Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Many ifs over Ondo



If the cockroach wants to rule over the chicken, it must hire the fox as a bodyguard. African proverb.
The concluded gubernatorial elections in Ondo State have answered a few questions and raised a lot more. Let us first see off some of the answers. Please feel free to disagree. First, Ondo voters elected a good man on the platform of a party that, many warts and all, offers the best prospects for some returns, at least in the short term. Second, INEC under its new Chairman has now successfully tucked away two key elections under its belt bulging full with inconclusive elections and a few that may not be held at all until 2019.Three, the judiciary showed how it is in every respect a major player in our electoral process, and it will be foolhardy to think it is finished, even in Ondo. Four, PDP's self-destruct mode is still active, and Ondo could just be what it needs to go its separate ways. Finally, the Ondo elections provide a speculator's dream, and there will be no penalties for asking the wrong questions and getting the right answers.
If the voters of Ondo State elected Rotimi Akeredolu largely on his merit alone, meaning that they thought he will make a better governor than Jegede and Oke, you would say they have shown a remarkable and consistent degree of level-headedness in a most confusing context where just about every voter had two or three competing loyalties tugging at his vote. He is indeed  prepared for the position of governor, but not all preparations guarantee success. His success, despite the hostility of major strands of mainstream APC in the region, the almighty quarrel which it engineered within the APC and ominous signs that he may have to cosy up to new step godfathers all suggest that his first major engagements are going to test his capacity to cover his flanks while dramatically showing the difference between him and Mimiko. Akeredolu will govern as part-orphan, part free man, and what he makes of this ambiguous status will be critical to his tenure and the volatility of southwest politics.
If Akeredolu's victory is product of the poverty of the PDP and AD in the politics of the Southwest, the type of poverty that even an APC working substantially against itself does not mitigate, it is going to be difficult to see a meaningful recovery of the opposition to the APC in the region, unless it is supported with a much stronger muscle and greater damage  from within the APC. But that will be only one way of looking at it. If it still has members who undertake critical analyses of results, PDP should open at least a few champagne bottles. Its performance even while engrossed in a vicious civil war suggests that it could benefit from the attrition coming from within the APC itself. Akeredolu and those designing a new APC without the Asiwaju and his loyalists in the southwest will do well to pay heed to the dangers of an alliance between a faction of the PDP and those APC members who are already stopping taxis on their way out. First, though, the PDP will have to survive the fierce and ultimately destructive quarrels that will follow a defeat.
If APC's victory had confounded circles that were indifferent or hostile to it, or had encouraged others who worked for it, it does not show in the initial responses. The deluge of congratulations to Akeredolu belie a simmering and deep-seated rancour in the ranks of the APC. The rituals of lining up behind success of party men and women provide opportunities to sheath swords and melt with the multitude. Many genuine supporters of the APC will hope that copious and apparently sincere felicitations  from President Buhari, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Chief  Odigie- Oyegun , Atiku and Saraki and a host of others deeply involved in influencing the direction and fortunes of the APC are real signs that Ondo will represent a strategic turning point. Just days ago, many will confidently place bets that the elections will be a tipping point for the worse. This is the same party that is still basking in the glory of snatching a vital one, Edo State, away from its nemesis, the south south.
If Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is the master he is reputed to be, then he would be playing a game few will be familiar with. His instant message of congratulations to Akeredolu could buy him time without showing his hands entirely. He and his core loyalists have moved so far from this victory that it will be na├»ve to believe that he is undergoing a spontaneous conversion to a situation that showed him up in all his  political undergarments. He could be calculating the cost of sustaining a cold war while he reinforces his defenses, against the benefits of taking up his new, slightly humbler place near the top in a party with a lot up for grabs. He could be counting on Akeredolu being nudged towards the reputed direction of power in the region and being reminded that life could be altogether more comfortable if he is in the warm embrace of a man who did not want him to be governor. If Akeredolu proves difficult or distant, the Jagaba could shrug off an irritation and either live with it or attempt to design a master plan that isolates it.
If those who believe they have bloodied Asiwaju's nose with Ondo crow longer and louder than necessary, they could heighten attention at what appears to be a serious decline on his hold, if not entirely around southwest politics, then at least at the level of the APC in the region. The rumoured attempt at demystification of Asiwaju designed in Abuja and a few state capitals could be at work, and a hatchet job of a post mortem could do further damage to Tinubu. An attempt could be made to show that he had thrown his entire political weight behind the defeat of Akeredolu without success. That will serve the purpose of hinting that he has lost his crown to new powers in the region, and this will be important in evaluating him in relation to 2019. Or it could be revealed that he neither campaigned for or against Akeredolu with any vigour, choosing indifference that some will interpret as dangerous complacency for a politician that never slept with both eyes closed. Either way, the Asiwaju will lose feathers.
If there are winners with bigger prizes than Akeredolu, at least in symbolic terms, they will be president Buhari and the APC. There will be vigourous efforts to enlist Asiwaju by all concerned in the victory parade, but his spat with the party over Ondo could not have failed to register a major drift between Buhari and a man he had held at the highest esteem this time last year. There were certainly people whose project around creating cleavages received a boost from the tantrums thrown up by Tinubu, and if a few people, including Buhari and Oyegun worried that Edo and Ondo could be threatened or lost, you wouldn't accuse them of being alarmists. Edo was vigorously shielded to victory by sheer dint of hardwork and an impressive turnout of Buhari loyalists who saw the dangers of losing Edo. Then Ondo pitched Buhari and Asiwaju on opposite sides of the divide in Ondo. For a president facing many questions on the state of the economy, challenges from old and new security threats, rising frustrations from citizens who think the war against corruption should have prison cells bulging with the corrupt whose stolen trillions are being ploughed back to fight poverty, and political allies openly strategizing for their own places in the sun in 2019, Ondo is by all standards of judgment a major boost of confidence for Buhari. For the APC, a defeat in Ondo would have caused an irreparable setback, compounding the problems of a party in power fighting hard to not to drown from internal subversion and indifference from critical life sources.
If APC has the vision of sustaining its hold on the nation beyond 2015, it should see Ondo as an invaluable gift. Attempts should be made to build strong bridges to bruised egos and hurt pride. For president Buhari in particular, this is no time to leave things to sort themselves out. Unless, of course, things have been left unattended for too long. 2019 is a lot closer than many politicians realize. Those with less luggage and chronically restive spirits would be on their ways out. A few could be persuaded to stay because the atmosphere outside is hostile and uncertain. A few ambitious younger Turks will attempt to scuttle a re-engineering process. In any case, you will not know how things will work our until at least you make an effort to build on the strategic victory that was Ondo.




Wednesday, November 23, 2016

With a blade and a grievance.



"The only cure for grief is action". G.H. Lewis

            By the time your are reading this, the story behind the video showing the lynching and burning of a seven-year old Nigerian child for stealing Garri would have assumed many versions, including some which will maintain that it was all a work of fiction. Whatever you believe, it is difficult to ignore the fact that adults filmed and posted a murder. There was no evidence of anyone among on-lookers  attempting to intervene. No police. No samaritans. Just a child helplessly begging for mercy and our shrinking soul. These types of videos and pictures rob us of more of the very thin layer of our sensitivity to violence, blood, guts and designed evil. They remind us of how low we have sunk as a people. Neither our faith nor our  laws keep us restrained. We kill and maim and melt into a society that just moves on. I published  the material below in November,2013 (admittedly in some anger) when I thought the legion of the unloved, unprotected and desperate younger  northern generation we are all responsible for will eventually be the undoing of us all. I reproduce it today to appeal to President Buhari: please, sir, find the people who murdered that child and bring them to justice.

He is somewhere near sixteen, but no one is sure. Actually no one has bothered to register his actual date of birth. Police have different ages for him taken from his many detentions. He has a home and a family, but no one will go out looking for him if he is not seen for days, or forever. He is tough and scary, but he is also very scared. He fears the beatings and torture from police, but he fears the violence of members of his gang and rival gangs more. He lives every day as if it could be his last, because it actually could. He has no faith in anything or anyone. He trusts no one, and no one trusts him. He has bruises going back to when he was about 13 years old. He has beaten people to death, or near death, and he expects that his end may be violent.

He is available to politicians and religious enforcers, when he stays off drugs long enough to be told what to do. He floats in and out of gangs. The local police and local vigilante know him, and he knows them. Children fear him, adults shun and curse him, and peers keep him on a tight leash. He is the face of half of Northerners under 18. The other half know of him. They did not go to school with him, but he was always there when they went and came back. They grew up in the same neighbourhood, but their worlds grew further apart as they got older. They learnt lessons  in schools, he learnt his in streets. He is half almajiri, half illiterate, available for anything that will give him a meal and some excitement. They could graduate and go further than secondary schools, or they could fail to get any further, and live on similar circumstances as him. They have hopes for a future with education and jobs and families. He lives for the next meal and the next fix.

He is in all the towns and cities of the North, an alarming reminder of our decaying social and economic assets. Politicians who used him during election campaigns now zoom past him in big jeeps with tinted glasses. They do not know him. They should not. He was brought to them, drugged and willing, to be mobilized to break heads and chase away crowds. They bought him a knife and lots of drugs, and sent him forth to steal political mandates.

A few of his mates have found accommodation in corridors of power as quasi-vigilante and political enforcers. They appeal to him to wait for the next elections. The  next elections are too far to wait for on an empty stomach without a fix. So a gang which fights other gangs and the community provide an alternative source of engagement. It promises some form of identity, protection, excitement, people to rob, women to rape, and endless sources of drugs. Police and vigilante show no mercy, many times killing his mates. His gang also shows no mercy, protecting its turf with knives, cutlasses and blood. Community leaders shut their doors when gangs fight. Police do not come until it is all over, and casualties are registered. Kids admire or fear them. Some request to join.

When Northerners contemplate their future, they should start from their substantial army of alienated and angry youth. That category with no education, no skills, no future and no faith in anyone or anything. They should ask searching questions over what happens to the tens of millions of school-age children who do not go to school. They should ask what happens to 10 million almajirai when they become adults and have to find space in a nation which has zero-tolerance for anyone without education or skills. They should ask how the millions of young married girls manage families without physical and emotional maturity, education or resources. They should ask what type of wives and mothers they make; what type of children they bring up; and what the community loses by not allowing them to go to school, even if married.

The juvenile, drugged and armed young gang member that terrorises urban communities is a blight on the North’s landscape. He feeds the marauding criminals who live in forests and attack villages at will. He was a member of the lowest ranks  of, and would have been shot dead hundreds of times or is incarcerated in detention facilities all over the nation. He joins fights between rural communities, for little more than the desire to shed blood for a pittance and small scores. He lurks around streets, robs and maims and rapes because he can. He is untouchable, a link in a long chain of untouchables who remind the powerful and the wealthy that they have failed. He is the reason why politicians speed past the public at frightening speed; why the rich build high walls around their residences and why our towns and cities are dotted with military and police checkpoints.

The angry and hopeless youth is now being joined by those in universities who see a diminishing prospect for the good life. Hundreds of thousands of young undergraduates now sit idly in seething anger, feeling abandoned by government, the community and their teachers represented by ASUU. They now have a grievance almost the size of their neighbour who never went to school. The system has failed them. They will now graduate at a much later date than planned. The months of strike are not likely to revolutionize the quality of the instructions they receive, their learning environment or their welfare. Even when they graduate, the prospect of getting jobs are becoming dimmer by the day. They will join millions of other young people who will be bitter that a nation which should do much better by them has failed them woefully. 

The nation is breeding entire generations which are fed on heavy doses of frustrations, bitterness and hopelessness. They grow up with no sense of obligation to a nation which has done nothing for them. Those who have received little or very poor education learn to resent the rich, the powerful and the well-connected peers who will rush past them into expensive education and guaranteed employment. They are taught to blame others, and hate other ethnic groups because they are responsible for their conditions. They hate politicians who milk their future dry; they resent the hypocrisy of religions leaders who preach honesty, sacrifice and humility, but live opulent lives. They resent every form of authority because it has been corrupted, and because it reminds them of the conspiracy of the powerful and the wealthy to keep them out of the good life.

The expanding numbers of unemployed, unskilled, bitter and desperate youth in much of the North will provide the tinder for explosion when political competition and disputes go searching for foot soldiers. For a brief moment, the millions of alienated and bitter youth with no future will find relevance as heads are broken, houses razed, and whole communities destroyed. Leaders who failed to give them hope and a future may perish at their hands, or they may build higher fences while those who have no future scramble for their pittance. 
      If you are not worried about 2019, begin to worry now.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Trump's America: Tiger by the tail.



If you close your eyes to facts, you will learn through accidents. African proverb.
There are times and occasions for prolonged grieving. For most of the world reeling from the shock of Donald Trump's earth-shaking triumph, this is not one of them. Some people can afford deep introspection, some anger and even expressions of intentions to resist a legitimate process. These will be Americans, some of whose choice is still sinking in a world fundamentally influenced by the USA.  The rest of the world will be roughly split between those who will submit entirely to a Trump presidency, and others who will look hard at how they can live with it, or in spite of it. Most of the world  will be well advised to maintain the highest levels of vigilance over US politics in the next few months before deciding whether to run, stop and fight, or vindicate the philosopher who said in all power relations, the strong will do as they wish, and the weak will suffer as they must. 
A Trump presidency is actually less fearful than the powerful undercurrents which it stirred and rode to power with, leaving much of the world stumped. Somewhere between the outrageous and the improbable, the Trump presidency will find a place that will leave friends and foes searching for those elements they thought will define it. Some of its outlines will linger longer than others, but it is safe to say that America will bear a Trump stamp for the next generation. Millions of voters, and quite possibly millions more who did not vote appear to want an America which shapes the world after itself. They want an America that will be comfortable with its historic negative character expressed in racism, prejudice, bigotry and hate. They want to re-visit settled wisdom around the progress America has made towards cultural and political inclusiveness. They want to interrogate globalization, world security founded on extensive cooperation and collaboration with allies and some accommodation with traditional foes, and a world in which America shares space with sworn enemies and forces it cannot defeat. They believe it is possible to permanently defeat deeply entrenched political establishments, remove the stranglehold of corporate America from its politics and reverse policies which attempt to bridge wealth and income gaps by taxing the rich. They are against dealing with inner city violence and decay by reforming policing and re-engineering local economies; against welfare policies that improve access of the poor to social nets; against reducing the dominant white colour of America; against foreigners and Muslims and people who draw boundaries around acceptable attitudes and conducts by leaders. They want an America that chooses which battles it will fight, and they want an America that wins all of them.
Something had happened to America nearly two decades ago that few people had noticed. Since the end of the Bush  presidency, it had began to look like it will reflect all its defining characteristics, but the Clintons' dynasty and the Obama presidency aroused a resistance that only needed a catalyst to create what Trump called a movement. Mumbling poorly-articulated sentiments and outrageous provocations, he struck a cord among millions of Americans who thought America can be remade. Now that movement will have to be channelled through a governance process that will attempt to balance huge expectations against fierce resistance by US citizens, political establishments, allies and foes. A Trump presidency will find that its traditional allies already have their hands full from the sharp turn to the right which their politics is taking. Between Brexit and a resurgence of far right political parties and sentiments, Europe is  divided between those who believe in building walls to keep out deeply-integrated economies and  foreigners, and those who see economic progress and security in stronger alliances and regional groupings that entail some limitations to sovereignty. The far right will see a Trump presidency as a boost to its designs to reverse the gains of globalization, particularly in the creation of a global labour force and dilution of cultural and racial character of nations. The resistance against re-writing fifty years of unrelenting assault on national boundries, economies and texture will be fierce. 
A Trump presidency will challenge the world, but it does not have to be all doom and gloom for many. The bloodletting in Iraq and Syria and Yemen and Afghanistan will continue as US military top brass argue over what options to pitch to a Trump presidency that may just prefer that the wars will all go away, or go on without American boots, dollars and blood. Russia will reap from indecision and weak American will to assert itself in areas where it is currently competing with it. Europe could re-invent itself with less US muscle in its defence, dusting up quarrels over trade and economic policies with the US. China will push on, building on the weaknesses of advanced industrialized countries. Neighboring nationals that Trump threatens to wall out will seep through, prodded by hostile governments now less inclined to work with US on controls and economic cooperation. ISIS and other faith-based enemies will find inspiration from a president with registered hostility towards Muslims. They will benefit from the distance of US support and collaboration in fighting armed, home-grown groups in Europe. Belligerent regimes will find new and additional ways to test US might and mood, and nations which count on US cover against them will feel the impact of its retreat, indifference or indecision. In many of the worlds theaters spilling blood and hope, the position the US takes in the next few months will decide whether thousands of people live or die.
Africa should not expect any favours from a Trump presidency. African nations will have to watch stores very closely as the new US administration scrutinizes all policies and programmes involved in Africa-US relations, just in case they reflect elements of the Obama heritage that Trump and his supporters find so offensive. Africa can wait, bowl in hand, for Trump to decide if will continue to receive US bailouts for its weaknesses and limitations, or it can re-discover its capacities to limit damage and improve its bargaining capacities. Africa could build new foundations for a US-Africa relationship by engaging the new administration in a forward-looking exercise that sensitizes it to its importance. By any standard of judgment Africa is of major strategic importance to the US. From the massively-subsidized military regime in Egypt, to the war against Boko Haram in Nigeria and its neighbours, the campaign against Al-Qaida in the Maghreb, the global efforts to limit the dangers of climate-induced poverty in Africa and the scores of conflicts and tensions dotting the continent, the US has become a major partner in African security and development, a partnership less informed by charity than by the imperatives of protecting the position of the world's leading power. China represents a real threat to US economic and strategic interests in Africa, and a re-engineered African Union and strong regional groupings will make much impact in leading Africa through difficult maneuvers to exploit competition for its markets and resources. Africa should work with the rest of the world to limit the potential damage of a rampant US administration that deports thousands of non-citizens, and should even raise its voice in defence of African-Americans whose prospects of progress in a nation more defined by colour are likely to dip. 
Leading African nations such as Nigeria need to adopt positive and enlightened postures in dealing with new challenges from a Trump presidency. The absence of a Nigerian Ambassador to the US and a Permanent Representative at the UN at this moment is most unfortunate, and should be addressed immediately. Nigeria should deploy all goodwill towards the new administration, and seek to reinforce US support for the war against Boko Haram as well as efforts to sustain the development of its democratic institutions and long-term political stability. The US needs to understand the nature of Nigeria's current recession and their implications for its security and unity. It needs to  appreciate the central position of a Nigeria in Africa, as well as respect its capacities to lead Africa in challenging US interest in the Middle East and other parts of the world that are not consistent with Africa's. US voters made their choice over how their nation should relate with the world. The world now has to decide how it lives with that choice.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Nigerians of interest



                A large chair does not make a king. African proverb.

        The subject of this column was triggered by the impressive national turnout at the tenth year anniversary celebrations of the reign of Sultan Saad Abubakar III. This event lived up to expectations that it will provide a vast rally for leaders and politicians to identify with an institution many of them look at with a mixture of discomfort and awe. The Sultan's first decade has been eventful, not so much because he had struggled between the instinct to chart a new course as his personal values and life experiences dictated, and the pressures to preserve an institution that had been hemmed in by political forces over which it had little influence; but because it coincided with major developments in the welfare and security of the millions of Muslims whom it claims to represent. There were many Nigerians who will define the character of his second decade in power at the anniversary, and a few were not, but they will also influence and shape the next few years and the future of a nation at many crossroads. These are a few of such Nigerians of interest, in no specific order.

1)     President Muhammadu Buhari.
      President Buhari is struggling with an economy in deep recession which is threatening to overshadow his notable achievements in rolling back an insurgency and taking on deeply-entrenched corruption. Old ghosts stoking political violence in the Niger Delta are  assuming new lives, and his administration risks being mired in deeply destructive skirmishes in the creeks, or submitting to  demands it cannot meet in return for peace and safety of assets which cannot be guaranteed. His political platform is weakening as close allies shop around for a political future on new or re-engineered platforms. He appears set to preserve a style of administration and a circle of influence which have come under widespread criticism. His opposition will build its assaults around policies and key office holders that do not appear to address the gravity of the state of the economy. If the President can successfully demonstrate the beginning of a reversal in the fortunes of the economy in the next one year, his supporters will sustain their deep faith in his ability to change the basic character of the Nigerian political economy.

2)     President Obasanjo.
President Obasanjo has maintained his perennial visibility in the political horizon, and so far, he has publicly stuck with his support for Buhari. Nonetheless, he courts intense speculation and curiousity by his tendency to pander to all tendencies that beckon. The potency of his actual clout is widely debated, but many Buhari supporters will pray that he does not write one of his infamous letters to the President before 2019.

3)     President  Babangida.
        A central pillar in the military influence on Nigerian politics going back to 1966, President Babangida, along with Obasanjo, Buhari, Danjuma, and a score of aging generals still retain an active interest in Nigerian politics. Buhari's election had stirred this residual military influence in all its manifestations, in spite of efforts to paper it over. This undercurrent will haunt the Nigerian political culture and process until, in all probability, the end of the Buhari presidency.

4)     President Jonathan.
President Jonathan is testing the waters to establish whether he is on permanent parole from his past, or he will eventually be held to account for some the transgressions for which many of his aides and associates are being investigated or tried. Whether he uses his freedom to be part of the political process and the rebuilding of the PDP or he puts some distance from active partisan activities depends on how firmly he feels the political ground under his feet.

General Danjuma.
        This General has just assumed a major, sensitive responsibility to bring relief to millions and oversee rehabilitation and reconstruction of lives and livelihoods in the north east. This is a job requiring immense trust from President Buhari, and the international community will watch very closely how he performs, because so much of their goodwill and resources which could go to that region is contingent on improvements in the integrity and competence of institutions and persons involved from Nigerian governments.

Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
        Much of the restiveness within the All Progressives Congress(APC) and the excitement in the remnants of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) are results  of signals that Atiku is rallying forces out of the two parties towards a new platform. So far he has maintained a studied presence and a registered distance from the leadership of the APC and the government, a position politicians like Atiku tolerate with extreme discomfort. In the next few months, he will have to show his hands.

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
        The Asiwaju is fighting another of the many turf battles he had fought in the past. Spirited efforts are being made to dilute him out of the future of south west politics, and he is being reminded by many signals that the top has less room for him than he thought he was eternally entitled to. Those fighting him know they are dealing with a veteran, the type of politician a philosopher said you either crush completely or pamper permanently. No one should write off Tinubu, but he knows by now that this battle for his political survival could be his last if he loses.

Senate President Saraki.
         Saraki bears more scars than any politician today from the pursuit of his ambitions and the resistance from quarters which felt threatened or offended by his single-minded determination to grab power where others wait to be given, or join queues to beg for it. He is at the heart of current manouvers to reposition ambitions and interests, and much of what he does today is informed by a close monitoring of other powerful interests in his party and laboured calculations around 2019 and beyond. He is likely to resist showing his hands prematurely given his current position and his vulnerability, but he will be under some pressure to signal where he stands in the many emerging permutations and realignments.

Minister Rotimi Amaechi.
        This former governor of Rivers State and a powerful minister is a recurring factor in all developments and rumoured calculations and manouvers towards 2019 and beyond. His party's  recent victory in Edo State has avoided  a potential whitewash by the PDP in a region where he claims as his source of power and relevance. Rising political violence tends to question relevance and utility all political holders from the region, and generally creates parallel sources of power. If Amaechi's rumoured interests in 2019 and beyond are genuine, he will have to rediscover new and additional sources of influence, or dig deeper trenches to fight Buhari's war in the south south region.

Chief Edwin Clark.
       Those who thought Chief Clark had returned when he recently led a delegation to President Buhari to discuss terms for cessation of hostilities with groups destroying the nation's oil and gas assets in the Niger Delta are wrong. He was never away from events and developments in the region. Whether this is the cause or the consequence of the underdevelopment of the region's political poverty can be debated, but a long term and lasting solution to the circle of violence, corruption and poverty in the region will have to be sought without people like Chief Clark.
     
Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.
          This former governor of Kano State has tall ambitions, but they will be crushed if he loses his current battles with his former deputy, now governor. He could make peace by yielding Kano to Ganduje in return for the recovery of his prime constituency for higher office or enhanced value in negotiating a future, but this will be a risky and expensive option. Kwankwaso's entire political assets will be needed in the next few months to save him from total political extinction.

         Abubakar Shekau.
         Shekau leads a faction of Boko Haram that has been pinned to enclaves, but still retains the capacity to hold off a total defeat and the freeing of all civilians under their control. Hundreds of thousands of civilians will take years to relocate and resume normal lives and livelihood as a result of the continued resistance of this insurgency. So long as this insurgency holds territory and communities, the war against Boko Haram would not have been won. The General in President Buhari will know this more than any one.