by Femi Fani-Kayode
The good news is that a ceasefire has been announced between the Federal Government and Boko Haram and the girls may well be released very soon.
This came as a consequence of the fact that the Nigerian military finally managed to acquire the weapons that they so badly needed to fight Boko Haram and, having done so, they were able to bring the terrorists to their knees.
My counsel has always been that the Federal Government ought to crush Boko Haram utterly, beat them to a pulp in the field of battle, force them into retreat, decimate their defences, eliminate their leaders, bring them to justice and, after all that has been achieved, the terrorists would have no choice but to come begging through their numerous friends and surrogates.
This is precisely what seems to be happening today and I wish that the Jonathan administration had set this process of ‘’getting tough’’ with the terrorists as far back as three years ago. If they had done so many lives would have been saved.
Yet, as they say, it is better late than never and I am delighted with the latest developments and our apparent string of successes and victories in the war against terror.
It appears that Nigeria has survived yet another civil war and that those that sought to turn us into a 6th century caliphate, ISIL-style Islamic state have failed in their insane, ignoble and thoroughly evil endeavor.
The official military wing of the opposition have lost the war, they have been put to shame and Nigeria has prevailed. Next year, when the presidential and gubernatorial elections are held, their political wing, the APC, will also lose woefully and finally meet their waterloo.
This state of affairs and unfolding set of events provides telling evidence of the veracity of the biblical assertion and age-old spiritual truism that says ‘’darkness cannot overcome light’’. In Nigeria the light is breaking through and the darkness is on the retreat.
The servants of satan and their misguided minions, emissaries, associates and political allies are crawling on their knees. They have tugged their tail between their legs and they are on the run whilst the sons and daughters of the Living God are on the rise and are witnessing a new beginning and resounding victories.
The night was dark and full of horrors yet joy, saddled with God’s unfathomable mercies and blessings, came in the morning. We prayed for peace, we yearned for victory, we cried for mercy and in the end the Ancient of Days, the Lord God of Hosts, the El Shaddai, the Elohim, the Adonai and He that is known as the Man of War answered our prayers. He has done His bit by breaking the ranks of the terrorists and now it is left for us to do ours.
My prayer is that Boko Haram honors the terms of the ceasefire agreement, that they cease all hostilities, that they stop killing our people, that they drop their arms and surrender and that they release our girls and all the other prisoners of war that are in their custody.
If that happens, and I pray that it does, it will not be simply as a consequence of the efforts of the world-wide ‘’Bring Back Our Girls Campaign’’ but as a direct consequence of the prayers of the Nigerian people and the supplications of millions of others throughout the world. It will also be as a consequence of the efforts of President Goodluck Jonathan, his National Security Adviser, our intelligence agencies and the Nigerian Armed Forces .
Our nation defeated the Ebola virus even though our detractors never thought we could do so and now we are on the brink of defeating Boko Haram even though our foreign friends and partners put obstacles in our way and refused to sell us arms. For this we must give thanks to God.
Now is the time for us to heal our wounds, to forgive one another, to preach peace and unity and to put the evil behind us. Now is the time to put the past behind us, to put our hands to the plough and to build a great nation.
Now is the time to ask God to bless Nigeria and to shame all those that collaborated with the enemy, that joined forces with the demons of hell and that shed the blood and tormented the souls of our people.
The declaration of the ceasefire is indeed a thing of joy but that in itself is not victory: it is only one step towards achieving it. Given this I cannot help but to be swayed by the words of Mr. Nnamdi Egbudi when he wrote the following on my Facebook page. He said,
”Reaching a ceasefire agreement with a terrorist group that killed thousands of Nigerians and slit the throats of our Military personnel is not my own definition of victory neither is exchanging the abducted Chibok school girls with terrorist commanders anything to be proud of. For me, the terrorists with all their commanders should be exterminated from the face of the earth as there are no half measures in the quest for peace and security of a Nation”.
I am compelled to agree with this young mans insightful assertion. Nevertheless the fact that a ceasefire is now in place is cause for cheer. They say that a journey of one thousand miles starts with one step. With this ceasefire in place we have just taken that first step.
May God see us through to the end of the journey and may all those that killed our people at will, terrorised our nation, abducted our children, raped our women and maimed our men be brought to a terrible end.
Permit me to conclude this contribution by pointing out what I would describe as an instructive sequence of events. General Muhammadu Buhari, the leading APC presidential aspirant, the man that wishes to ”spread sharia law to the south” and the man who once said that ”an attack on Boko Haram is an attack on the north” declared his Presidential ambition on Wednesday, bought his nomination form on Thursday and Boko Haram, the terrorist organisation that he has consistently sought to protect and that he has often expressed some sympathy for, entered into a ceasefire agreement with the Federal Government on Friday.
Is this interesting sequence of events a mere coincidence or is there more to it than meets the eye? I guess that only God knows the answer to that question but whichever way we view it we can all agree on at least one thing: the plot seems to thicken by the day. God bless Nigeria.
Femi-Fani Kayode is a lawyer, a Nigerian politician, an evangelical christian, an essayist, a poet and he was the Special Assistant (Public Affairs) to President Olusegun Obasanjo from July 2003 until June 2006. He was the minister of culture and tourism of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from June 22nd to Nov 7th 2006 and as the minister of Aviation from Nov 7th 2006 to May 29th 2007. He is a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) having returned to the party following a brief stint in the All Progressive Congress (APC).
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.