In your view, how can Boko Haram be conquered?
It will be difficult. We have come to agree that it is well beyond the power of the Nigerian government now. That’s one of the reasons why the government seems not to care. Two thousand people are dead. So what, if we can’t do anything about it. Why make noise about it? That is the attitude. So people are dying, a lot of Nigerian soldiers have lost their lives.
I provided analysis for Vatican Radio not too long ago, and I asked two questions: is it really true that there is no one out there who can identify where all the money of Boko Haram is coming from? Is it true that there is nobody in the West who can at least help to block the funding of Boko Haram? Is it true that there is really nothing that Europe and America can do about it? I think there is a complicity also in the West in what is happening.
I take it all back to the agenda of population control. That’s my theory. Anything that can reduce the population. There has been an inordinate alarm about the exploding populations in Africa. And anything that can be done to decrease or limit the growth of the population in Africa is quite welcome.
In fact, recently I was alarmed when I heard Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, say that the United States government was committed to anything that would push the population control agenda. The United States actually said it would help Nigeria with Boko Haram only if we modify our laws concerning homosexuality, family planning, and birth control. It’s very clear that a cultural imperialism exists. In fact, I think that Africa is suffering greatly from a cultural imperialism that threatens to erode our cultural values.
And I think, to say the least, it is criminal. Because if the West boasts of being committed to human freedom, mean it. If there are values that the West cherishes, they must not impose those values on Africa. It is part of human freedom. And at least Africa can stand up and say: “These are the values we cherish and these are the values we want to keep.” If the West cherishes freedom for gays and homosexual unions and abortion and contraception, suppose Africans are not wired that way. For the African, life is sacred. And that the world can watch hundreds of people dying in Nigeria every day and look away: it shows that even what we call Western civilization today is sick. What we say about human dignity and human rights is mere hypocrisy. There is a diminishing sense of the respect for the sanctity of life. And all of this is to be imposed on Africa, at whatever cost: we think that it is immoral and that it is unjust.
Another critical issue: during this time Nigeria’s attention is very divided. Generally in Nigeria, whenever elections approach, all attention is on the elections. The total resources are devoted to the elections. So no matter what else is happening, nothing else matters. I think this has aggravated the problem. Even the heads of the government have been prevented from travelling to certain places because of the threat of Boko Haram. They have lost their capacity to deal wih the problem. What does that say?
What then will prevent Boko Haram from taking over the Nigerian government?
That’s a good question. The only thing that will prevent them, I think, are the people, the different peoples. I say and I believe that it will not be easy in the West of Nigeria to get millions of young people to join Boko Haram and to kill people. Because the Western parts of Nigeria have decades of education, peaceful coexistence. It’s difficult to break that fabric. And of course in some parts of Nigeria there’s still some semblance of government and security. In fact, some states of Nigeria are safer now than they used to be. Some states, under mainly the opposition party which has a different approach to government, are much safer in the last couple of years that they have ever been.