Monday, August 1, 2011


There is a small mammal called the meerkat! It lives in the Kalahari desert of Namibia: it is also found in Angola, and South Africa! 

It is a close relation of the mongoose! 

The meerkat gets it's food primarily by digging for it! It loves earthworms, snakes, scorpions, and any other small thing it can catch!

When a meerkat is confronted with an egg, which as we all know, is not easy for a small animal to grasp because of it's oval shape, and smoothness: it's first attempt to get at the food it knows is in it, is to dig around the egg!

Because it is so programmed to dig for food, it's brain tells it dig, and dig it would, frantically, and in frustration!

So it keeps digging, if it is lucky, the egg might hit a stone, and it gets a meal, or the egg might just titillate it, and refuse to yield to all the digging!

It is a funny story, but sadly true!

Sadder still, is the human parallel!

Sometimes, the actions of people with infinite stupidity, is to attack every every problem, with the same set of tools! 

If they were able to solve the problem of walking in the rain, by wearing a raincoat, the next time they walk in the sun, they would wear their raincoats again!

The federal government has declared that a high-powered select committee, is going to be meeting with the insurgents that go by the name "Boko Haram", to negotiate peace terms with them! 

They have been killing people, and bombing government targets,  generally making a big nuisance of themselves in the Northern part of Nigeria! 

The government has a lot of experience in dealing with situations like this! 

It successfully negotiated with, and gave amnesty to, the militants who were generally imperiling our economic interests in the Niger Delta! 

Overnight, the young men who were waging war on our oil facilities, and engaging in all manner of reckless brigandage, became millionaires! 

Many were sent on government scholarships to study in America, and other exotic parts of the world!

Those who did not travel, but opted to have their training in Lagos, have been spending money like Bill and Melinda Gates do on good causes! Only these ex-militants spend theirs on wine, women, and what-have-you! 

Many law-abiding young men, who refused to join their friends in the insurgency, were left to rue their decision to be law-abiding! 

They are still unemployed, poor, and despondent! 

That was in the Southern part of Nigeria,

The Boko Haram insurgents, are operating in the Northern part of the country! 

As you are aware, there are two more cardinal points to be visited! (Or in our own case four more! The mystery of our six cardinal points is another story for another time)

Nigeria is a very interesting country: people do not want to be cheated, and always demand their share of any largess given to another part of the country!

Government too, is always eager to acquiesce to every demand of people who do anything to threaten our economic interests! 

It is just like how overindulgent parents pacify, and satisfy, every whim of a petulant pampered and properly spoiled child!  

Commonsense dictates that a strong hand is the best way to handle wayward children, but government believes otherwise!

For people who have seen this scenario before, there is a feeling of de ja vu! 

We have seen this before! 

 It usually begins with an offer being made by the government for unconditional amnesty for people who are not even willing to surrender! The government nags them until they accept it! In return, they have to promise to end hostilities! 

This would be followed by a high powered committee formed to implement the conditions of the amnesty! 

To show government's readiness to always go this route, there is a special adviser to the president on amnesty!

Does it not sound eerily similar to how a meerkat is ready to dig all the time to solve a problem?

The other shoe is waiting to drop: the Eastern, and the Western part of Nigeria, are yet to get their share of the amnesty largess! (And the other four) 

So, in no distant time from now, expect to hear of insurgents like the Defenders of Oduduwa, from the South: and Nwoke Na Action for the East! 

I suspect that there will be many takers!

The militancy/amnesty business, is the most lucrative business in town now!
It is lucrative to both sides! 

Those in government charged with administering it, are usually given the keys to the national treasury, and all expense is put under the amorphous subhead called "security vote"!

The "security vote" is like the the American military's policy concerning gays "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"!

The money will not be accounted for, or audited! 

It is a legitimate black ops  transaction, in plain view!

As the people in government decide to walk in the sun with their raincoats, let us hope that they would see reason: be wise, and stop addressing every problem, with the same solution: money!

The limit of money is obvious, it solved the Niger Delta insurgency, but did not prevent the Boko Haram brouhaha! 

On the other hand, a person of limitless stupidity, will always make the same mistake all through life, and leave a trail of problems behind!


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