“If Taliban could do it, then we can.”

You can judge the motivation in the ISWAP camp. A motivational speaker driving his partners in crime nut. It is normal. The Taliban takeover would spread terrorism in the world. Immediately after the Kabul victory, ISWAP rejected amnesty from the government of Nigeria and proceeded to reorganize its leadership. The phenomenon is an inspiration to extremists around the world. Each time a takeover happens, there are ripple effects. The coup that removed King Farouk of Egypt inspired ambitious officers across Africa to topple their own governments. Some of them cited some reasons – of which, eventually, they become guilty. The Bolshevik Revolution became an inspiration to other world revolutionaries.

Same with the Soviet collapse. The Orange Revolution in Ukraine spilt across Eastern Europe. In North Africa and the Middle East, the Tunisian revolt spread from one country to another. Ancient regimes fell like dominoes. Good or bad, ideas spread. Shi’ite presence in Nigeria was hardly felt until the 1979 Ruhollah Khomeini revolution succeeded in Persia (now Iran). El Zakzaky, drawing inspiration from Iran, built the Shi’ite population from zero to millions – for political and religious purposes. They are presently asking for an end to what looks like a secular government in Nigeria; to be replaced with an imamate. “Afghans support the Taliban.” Not true! Many tens of thousands have been crossing the borders into Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan etcetera.

We should talk about this in the context of Boko Haram overrunning Nigeria. Because the Army could not stop them at first when they tried to overrun the North East does not mean we should cede the territory to them. Citizens have no choice in the face of such burgeoning brutality, violence and bloodlust. Many Syrians also supported ISIS. Meanwhile, events have shown that Afghans wanted the Americans to stay more than they wanted the Taliban to rule them. “Graveyard of empires”. It’s nonsense. It is simply gloating over American deaths, mischievous support for the Taliban and wicked discountenance to the sufferings of – in lieu of solidarity with – the victims of these bandits. While we watch the Taliban consolidate their rule over Pakistan, I wish to prophesy – not as a prophet of the religious tendency but as an apostle of common sense – that we will regret the delay in responding. We should also remember, “war against ideas are conducted across generations. They are not won in a day.”

Ojo, Aderemi Ibadan, Nigeria. @RealOjoAderemi ojderemi@gmail.com Photo credit: Human Rights Watch


Ojo, Aderemi is a Historian, teacher, public speaker, writer, politician, and community organiser. He was trained at the University of Ibadan and was President of the Students Union.

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