Like religious clerics, Politicians control people either through fear of hell or promise of heaven on Earth. While the promise of utopia and new infrastructure is well debated, the fear of Apocalypse is much stronger and more effective, but never discussed openly. When non state actors use the fear to achieve political aims, they are called terrorists.
The aim of Terrorism is to strike fear in the hearts of the masses, in other to pressurize the political system to change a policy or government. Cause a collective seige mentality. This was why Margaret Thatcher, the British Prime Minister, pushed to starve the Irish terrorists (Ira) of the air of recognition. At no time did the Irish threaten to takeover England, their aim was to psychologically frustrate the British state until it withdrew from Ireland.
Terrorists were never misconstrued as invading armies, until US President George Bush and the September 11 2001 World Trade center bombings. He and the Right wing Conservatives propagated that Islamic terrorists were about to takeover the world, while Leftists believed it was a right wing ploy to psychologically terrorize the masses to enable government to fight global resources wars unhindered and to justify restriction of domestic civil rights.
It was claimed that the West intelligentsia had used the fear of the Communists and the invasion of a big bad evil Soviet empire, to control people only to the the advantage of military industrialists making guns, bombs and spying equipment. With the fall of the Soviets, the veil was been removed and we saw that Russia was little more than a glorified second tier nation, therefore the next bogeyman was the Islamists armed by the West. From Germans we had the Russians and now Islamic terrorists, all who previously fought on the side of the West.
As of Nigeria, let’s just say the Nigerian state is a child of terrorism and the psychological warfare has continued till date. After dumping 400,000 guns on our coast every year to fuel terrorism and kidnappings for the Trans Atlantic slave trade, Europeans offered to protect us in protectorates that became today’s Nigeria and all other African nations. They colonized the African continent and it was only the fear that Russians will arm the Black Diaspora and the continental African liberation fighters that made the Western imperialist quickly agree to independence. They agreed to independence and planned using another psychological tool to neocolonize us – corruption propaganda, used as excuses for military coups for the next few decades.
Using corruption propaganda to instill fear that the current regime was about to bankrupt the masses – if Nigeria doesn’t kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria rhetoric. This was used to inspire regime change in 1966, 1983 and 2014. However corruption propaganda as a political tool for regime change has its limits and couldn’t be repeated too often otherwise it would be clear it was a systems failure. So the physical terror was reintroduced with the Islamist terrorists of Mali and Nigeria in West Africa down to Kenya in East Africa.
From the beginning of Islam, Christians and Sunnis developed a covet cooperation. This was used to bring down the Russians by arming Afghan Islamists to bankrupt the Soviets. With Boko Haram, locally indoctrinated Thugs were armed to cause fear. The fear was used to not only embarrass President Jonathan out of power, but made people opt for General Buhari, who was not not only a soldier but also belonged to the Islamic part of the nation. Infact, the Boko Haram terrorists publicly stated that he was to be their spokesman.
However, the West that armed and sponsored the terrorists knew they would use it against Buhari who they brought to power with it, when the time comes. The terror game only needed a little tweaking to make it look like he was behind it.
Yes, the scourge of Asiatic cultural imperialism had plagued us from Lake Chad since the 8th century start of Islam. It was a slow insiduos process with each stage normally taking 250yrs. The first stage was coming to settle among the targeted territory first as traders then as scholars to indoctrinate the women and poor youth against their traditional institutions, usually taking 250yrs. The next stage was to demand for representation in the existing political structures once they accounted for 15% of the population. The third stage was to alleged financial and moral corruption through Jihad to take over the power. However we are now being told that the three 250yr cycles were being collapsed into two election terms.
Yes there are terrorists in the forests making living difficult on the countrysides, but it remains to be seen how even 1000 terrorists want to takeover a city of 1m. It is good that the ethnic security infrastructure has been alerted so can they prevent and disperse any build up strong enough to attack and inflict considerable damage. And even in the rarest event that they attack, how do they populate the areas taken over.
Therefore the question is what is the worst that these terrorists can do, or better still what is message being sent by the terror merchants? It appears that at best, it is to make the present government and ruling party not re-electable, or at worse this is to provoke ethnic cleansing and anarchy on a large scale that will justify the landing of Western troops to ‘protect’ the people against the terrorists they armed in secrey. A repeat of the initial colonization at the end of late 1800s.
So what do we do to stop the scourge of Islamic terrorists but don’t let it inspire fear and hatred that interferes with our decision making. Though Thatcher prescribed censoring all news regarding terrorist activities, she also engaged in attacking their bases directly. As Amotekun and Aare Onakankanfo rightly believe, we should attack any formation of terrorists but don’t make it news or you will be achieving the terrorists aims of scaring the public. Stopping them from forming an threatening formations on our borders, silently.
Unfortunately, today every single news outlet and Whatsapp group is flooded with news of terrorism, which the readers can do nothing about but be scared to move around freely. This not only kills the economy, but distorts political reality. It is what is known as psy-ops. Instead of scaring the public stiff, we should make them realize that at worse, if they come down the hills or out of the forest, they can’t kill more than ten times their number of attackers, before we not only respond but March to their Bornu, Sokoto or any terrorist command center and destroy them.
The most likely and worst scenario is that the international terrorist will attack key areas and personalities to provoke anarchy, leading to the landing of Western colonizing troops, or used as a justification to bring in a new cabal of military leaders that would replace the Class of 1966 of Obasanjo, IBB, Buhari etc. Most important to the West is such a scenario can be used to derail restructuring that would break their neocolonization, like Egypt public were provoked and they lost their democracy to a new military cabal.
Once Yorubas that are known to have pushed restructuring to near fruition, are provoked into attacks against Hausa and Fulani, a new government or peacekeepers would claim that the restructuring agitation inspired hate speech and ethnic discord, instead of the push for better governance and bring government to the people.
Therefore we must be very mindful of how we send terrorist news around, because those propagating the terror have other plans, like provoking anarchy to justify the arrest of the restructuring movement. Don’t let the wrong stereotype pushed by Lugard and believed by many Western planners that we Southerners are very emotional with no sense of history or critical analysis of the future. Keep the eyes on the restructuring ball and stop helping in passing terrorizing messages and videos that would do nothing but provoke a wrong emotional response that will trash everything we have worked for.