The zonal men and their militia By Adeolu Ademoyo

A while ago, Nigerian security chiefs have taken turn to thump their chests to herald the progress being made to end terrorism in Nigeria.

President Goodluck Jonathan had followed suit. He was categorical that the days of the terrorists among us are numbered. But is this true?

Terrorism has a history and mutations. Thus, categorical assertions about end to terrorism in Nigeria, which ignore its historical mutations, can be flawed.  Given what we all know and have seen zonal men and their militia located in all the so-called geographical zones in Nigeria see terrorism as an extractive tool to garner resources.    

Sadly, what we have is a mutual balance of terror and destruction as contained in the pronouncements of   these zonal men. The alternative to this sullen reality is for Nigerians who are opposed to terrorism of any sort to openly and morally stop the zonal men and their stone age politics of dissolution, terror, primitive accumulation and corruption.

Undoubtedly, the Boko Haram variant of terrorism caught every Nigerian napping the first time we were hit. In the pandemonium,  and in our season of anomie, social memory and truth became the first casualties. Thus, Nigerians “forgot” the historical and gestating roots of Boko Haram- in Oodua vigilante groups, Massob, Mend, Niger Delta Volunteer Force and all the covert and overt internecine violence and terror which have wrongly been characterized as mere religious or communal disturbance.

Perhaps in the name of being politically correct, we mischaracterize the death machines of the zonal men. But where  every life is sacred  the  murderer of   any Nigerian life outside the law is as guilty as any other murderer.

In other words, we cannot appeal to any ethnic, zone or variable factor outside the law in our understanding of the marauding zonal men and their death merchants among us. To do that  is to  either be selective in  the warrant we give to a zone’s merchants of death or to give warrant to every zone’s merchants of death. Either of these is a revert to the stone and primitive power play of zonal men, and, it is the foundation of dissolution, and or the recurrent use of terrorism.

Civilized norms make  all murder outside the law  of a country deeply flawed  even  when such murder  appears to be  just  in the eyes of the zonal men. To deny this simple proposition is to imply as many zonal men do that “my terrorism is better than yours therefore we are justified, but you are not”. And this is silly and widely mistaken.

Though mistaken, it is the overt and covert  affirmation of this  proposition by  zonal men and their militia that should be of great concern to the security chiefs and Mr. president in their wrongheaded gleeful pronouncement about the end to terrorism. The idea that “my terrorism is better than yours” is political and this has made us ignore the simmering balance of terror and mutual destruction in the country. And when you erect this silly proposition on the stone age  village conception of power by the zonal men you get a permanent orchestration of terrorism  regardless of who is in power.

Regrettably, at state level, it is the idea that “my terrorism is better than yours” and the “cost I suffer is worse than yours” that produce the politics of appeasing merchants of death who given recent pronouncements and from all indications have only temporarily lie low to sheath their weapons of mass destruction and dissolution.

And talking about appeasement, all a group or so-called spokespersons of so-called geographical zone need to do is to pump the weapons of death on fellow humans and wait for the expected appeasement from state on the assumption of the silly proposition that “my terrorism is better than yours”.

But pray where all lives are sacred what is the difference in the Ak47 pressed to service by zonal men and their merchants of death in the southern creeks, western and eastern forests and in the northern savannah? Thus how can one “terrorism be better than the others?” Isn’t this then a recipe for the state of anomie and permanent terrorism of zonal men from the savannah to the creeks and to the forests?

 Thus the assertions  of the security chiefs and Mr. President  need rethinking. They are flawed not just because each time they make such claims, the northern wings of terrorism strike while the south-south wings tune their weapons of death and the eastern and western wings continue to bellow warning shots of retaliation or proactive attack. This is a state of mutual assured destruction, which publicly mocks Mr. President’s assertions, and those of his security chiefs.

Sadly, Mr. president has not helped himself and his security chiefs given his politics of appeasement, which has the potential to grow terrorism in Nigeria thus turning terrorism into a game of musical chairs to be exchanged from one zone to the other as an extractive tool depending on who is in power.

I am not sure how the president will respond to this. But given that Comrade Ebikabowei Victor-Ben a.k.a. Boyloaf, of MEND is one of our envoys will Mr. President also make Alhaji Abu Qaqa and Mallam Kabiru Sokoto of Boko Haram envoys? If so, why? If not, why not?


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