The worst thing the US could do in Nigeria would be to send in troops or use drones against Boko Haram as this will turn the populace against us and their government and won’t save the kidnapped girls. Boko Haram would not be as powerful as it is without support from at least some Nigerians. Much of this goes back to colonialism. The Nigeria email scam is tolerated and accepted in Nigeria since it’s usually Westerners who get ripped off. ‘Boko Haram’ has a meaning much more like resisting outside “fraudulent deceptions’ rather than flat opposing Western education. Yes, Boko are evil thugs. However, at some level, they are also saying the Nigerian government is corrupt and colonization must be resisted. That’s why they have so many supporters. Their opposition may be deranged. However, it is an opposition.
Craig Murray (emphasis added).
Nigeria is a country with governance and corruption as bad as anywhere in the world. A country of billionaires and of near starving sufferers. A country of pollution and exploitation by big oil, and a happily complicit and deeply corrupt political class. Nobody disagrees with that, and very few would disagree that there lies the root cause of Boko Haram’s ability to gather support.
If the Nigerian government were to have sent in the army en masse to try to recover the kidnapped schoolgirls, the first result would undoubtedly have been, on all previous experience of the Nigerian army, that hundreds more women would have been raped, this time by soldiers. Villages would have been looted and people arrested, tortured and killed, more on the basis of extorting money than of looking for suspects.
To be fair to President Goodluck Jonathan he knows this, and he had made the extremely brave decision a year ago to try to deal with Boko Haram by dialogue and negotiation, and call off the military campaign which was making matters far worse.
Murray says working within the traditional system of tribal chiefs is probably the only way of saving the girls.