Comparing The 2: Niger Delta Militants and Boko Haram
Boko Haram and the Niger Delta militancy are clearly a result of a failed government.
Some people make the mistake of comparing Niger Delta militants to Boko Haram. It’s like comparing “semi-good to extremely evil”.
I’ve decided to post the differences between Niger Delta militants and Boko Haram for clarity sake:
Niger Delta Militants were “reformers”, Boko Haram are “deformers” (terrorists)
Niger Delta militants are usually referred to as reformers. They were able to convince the Nigerian government to yield to their demands.
- They wanted a better cut from the national cake, which is mostly dependent on resources from their region.
- They wanted the pollution in the Niger delta to stop.
- They wanted the government to invest in educating Niger Deltans
Today, the Niger Delta is better than it was 7 years ago. However, Boko Haram is busy doing the opposite—deforming Northern Nigeria—terrorizing people in the region. Today, Northern Nigeria is worse than it was 6 years ago.
One usually blow up pipelines, the other mostly blow up humans
The Niger Delta militants mostly blew pipelines owed by the Nigerian government and corporations that made millions from the region.
Boko Haram on the other hand takes pleasure in blowing up innocent humans.
- They didn’t fight against western education which has helped in the development of West Africa.
- They didn’t bomb churches, mosques, schools, hospitals, hotels, etc.
- They didn’t behead pregnant women and slaughtered their unborn babies.
- They didn’t kill innocent men and women.
- They don’t recruit suicide bombers.
- They don’t slaughter kids.
One fought for a sane cause, the other is fighting for an insane cause
The Niger Delta militants made their point clear from the beginning.
From the point of view of MEND, and its supporters, the people of the Niger Delta have suffered an unprecedented degradation of their environment due to unchecked pollution produced by the oil industry. As a result of this policy of dispossessing people from their lands in favour of foreign oil interests, within a single generation, many now have no ability to fish or farm. People living in the Niger Delta have found themselves in a situation where their government and the international oil companies own all the oil under their feet, the revenues of which are rarely seen by the people who are suffering from the consequences of it.
Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, has said of the situation, “The oil companies can’t pretend they don’t know what’s happening all around them. The Nigerian government obviously has the primary responsibility to stop human rights abuse. But the oil companies are directly benefiting from these crude attempts to suppress dissent, and that means they have a duty to try and stop it.” Eghare W.O. Ojhogar, chief of the Ugborodo community, said: “It is like paradise and hell. They have everything. We have nothing… If we protest, they send soldiers.” Source –Wikipedia
It’s hard for a sane person to understand Boko Haram’s cause:
- They believe God would bless them for killing innocent souls?
- They say western education is a sin, yet they use materials produced as a result of western education (machine guns, cars, etc).
Who’s deceiving who?
One chose amnesty, the other didn’t
Niger Delta militants were willing to lay down their guns for the sake of peace, and for the Nigerian government to fulfil its promise to the Niger Deltans.
However, with Boko Haram, they don’t even have an official representative that can interact with the government.
Boko Haram doesn’t seem to show any desire to stop its business of killing innocent Nigerians any time soon.
One was “pro-development”, the other is pro destruction
According to the Niger Delta militants:
- They wanted better roads, schools, etc.
- They wanted the incessant oil pollution that resulted in the degradation of their environment and wildlife to stop.
- They wanted more jobs for the Niger Delta people.
However, Boko Haram is only concerned with killing innocent people, and making the lives of Nigerians in the North a living hell.
One has majorly stopped its activities, and the other is still active
A majority of the Niger Delta militancy activities have long stopped, although there are fears it might start again. However, Boko Haram is Nigeria’s biggest security threat today.
Niger Delta militants didn’t use suicide bombers
It’s a norm for Boko Haram to carry out attacks with the use of Suicide Bombers.
It goes as far as using women or children as suicide bombers to carry out these attacks.
Killing your enemy through suicide bombing is a very cowardly act, especially when it’s for a wicked cause. The Niger Delta militants never did something like that.
Niger Delta militants didn’t recruit children and women
The Niger Delta militants didn’t recruit children and women to do its dirty jobs unlike Boko Haram.
Niger Delta militants didn’t kidnap 200 school girls and kept them as prisoners
Boko Haram kidnapped the Chibok girls last year.
Till today, they’ve not been found. The Niger Delta militants never did something like that.
Boko Haram is against everything
Unlike the Niger Delta militants, Boko Haram is against the government, the people, western education, well—everything that moves a nation forward.The Niger Delta militants are different in this regard.
Imagine if there was total peace around the environs of this nation called Nigeria.
Imagine what would have happened to the money that has been spent in trying to fix what the Niger Delta militants and Boko Haram destroyed.
Imagine if the Nigeria government had done things well in the first place. War won’t have broken out at two fronts.