Boko Haram is tangentially linked to “western and regional fossil fuel interests,” as The Guardian would have it. However, more directly, Boko Haram, while certainly an Islamic phenomenon fed by Saudi Wahhabist religious fanaticism, is the result of longstanding communal conflicts and ethnoreligious violence exacerbated by oil exploration and production in the post-colonial era. “What [the Niger Delta people] used to call upon for their livelihood and well-being has been wrecked for eternity by the coming of oil and its exploitation by the Nigerian state,” Tell, a Lagos-based magazine, reported in 1993.
Despite the oil-wealth of the country, most Nigerians live on less than $2 per day. This endemic poverty is enforced by the state at the behest of transnational oil. “The Nigerian state is a shell, and Shell [the Anglo-Dutch transnational corporation] is the Nigerian state,” notes oil scholar Kayode Soremekun. In response to efforts by the Ijaws, Itsekiris, and Ondos to address social and environmental problems resulting from the production of oil, the Nigerian state has “responded by imposing a reign of terror” and “soldiers ravaged villages, raped women, and randomly killed men, women, and children in a sadistic manner. The infamous hanging of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight Ogoni compatriots by the Abacha regime in November 1995 marked the height of the repression,” writes Wale Adabanwi. Muslim sects also fell victim to this government repression, particularly the Maitatsine sect.
In 2012, the “Shell of a state,” under the rule President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, removed fuel subsidies (ironically, despite its oil wealth, Nigeria imports most of its gasoline). The tripling of the price in fuel resulted in nationwide protests and widespread unrest.
“What has been buried from international accounts of the unrest is the explicit role the US-dominated International Monetary Fund (IMF) played in the situation. With suspicious timing IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde was in Nigeria days before the abrupt subsidy decision of President Jonathan,” writes F. William Engdahl. The “IMF and Washington have forced one of the poorest economies in Africa to impose a huge tax on its citizens on the implausible argument it will help eliminate corruption in the state petroleum sector. The IMF knows well that the elimination of subsidies will do nothing about corruption in high places.”
More than government corruption, the move, according to Engdahl and others, is an effort to undercut China and sabotage its effort to build an oil refinery in the country. “Were the IMF and World Bank genuinely concerned with the health of the domestic Nigerian economy, they would have provided support for rebuilding and expanding a domestic oil refinery industry that has been let to rot so that the country need no longer import refined fuels using precious state budget resources to do so,” writes Engdahl.
The puppet government of President Jonathan, the IMF and the financial cabal on Wall Street are keenly aware of rising political activism in Nigeria, specifically Occupy Nigeria, a political movement that began in January, 2012 in response to the fuel subsidy cut. The government reacted brutally to acts of civil disobedience, civil resistance, strike actions, demonstrations and online activism by the group. The Nigerian Police Force shot and killed at least 16 people.
Some observers believe Boko Haram, like its ideological cousin al-Qaeda, is a foil exploited to rationalize further penetration into Nigeria and Africa by the global elite under the aegis of the war on terror. Since the kidnapping of 276 Nigerian school girls on April 15, the corporate media has presented, in standard lowest common denominator fashion, a simplified, cartoon villain view of the terror group. Last week FLOTUS Michelle Obama launched a hashtag propaganda campaign, #BringBackOurGirls, and Obama dispatched “military officials and hostage negotiators” to Nigeria.
Advertising campaign for African intervention:
Michelle Obama takes over Obama’s weekly address.
“If Nigeria continues to face severe instability, the actions foreign powers will take to preserve their economic and geopolitical interests is quite clear,” Nigel Bowie wrote in 2012 as the Occupy Nigeria movement began. “At this stage, it remains uncertain whether Boko Haram is a legitimate indigenous extremist movement or a nurtured product of Intelligence communities working to benefit from destabilizing Africa’s most populous nation.”
Considering the track record of the global elite this distinct possibility cannot be discounted. It certainly overshadows the facile arguments offered by Gladnick, who believes Boko Haram is merely another Islamic threat, and Ahmed, who subscribes to the discounted theory of mad-made climate change.
Globalist designs on resource-rich Africa, which should be obvious when the activity of the IMF and World Bank in Nigeria is added to the equation, are routinely ignored. Instead, a cartoonish terrorist threat and an advertising campaign designed to pull the heartstrings of “humanitarian intervention” liberals prior to a military plan to intervene is rolled out typical fanfare.