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Offline jchima14

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Boko Haram: The Mystery Solved
« on: November 09, 2014, 03:12:54 PM »
Karl Marx?s thesis that economic conditions determine the basis of existence is yet to be proved wrong. It is one tool I always apply in the course of discovering the real motives behind what people say or do. But I must confess that unravelling ?Boko Haram?, which many now call insurgency in the north, has put this scientific method in doubt for the past five years.

Somebody solved the riddle on Wednesday: former Senate president and former minister Dr Iyorchia Ayu. In brief, this is what Ayu said at the 5th Convocation Lecture of the Adekunle Ajasin University:


The oil wealth beneath the Chad Basin is fanning the embers of insurgency in the country because prominent businessmen and politicians in both Nigeria and Chad, in association with French companies, have invested heavily in oil exploration and exploitation. They are the principal financiers of, and arms suppliers to, Boko Haram. The group?s destabilisation of the north-eastern part of Nigeria benefits these investors because it delays exploration and production on the Nigerian side of Lake Chad.

The Lake Chad Basin is estimated to have a reserve of 2.32billion barrels of oil, and 14.65trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The oil and gas flows underground across the countries sharing the Lake Chad Basin: Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroun. Using 3D drilling, Chad is not only tapping oil within its territory but also from Nigeria, to push up its production levels.

Boko Haram is made up of Nigerians and a large number of Chadians from the Chadian provinces of Lac and Hadjer Lamis ? provinces that share a long border with north-eastern Nigeria around the Lake Chad region and provide Boko Haram with trained Chadian fighters.

The drying up of Lake Chad, once the largest water body in Africa, is affecting the economic and social life of over 30 million people in the four countries around the lake. This has resulted in the migration of many farmers and herdsmen as well as engineered local conflicts between Camerounian and Nigerian nationals; fishermen are fighting farmers and herdsmen to stop diverting water from the lake to their farms and livestock.

The disappearance of Lake Chad and subsidiary rivers has also created a large population of unemployed and discontented youth who have become a reserve army easily available for recruitment by the insurgents.

So far, Boko Haram has not attacked any territory in Chad but has a cluster of bases in Chad from where it launches its terrorist activities in Nigeria. President Idris Deby of Chad is said to have cordial relations with the insurgents.

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