocate of the African struggle, Kwame Nkrumah led his country to independence from the British, and became one of the founding fathers of the OAU in 1963. He eventually served as its 3rd chairperson. As African countries gained independence, a yearning for African unity and development was center-stage for the newly formed OAU. It was this push for African solidarity, unity and development that led countries like Nigeria to fight for the liberation of other African countries still held by the shackles of colonialism. South Africa became a focal point for the African struggle. Still held in the grip of apartheid, African leaders began pushing vehemently for the liberation of South Africa from white rule and for the freedom of black South Africans from the same. They supported insurrections and sponsored opposition movements like Nelson Mandela’s ANC. In fact other African countries became training grounds and hiding places for South African opposition figures. The push for African freedom also extended to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) where men like Robert Mugabe led a push for freedom from Ian Smith. Sadly Zimbabwe has turned out to be an example of what African states- or any other, for that matter- should not look like, but that is a lesson for another day! The OAU’s founding fathers envisaged a political, social, economic, cultural union of the African continent that would fast-track its development and make it a credible force in the international community. But as I reflect on events in present times, I dare say that dream seemed to have died shortly after birth!
Today African countries have certainly come out of the grip of colonialism; but instead of standing together, the continent is ravaged by internal wars and endless political struggles, underdevelopment, extreme poverty and an ever-widening inequality gap, and also what seems like a chronic absent mindedness by African nations about the plight of others in the continent. All these in addition to other vices! And in the midst of this, the AU (the successor of the OAU) has been able to do just little- or nothing- save for speeches, conferences…and more speeches and conferences. Zimbabwe teeters on the edge of economic collapse, Somalia is a failed state which is ravaged by the scourge of Al-Shabaab, Burundi has been plunged into political mayhem because of a leader who refuses to relinquish power, Burkina Faso was recently thrown into chaos due to a coup staged by military men but thankfully resolved by African leaders- okay, one little bright spot- and restored to some semblance of order, South Africa has been courting Xenophobia, the Central African Republic is in full civil war mode, South Sudan is highly politcally unstable while also facing food shortages, Libya has been over-run by terrorists, Egypt is trying to cope with the aftermath of the Arab Spring and still trying to decipher just how “African” it really is, Nigeria is slowly finding its feet with the election of a new President, while fighting the Boko-Haram sect…and the list goes on and on, even as African countries continue to pursue separate agendas!
If the concept of Pan-Africanism is to be revived and sustained, Africa as a continent needs to reflect, and make much needed changes. Institutions like NEPAD do not seem to be functioning as effectively as it should; and even in the West African sub-region, ECOWAS has not fully lived up to its charter declarations. While we applaud the peace-keeping efforts of nations like Nigeria, more needs to be done, if the AU’s vision for “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena” is to be realized. There must be economic, social, political, and even technological reforms undertaken by the governments (and peoples) of all African countries, and this must be sustained. Democracy and the rule of law must be respected at all levels of political leadership in all African countries…we must begin to re-think and restructure models of wealth distribution that address the needs of every member of society, especially those at the bottom of the ladder…education must become a priority in order to create world-class individuals and institutions that would contribute to continental development…effective mediation must occur at all levels of African societies to create an atmosphere of peace and reduce the outbreak of conflicts…I also think there has to be a cultural renaissance that will curb Western corrupting influences on Africa’s youth. These and much more must take place; and through it all, Africans everywhere must stand together.
We must be re-united again by visions of our common destiny and memories of our shared history. Whether West Africans, North Africans, East Africans, Southern Africans and even Africans in diaspora…we must all stand together. We must resist the external forces that threaten to tear us apart and snuff life out of us, while deceitfully smiling to our faces! But we must also realize that we are our own major restraint; and that we are much more plagued by the demon that threatens to destroy us from within. We must break down the walls and build bridges all across Africa. If Kwame Nkrumah’s dream of a united and prosperous Africa is to succeed, Africans everywhere must realize that we are greater than our differences…that we are much stronger together than we are apart…and we really are our brother’s keeper(s)!

Monday, September 21, 2015


So on September 16th, CNN moderated its first GOP presidential debate for the 2016 elections. I didn’t get to watch the debate on that day because of a bad headache, but I got to see a full replay the next day. 11 candidates all stood on one stage in the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, with the prestigious Reagan-era Air Force One looming largely behind them as a very conspicuous sign of his presence. Moderated by CNN’s Jake Tapper who was joined by Dana Bash and Hugh Hewitt, the contenders for the US presidency on the republican ticket were drilled for 3 long hours on various topics and issues confronting the United States.
People usually ask me why I am interested in US politics. Well, I usually start by replying that I am interested in ALL international politics. I am not an American. I am Proudly Nigerian, and most honored to be a citizen of the largest truly independent democracy in Africa. But as a student of International Affairs, I also recognize that the United States towers above all other nations in the world today. Their economic, military, scientific, technological capabilities have made them world leaders since the disintegration of the British Empire and as such, their decisions and activities have a rippling effect all around the world. This is a fact and it is the reason why in addition to following national politics and all others, I have made it my duty overtime to also watch America politics very closely.
A number of things stood out to me during the debate, and I was clearly impressed by a few people whom I had not paid attention to, previously. On a personal level, I did also learn something about myself. And that was that I may have previously held an extremely harsh opinion of all Republicans which may not have been grounded in reality, but an internalization of certain myths propagated about the GOP, which I had picked up over the course of my life. This is not to say that I became a converted Republican- nor am I a Democrat- but that I finally got to admit that I may have over-reached in my judgment.
Now to the crux of the matter. Let me start by saying that Marco Rubio and Carly Fiorina were in my opinion, the best orators of the night. They also seemed to have specific knowledge and grasp of the realm of foreign policy, which is a very important requirement for any President of the United States. It was refreshing to see people re-echoing what I have been stating for a while now, which is that America must lead from a position of strength. Carly Fiorina outlined certain points which I found note-worthy i.e., strengthening America’s missile defense system, strengthening the NATO alliance and bolstering troop levels in the Baltic states, increasing the naval fleet, providing intelligence to Egypt and Jordan, and providing funds and weapons to the Kurds in the battle against ISIS. She outlined all these as ways to project US strength and curb the growing influence of Russia. Marco Rubio also rightly identified that Russia was taking advantage of the vacuum created by the absence of US leadership in the Mid-East, and that this was sending out a very wrong signal to America’s allies. While I have never really been a fan of Jeb Bush- I still am not- I certainly did see a little fire in him than I had seen before. To me Jeb Bush does not really have a personality that stands out, but it was a nice break from the norm to see him defending his positions and holding his own. Even though Donald Trump did not tender an apology to his wife Columba, for some harsh comments he had made, Jeb nevertheless asked for one. He was also quick to remind Trump that his brother’s actions in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 had kept America safe! Now, speaking of “the Donald”, Trump has certainly been a very captivating and electrifying- albeit eccentric as far as politics goes- personality on the campaign trail. His rise in Republican polls has given credence to the fact that most Americans have gotten frustrated with the Washington establishment and those they see as “professional politicians”. And Trump with his fiery controversial speeches has taken advantage of this. But during the debate, I got to see a side of Trump that one rarely ever sees- a subdued side. Maybe it was because of limited time, a more confined space, or the fact that he seemed to suddenly realize that he was first and foremost a businessman, and didn’t have a grasp of most of the important issues (especially foreign policy) as his opponents who were sharing the stage with him. We saw him giving playful hand slaps to Carson and Bush who were on both sides of him…hmmm, I have no words! He rehashed the familiar talking points i.e., his position on illegal immigrants (which is where I think he finds his greatest strength) even though he was short on specifics as to how exactly he intended to financially execute the whole plan of erecting a wall between the US and Mexico and also deport thousands of illegal’s back on a daily basis! He danced around the issue of foreign policy, trying to make himself look a little better by stating not-so-convincingly that he would know all that was required to be known, if he was elected; and to this, Marco Rubio did remind everyone later, that the next President of the United States had to be ready on the very first day on the job! But amidst all his antics- new and old- if there was one “Trump line” that stood out to me, it was when he said, speaking about Barack Obama, “somehow he just doesn’t have courage. That’s something missing from our president”. I found that extremely profound. Governor Mike Huckabee showed that he was not afraid to champion the cause of religious liberty especially in defense of Kim Davies, and Rand Paul kept emphasizing that any solution(s) should not involve interference with individual or states freedom especially by the federal government. Another firebrand was Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey who was clearly irritated by what he termed the “childish back and forth” between Trump and Fiorina especially as regarding their track records. And through all this, Ben Carson remained his soft-spoken amiable self! There certainly were a lot of subtle and not-so-subtle insults inflicted upon their opponents in the Democratic Party, and also America’s perceived enemies in the world. Rubio called Putin a “gangster in Moscow” and called Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei a “radical cleric with apocalyptic views of the future”. Trump referred to the North Korean dictator as “a lunatic” and Fiorina inferred that Hillary Clinton was a liar! Ted Cruz as a constitutional legislator showed his depth of knowledge as regards judicial matters. Governors Kasich, Walker and Jindal didn’t leave me with any profound impressions and neither did Lindsey Graham. In the end though, the candidates came, they saw, but whether they conquered, would be an issue for the US electorate to decide. Another thing struck me during the debate, and that was the individual recognition of America’s greatness by all the candidates. This is not unusual with Americans, but I guess amidst all that was cause for divisions amongst the candidates all vying for one position, it was the one sure unifying factor- the sure knowledge of their country’s greatness. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton may have been the enemy; Putin may have been the enemy, same as Assad, Khamenei, or even China! But to them, and especially on that hallowed stage, the USA was, and should always be the number one nation on God’s created earth!
And so the debate has come and gone. At this point, I cannot give any prediction as to any specific individual on both sides that I think would eventually become the next US president, especially as I haven’t gotten to see the Democratic Presidential Debate. That happens in October. But I can say that Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio are contenders I have started watching a little more closely. I don’t know if any of them has a really good chance of beating the other Republican aspirants in the long run. And even if any of them does clinch the Republican ticket, I don’t know how good that person’s chances will be against the eventual Democratic nominee. But I think they both have quite an amount of the stuff leaders are made of!
It is important to keep our eyes on the USA and on who becomes the next American President, even if we ourselves are not Americans. As I have said earlier, America occupies a central position in the world; and in an era of increased international political volatility, a strong and reliable American presence is required to maintain a semblance of balance and order! It is my hope and prayer that my beloved nation Nigeria would one day reach such a position of prominence in the larger international community, and not just within the African continent. I certainly believe that we are capable of reaching that height, and I hope to be a part of the process. But I would keep watching the US closely, as I watch all other important global actors. So I have heard the Republicans…now I await Hillary’s party!

Monday, September 14, 2015


When Viktor Yanukovych was ousted from office in 2014, none would have predicted that the fatal outcome of the unrest in Ukraine would be a seemingly endless battle between government forces and separatists (which in fact is a proxy war between Russia and the West), or even the annexation of the territory of a sovereign state by an aggressive neighbor. As the world watched on in disbelief at what certainly seemed like a plot out of Hitler’s playbook, I began to wonder, “just how far would Russia- and indeed Vladimir Putin- go in this battle for supremacy?”
The country now known as Russia is the successor state of a conglomerate of 15 Soviet Republics once referred to as the USSR. After the Cold War, the USSR disintegrated in 1991 into various separate states, with Russia being chief amongst them, as it was indeed the heart and soul of the Soviet Empire. In understanding the rationale of Russian leaders from Josef Stalin, it is important to understand this little piece of history. This is because much- if not all- of the actions of Russian leaders, are hinged on their deep emotional connection to what they see as Russia’s glorious past i.e., the Soviet era, and how they can recreate that glory again, in modern times. You see, just as Adolph Hitler saw himself as the “Emperor” of the third Reich, Vladimir Putin also sees himself occupying the same sort of messianic position in present day Russia. To him, the annexation of the sovereign Ukrainian territory of Crimea into the Russian fold, is much like Hitler’s annexation of the Sudetenland…it is a piece in the larger portrait of a greater Russian geopolitical dominance…a rebirth of the Empire…and it is by no means the end.
An offspring of the Soviet system and a former KGB agent, Putin has been in charge in Russia since 1999, alternating positions from time-to-time between Prime Minister and President, but always very much at the helm of Russian affairs. During his acceptance speech before the Duma in 1999, he showed a deep longing for a reclaiming of Russian prestige and respect…but when he declared that “Russia’s territorial integrity is not subject to negotiations”, I guess most of the world did not understand that in essence, what Putin saw as “Russian territory”, in addition to the homeland since 1991, were also bits and pieces of the disintegrated Soviet Empire, which had now become separate sovereign states!
As I watch the game unfolding on the international political chess-board, it seems to me that the West is playing a losing game, and it has been doing so for some time now! While the West tries to be diplomatic and charming, Russia has defied the odds, and marches on undeterred. And one way by which Russia has strengthened its position, is by cementing alliances seen as abominable to the West. As the USA and the EU hit Russia with sanctions over its annexation of Crimea, Putin turned to strengthening economic alliances with China, signing on the dotted lines of a contract worth billions of dollars for the supply of Russian gas. Even the EU has had to tread softly because it is largely dependent on Russian gas. You see, one thing that Putin is highly skilled at doing, is playing “mind games” with the West. From Russia’s standpoint, anything that raises even the slightest bit of annoyance for the West is a valuable tool in Russia’s propaganda arsenal, and its actions overtime has certainly proved that. Earlier this year, Putin extended an invitation to the reclusive North Korean dictator, to attend Victory Day celebrations in Moscow’s red square. Now even though the North Korean leader eventually did not attend, an extension of the invitation alone, showed Russia’s willingness to jump into bed with strange bedfellows as a means of not just strengthening its position in other parts of the world, but also angering the West. Also as Greece tethered on the brink of economic disaster, Alexis Tsipras, the Greek Prime Minister at one point seemed to be dancing to the tune of some sort of economic collaboration with Russia. Vladimir Putin knew very well that at the end of the day the Russian economy could not support extending a lifeline to Greece, especially not with biting sanctions; but an opportunity for photo-ops and showmanship is something that the Russians never turn down, and Putin milked the opportunity- to the chagrin of the West- as long as it lasted! In addition, can we forget the Iranian nuclear deal? In talking about the issue, Russia has been one of the strongest supporters of the deal…especially pushing for the lifting of the weapons ban in order for it to supply weapons to Iran. You see, Russia bargains from a position of strength- or at least a pretense of it- something that the West seems incapable of doing in recent times. The only thing that brings Russia to its knees is force…strong credible force…but sadly, Barack Obama has managed to convince himself that soft-spoken diplomacy is the key to preventing aggression and achieving sustainable peace! For Russia, this is a great show of weakness, which only serves to further strengthen its aggressive position…and it will continue to act the part, as long as the West permits!
Now back to the issue of Russian glory. It is interesting to note that Putin’s popularity at home has continued to soar, even in the face of Western opposition to his antics. You see, Putin is a full-blooded Russian; and like himself, all full-blooded Russians are motivated by the glory of yesteryears. In Russia, Western opposition only serves to strengthen national resolve, and revive old battle cries of an empire that must be restored. When Russia annexed Crimea under the pretense of its so-called “Patriot Act”, majority of Russians celebrated this as not just a welcoming of the kindred back into the fold, but as a strengthening of Russia’s power, especially as it was achieved with the least amount of economic or even military strain. As I have said, Vladimir Putin is a product of the Soviet system. He is no different from Josef Stalin the brutal dictator, or Nikita Khrushchev the great showman, and he will do anything and everything within his power to solidify Russia’s global position regardless of whose Ox is gored; and his countrymen would gladly support him for as long as they have caviar, bacon and vodka! Russia is a moving train that cannot be stopped by Obama’s brand of diplomacy. In fact, even in the diplomatic sphere, Russia keeps winning. Sergei Lavrov the Russian Foreign Minister is a master diplomat. In my opinion, he is probably the best in the world today…much better than John Kerry could ever be…and he would lead Russia to many victories as it continues playing the aggressor and the mediator at the very same time! As long as the rest of the world permits!
As the world approaches a critical moment in history, we must understand that the ideological divide between the East and the West only grows larger; and in a period of increased irrationality, the danger this poses, grows ever greater. The Soviet Union may have disintegrated, but the quest for Russian supremacy certainly did not perish in the ruins. So one might ask, “how then do we stop- or at least slow down- the raging Russian Bull?” Again I will answer, only through the use of credible calculated force. The kind of force that Ronald Reagan applied in dealing with Mikhail Gorbachev, which led to the fall of the Berlin wall…the kind of force which John F. Kennedy applied in dealing with Nikita Khrushchev, and bringing an end to the Cuban Missile Crises. The kind of force that says what it means, and means what it says. The kind of force that always bargains from a position of strength, and shows a determination and willingness to stand in defense of its allies, and in defense of the principles of global civility. The kind of force that does not give even the slightest bit of room for acts of sabotage by would-be aggressors in different quarters. It is this kind of force which is needed today; but sadly, it is this kind of force which Barack Obama is not willing to employ!

Monday, September 7, 2015


Last week I read a report about some Boko Haram masterminds who had been arrested in certain Nigerian states outside the northern region. It sent some shivers down my spine because like so many others, I’m accustomed to reading about the escapades of this terrorist organization, or hearing about it on the news. The possibility though that their heinous activities could take place in my immediate vicinity was not a palatable piece of information. I know that those of us who have been fortunate enough to be far away from the parts of Nigeria affected by the scourge of Boko Haram would come across as being so grossly selfish by the victims of these cold-blooded murderers, and I sympathize with them. We all watch the news…we all see the pictures of great suffering being endured by the internally displaced persons…we are all outraged. But there is no doubt that we who are far removed from the horrors of Boko Haram, bear a load of gratefulness that we would rather not part with.
Even though terrorism has existed in one form or the other within the confines of this massive piece of real estate known as Nigeria, I dare say that it has never been so vicious, so menacing, so ridiculously evil, as the form and shape it has taken in the rag-tag insurgent band known as Boko Haram. Maybe the escapades of terrorism feel so real to us because we are alive and present in this generation. Maybe it is because we are all witnesses to the senseless murders and carnage left in the wake of a Boko Haram assault. Maybe it is because we still cry out to the government to “Bring Back our Girls”! Even though our senses have been rudely awakened by this terrorist group, the truth is that the northern region has had its fair share of fanatics, as history itself has shown. The scenario though, is not peculiar only to Nigeria. This is because the ubiquitous nature of religion (whether it be Christianity or Islam, etc.) has allowed for the rise of individuals desperate to perpetuate ideologies much more different from that of the parent religion. True to human nature, in the quest to assume messianic roles, charismatic individuals look for “loopholes” in religious texts, and translate it into whatever suits their purposes. And as history continuously shows, where there is a leader, there will undoubtedly be followers. But not to digress further, back to terrorism in Northern Nigeria before Boko Haram.
As far back as 1893, a certain Rabih Fadi Allah invaded the Gwoza region of northern Nigeria from Darfur, forcibly converting to Islam, taking slaves, beheading people and inflicting mayhem on the terrified population, all in the name of holy jihad. 1913 also saw the rise of another such figure known as Hamman Yaji. Most people credit the formation of the Boko Haram sect to Mohammed Yusuf in 2002. But in reality, the creation of Boko Haram goes much further…back to the late 1970s…back to a certain Mohammed Marwa AKA Maitasane. He was a firebrand Islamic preacher vehemently opposed to western culture (I guess now we can understand how that the term Boko Haram loosely translates to mean “western education is a sin”). A fanatic, Maitasane declared the reading of any other book outside the Koran as sinful against Allah. He was such a terrifying figure by various accounts and the government took notice; cracking down on his sect, and leading to his death in 1982. Mohammed Yusuf did revive the group in 2002, and was ‘mysteriously’ killed supposedly by the Nigerian Police in 2009. Now, even though he had begun to feature in internal intelligence reports and also register his presence in the news media through the dastardly activities of his sect, the name Abubakar Shekau definitely featured most prominently in the national consciousness in April 2014, when the present self-proclaimed leader of the insurgent group masterminded the abduction of 276 school girls from a secondary school in Borno, and from then till now, the nation has been on high alert.
The question most people ask is this- is Boko Haram really a religious sect truly seeking the establishment of sharia law in northern Nigeria, or is it actually a proxy organization of certain wealthy elite seeking the disruption of normalcy in the country in order to achieve their own selfish agenda? That is a question which many of us have been unable to answer. I am a Christian. I am not privy to the ways of Islam, but I do have Muslim friends; and without an iota of doubt, I can boldly say that any ideology that calls for the maiming, killing, displacing, and infliction of the worst suffering on people for whatever reason(s), is certainly not the way of Allah. As I said before, the ubiquitous nature of religion- which is by no means a bad thing- has allowed for the rise of fanatics. And without being biased, I can say that as it was with the crusades of Christianity in far gone centuries, so it is today with jihadist fundamentalist movements in present times. But I am Nigerian, and for today, Boko Haram is my immediate concern. I can also certainly see how the ‘do-or-die’ nature of Nigerian politics would also lead to the rise of a few nameless cabal members who would do the utmost to maintain their hold over this geographical entity. But if certain reports are true, these individuals are shrouded in utmost secrecy, and certainly seem to be very well protected.
Another question- what is it about Boko Haram that is so appealing to its supporters and foot soldiers? I guess that may not be so difficult to answer. It boils down to ‘economics’. A study of the various regions of Nigeria would reveal that the north is a most impoverished region. High levels of illiteracy and poverty can be said to be a contributory factor to the rise of terrorism. We have heard stories of people given as little as 500naira to plant bombs that kill hundreds of people! Suicide bombers would decide to go into so-called martyrdom for the promise of economic sustenance of their families- and an additional 70 virgins in paradise! This is a tragedy.
As a nation, we are collectively saddened by the rise of Boko Haram…we are also terrified by their presence. And we have registered our grievances time and time again, calling on the government to act fast, and eliminate these terrorists from our midst. The inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari saw the relocation of the military’s command and control center from Abuja, down to Maiduguri in Borno state, the heart of the insurgency. In the past, Nigerian soldiers had largely been timid when they faced the Boko Haram insurgents. This was due to the fact that they were poorly provided for, poorly trained, and grossly underequipped. Some soldiers would run away from the battlefield, choosing to be court-marshaled rather than obey the orders of their commanders to engage an enemy clearly more superior than they were. But I think the tide has turned…somewhat. Joint multilateral efforts by the Nigerian Army together with the militaries of other neighboring states affected by the crises, initiated by President Buhari, a former military man himself, has led to more victories been recorded by the Army. And the new Chief of Army Staff, Major General Tukur Buratai, has certainly brought in life, and boosted the morale of the Nigerian soldiers.
So what is the future for Boko Haram? I know that with our girls still missing, a great number of Nigerians still feel that the insurgency is winning. But I do believe the tide has turned. Recently the military recaptured the economic and strategic town of Gamboru Ngala in Borno state. Thousands of people especially women and children have also been freed from Boko Haram strongholds. Also in recent times, Abubakar Shekau has been much less vocal than he used to be. I certainly feel like the "last moment" assaults been carried out by Boko Haram in recent times is not a show of strength, but of utter desperation. They may win a few battles, but they are losing the war!
I know that the battle to eliminate Boko Haram would require more than a military campaign. If enduring positive peace is to be achieved, the government must take the necessary steps to get to the heart of the problem and address the root causes of the rise of terrorism such as poverty and illiteracy. But I think we are headed in the right direction. And with sustained effort from the military, we can at least put an end to the senseless campaign of bloodshed. To be realistic though, terrorism cannot be completely eradicated in today’s world. There will always be fanatic ideologies that are at variance with collective civil sensibilities, and there will always be fanatics standing ready to champion these ideologies. But in defense of the larger peace-loving and tolerant humanity, as long as there are a majority of people who refuse to be blinded by evil ways of thinking and refuse to be subjected to the horrendous and merciless rule of these fanatics, truth will always triumph over evil. And this is the reality, and the certain future for the group known as Boko Haram.