It is with deep sadness that Nigerians continue to witness the return of Boko Haram killings in the Northeast. The latest was the killing of 18 civilians and 9 soldiers in attacks on an oil exploration team in Gubio Local Government of Borno State, with some technologists still in missing. Some reports said 48 killed.
This incident and indeed many that have been taking place in the past one year have expressed the need for government to renew its commitment to fighting Boko Haram. That is the only area where some tangible achievements have been gained, which the government must not allow to go down the drain as in its war against corruption.
We extend our sincere condolences to the great people of Borno who have continued to endure this enormous calamity. Our special condolence goes to the university community at UNIMAID, which has recently become the latest punching bag in the conflict. As we share every bit of their sadness, we still have the confidence that the insurgency will be overcome.
As Borno was able to survive bigger epic catastrophes in its past, including that of the ruthless Rabeh in the 19th Century, it will overcome this and continue, as it did for centuries, to play its crucial role in the economic, social and political develepment of Nigeria.
If this calamity had befallen a region different from the Northeast, I wonder what would be its fate by now. But with its legendary endurance, Borno and other affected areas are surviving it, in spite of the machinations, negligence and half-hearted commitments in the past seven years. Great people, said Al-Mutanabbi, endure great calamities:
ان العظيم على العظيم صبور!
…with resolve, not with tears:
و بشر الصابرين. الذين اذا أصابتهم مصيبة قالوا انا لله وانا اليه راجعون.
Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde