It will be a disgrace if the supposedly dead leader of the Boko Haram Sect, Abubakar Shekau, is still alive, the Director of the Advanced Center For Sustainable Development, Bode Olaonipekun, said on Thursday in Abuja. The Military had, a few weeks ago, claimed that Shekau was likely to have died from gunshot wounds he sustained during an attack on their hideout; however, the sect leaders, in a video released on Wednesday, berated the military as well as the government stating that he is still alive and well. SEE MORE AFTER CUT>>>>
Olaonipekun opined that the security operatives are always too quick to speak on such issues, especially as they had not recovered the corpse of Shekau or gathered enough evidence to show that he was actually dead.
“The Federal Government has not done too badly in the fight, but I will quickly add that not too well. There are two aspects to these issue of terrorism, from my own point of view. One, I think our attitude of talking too much is taking its toll on the issue of security. Before anything happens everybody is talking, the security chiefs are talking, the special advisers to the government are talking; meanwhile, these are issues that should be regarded as security information,” he said.
“Handling security information is not just saying everything, because when you give all the information to your enemy, the battle is as good as lost. They might have the strategies they are reserving, but giving hasty or too much information might not help matters and now if not a disgrace to us as a nation, with all apologies to the security operatives, it might be a disgrace to them on the long run if truly Shekau is alive.
“It is not yet confirmed but if it is confirmed and found to be true it is a national disgrace, after coming out to tell the whole world that we have done this, we have achieved this, we have put them out and then we find it not to be so. It will amount to national disgrace on the part of all of us, not just the security operatives.”
Olaonipekun further posited that the menace of terrorism, corruption and other challenges facing the country were a resultant effect of cultural failure in the country.
“All those things we are hearing and seeing today are elements of a culture that has failed. Culture is a way of life, a complete way of life for a people or an entity and how do you make it a way of life? It is a process; the process of making something good or bad a way of life is regular practise. You transfer it from generation to generation. For those of us who make the Bible our guideline, the book of Joel 1:3, talks about telling your children and your children’s children who will also tell their generation; that is the process of making something a culture,” Olaonipekun said.
“When God talked about this he was teaching them about making testimony a way of life. Our own culture is gradually moving towards extinction. As a political scientists, I read in the Nigerian Traditional Political System and Sociology too, that in those days people would buy things on the road and drop money there; the seller is not there, he leaves his goods on the road side. The person that needs it goes there, picks it up and drops the money. That is a way of life that existed for years before the advent of urbanisation, modernisation, colonisation and all that has happened to us.”
He added that although “modernisation is good, but one weakness we have in the way we approach policies is that we adopt, we don’t adapt. When you adopt something, the good and the bad of it, whether or not it will work for you, you put your head into it, it will definitely have repercussions.”
“But when you adapt you pick what is good in it and what is good in your own and you merge them together so that you can move forward. It is not as if our culture is entirely bad, it is not as if our traditional culture of honesty or reliability are not there. The problem we have is the way we have either bastardised all these virtues or relegates them to the background.”
“Now they will tell us that corruption started with us the blacks, I don’t agree with that. Honesty has always been a virtue that our traditional system had enthroned from time immemorial, so it is a cultural failure.”
According to him, to overcome the challenges, Nigerian leaders must come breakout from their myopic tendencies and look at issues from a broader perspective.
He added that while cultural orientation in the country differ, efforts must be made to preserve them through continuous research into new things that are emanating in the society.