This could be argued but it has always been my considered opinion that poverty in Nigeria is a tool used by the political elite to keep Nigerians tame and docile. If we are not kept poor how else can we be controlled? How would they be able to bed girls young enough to be their grand daughters or maintain personal armies on a whim?
The article posted below gives credence to this line of thought and shows how a combination of abject poverty and illiteracy have been used to manipulate Nigerians into becoming their own worst enemies.
By Isi Esene
Children with ages ranging between nine and fifteen years have confessed to
burning primary schools and spying on soldiers on the orders of Boko Haram leaders.
The children are part of those released by military authorities on Friday to the
governors of Borno and Yobe state. They were released by the Commander,
Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Sa’ad Ibrahim.
Thee children who are among the 23 women and 35 children released said
they were paid as little as N5,000 to do the bidding of the terrorist group.
Read the Punch Newspapers report below:
journalists listened in bewilderment as the children narrated how
they were used by the extremist sect to burn schools and spy on soldiers.
and told to spy on soldiers attached to the Joint Task Force and report
back to the Boko Haram commanders.
He said, “We were taken to Damaturu. We watched out for the soldiers
at their unit and reported back to them. We were reporting either when
soldiers were at ease or enjoying themselves and when they were
off guard and we were paid for doing that.”
Another child suspect said, “I usually helped Boko Haram to leak
information on military activities so that they could attack them (soldiers).
My last job was to travel from Maiduguri to Gashua to spy on soldiers
before I was caught.”
Yet another said, “We usually help Boko Haram to carry stolen items
each time and sometimes help them to give information about people
they want to attack and sometimes even help to hide their guns after
attacks. They pay us N5,000 after every operation. I regret what I did,
I want to go home and ask for forgiveness from my father and mother
for what I did; I also want to go to school.”
One of the boys said he was arrested last year after he was overheard
talking about the people who burnt a school in Maiduguri and failed
to inform the military.
“I was arrested because I know those who burnt the school without
telling the soldiers. Some people heard me discussing about the people
who burnt the school and reported me to the soldiers who arrested me,”
One of the teenagers said they were paid N5,000 and provided with fuel
in kegs to set schools ablaze in Maiduguri.
The release of the suspects was done in line with the Federal Government’s
In Borno State, 20 detainees, comprising six women and 14 children arrested
between 2012 and 2013 were set free and handed over to Shettima for
rehabilitation and reintegration.
The 20 detainees were mostly arrested in Maiduguri, Bama in Borno and
Damaturu in Yobe State.
Bamigboye, who supervised the handing over, said he was acting on behalf
of the Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Sa’ad Ibrahim.
This, he said, was in line with the directive of President Goodluck Jonathan to the army.
He explained that the detainees were arrested in connection with the roles
they played in the insurgency.
The six freed women were Hajia Zainab Mohammed, 40; Hajia Karagama Mohammed,
55; Hajia Zari Mohammed, 40; Aishatu Mohammed Aji, 62; Hadiza Ahmad, 40;
and Yakaka Goni Habib, 16.
The 14 children released were Abba Modu Aji,10; Mohammed Musa, 12;
Ibrahim Mohammed, 15; Umar Bukar, 15; Mustapha Umaru, 14; Bashir Ali,
12; Musa Grema, 13; Abba Mohammed, 14; Baba Alhaji, 13; AbdulAziz Umar,
14; Ari Masa’a, 14; Bayi Mustapha, 14; Mohammed Ibrahim, 14 and Alhaji Goni, 14.
Culled from ynaija.com