A definition of “extreme poverty”: “A condition that’s characterized by severe deprivation of basic human needs such as nourishing food, clean drinking water, sanitation facilities, health care, shelter, education and protection from criminals.”
According to a 2010 report, nearly 68% of Nigerians survive living on less than $1.25 a day. According to the same report, nearly 85% of Nigerians survive living on less than $2.00 a day.
On Wednesday during a “Council of the Americas” symposium held in Washington, D.C., United States Secretary of State John Kerry essentially told an attentive audience that as a result of his recent meetings with various heads of states in Africa, it’s become clear to him that young people who are living in extreme poverty and are living without any hope of ever rising above their “meager existence” are finding refuge from starvation by enlisting as foot-soldiers in Africa’s escalating terrorist organizations.
John Kerry: “They (the African leaders) all talked about poverty and the need to alleviate poverty, and that much of this challenge comes out of this poverty where young people are grabbed at an early stage, and proffered a little bit of money.”
“Their minds are bended, and then the money doesn’t matter anymore. They’ve got the minds, and they begin to direct them into these very extreme endeavors.”
Kudos to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for (excuse the vernacular) “keeping it real”. Not many people get it right the first time.
Most credible psychologists and sociologists would agree that globally, the vast majority of poor people who somehow manage to survive living in extreme poverty and are constantly subjected to laws that brazenly discriminate against them, making it nearly impossible to improve their economic and social status, become human ticking-time-bombs who are ready to explode at the slightest provocation.
It’s as though destitute humans are the end product of some grand social experiment gone terribly wrong and the oligarchs who orchestrated the experiment aren’t the slightest bit interested in fixing the problem they created.
Newsflash: AK-47 toting children who join terror organizations and commit murder as a means to feed their empty stomach is only News to people who make it a habit to insulate their self from the harsh realities of desperate people who are living right outside their “castle walls”.
Anyone with an IQ that’s above the intelligence of a salamander should fully understand that people who are systemically and cyclically trapped in the quagmire of poverty are at a greater risk of morphing into a cynical and callous humanoid that’s capable of committing heinous acts without giving much thought to the act and without even blinking an eye.
A President’s Failure
Without a shadow of a doubt, it’s the responsibility of every government to protect all its citizens from annihilation, extinction and all forms of human bondage.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has failed his country by (1) inadequately responding to his nation’s extreme poverty and (2) allowing his police and military forces to be as vicious to the people of Nigeria as the terrorists who have commandeered approximately one-fourth of his country.
Shamefully, it took the shock and anger of millions of people connected globally via Facebook and Twitter to alert the world that nearly a month ago over 270 little girls from Nigeria had been snatched away from their school and kidnapped by a brutal Nigerian terrorist organization that goes by the name of Boko Haram.
It’s the responsibility of a nation’s leaders to first sound the alarm for international help when his / her people are in peril and the nation’s defenses have been breached. It’s not the responsibility of an international coalition of internet bloggers to “first ring the bell” when a nation’s children are stolen and sold as sex slaves.
But besides having a name that sounds a lot to young Westerners like the name of some bad-ass exotic ganja, what exactly is Boko Haram? (I can almost hear the “street vendors” in Bed-Sty, Brooklyn as they peddle their merchandise, “Yo...I got that fire Boko Haram”)
By definition the Boko Haram is an Islamic group and takfiri militant and terrorist organization that is geographically based in the northeast region of Nigeria on the border of Chad, northern Cameroon and Niger.
According to Human Rights Watch since 2009 Boko Haram has been responsible for the brutal assassinations / deaths of over 1,000 Nigerians. In light of this revelation, it’s crystal clear that the act of killing and maiming innocent people is definitely not nouveau to this radical group.
Question 1: “Taking into account the ruthless nature of Boko Haram, what took the world’s mainstream media so long to report the kidnapping of nearly 300 defenseless school girls”?
Of special note: A takfiri is a member of a radical Muslim sect who overtly accuses other Muslims of being an Apostate of Islam. And since the word “apostate” can be defined in the context of this article as an individual being “traitorous”, is it a wonder that members of the Boko Haram indiscriminately murder Muslims who marry, live near, work with and go to school with people who do not abide by sharia law?
The terrorist organization Boko Haram is currently led by Abubakar Shekau. Once an unruly disciple and top commander of Boko Haram’s founder and former leader Mohammed Yusuf, Abubakar Shekau envisions himself as a “Holy Warrior” who has been anointed by Allah to (1) transform all of Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon into “pure Islamic states” governed by sharia law and (2) enact revenge on Nigeria’s discombobulated government for the 2009 killing of Mohammed Yusuf and hundreds of fellow Boko Haram members during a raid led by Nigerian police and military forces.
Question 2: “Why aren’t Muslim Imams / religious leaders worldwide vociferously denouncing Boko Haram’s ruthless murder of Christians and Muslims? Why have Muslim leaders vicariously elected to allow without a fight or demonstration, Boko Haram’s claim that Allah commands them to murder, maim and kidnap, doesn’t Islam get a bad enough rap already”? Unless…you believe that one less Christian and one less “moderate” (apostate) Muslim makes the world a better place to live. Some of us are paying attention.
And now and all of a sudden, the media’s latest “celeb terror organization”, is the infamous “Boko Haram”. Newsflash…the Boko Haram isn’t new they’ve been around for twelve years.
Let’s not be fooled, an environment that’s extremely detrimental to the poor people of Nigeria created the Boko Haram. It’s not a mystery, living in extreme poverty compounded by having an extreme hatred for anyone who looks more nourished and happy creates a fertile field for disgruntled terrorists to grow.
In closing, I’d like to give a word of advice to Mr. Abubakar Shekau, “Please don’t hurt the children and please release them from bondage to their family.” There are few atrocities that unite the world as strongly as the kidnapping and hurting of children. If it is Allah you wish to meet, it is Allah you will soon see if you harm any of the children. There are no places to hide when the whole world is against you sir.
And one last thought, the reggae band “Third World” once warned “the haves” that the “have nots” will not stand to be disrespected too much longer as told in the lyrics of a song written by Stevie Wonder that’s entitled, “You’re playing us too close”.
One last question: “Are world leaders listening and taking the appropriate steps to end extreme poverty and hopelessness in their country”? If not then what’s to stop a Boko Haram experiment from coming to fruition in the slums of Chicago, or Paris, or Kiev, or Gaza? This is not a drill, “you better watch out”.
As always the New Orleans Examiner is interested in what you think. Do you believe that extreme poverty and hate create terrorists? Inquiring minds want to know. Sound off.
Until next time, Good day, God Bless and Good fishing.