The Point.fr: Why a conference in Paris was it necessary to address the problem of Boko Haram ?
Ike Okonta Because Nigeria has no strategy . Until now, he had not felt the need to address the issue of Boko Haram with its neighbors because he thought it was a Nigerian problem that the army could solve . Moreover , Nigeria does not have a very high opinion of Cameroon, Niger and Chad, even if working with them in ECOWAS . The only country that respects is South Africa. It also considers that Cameroon is not cooperative on this problem. It was therefore necessary that the President Hollande suggests a common strategy.
The Nigerian army is also ineffective as they say?
This is an issue that nobody wants to confront . We have a conventional army is not trained in insurgency situations . Moreover, the most common mistake is to believe that Nigeria is a rich country. This is not a rich country , it is a potentially rich country . For now, we rely on oil for 80% of the budget, and our GDP , reduced to 170 million people , is very weak. And the little money we have, because of widespread corruption, is not well used . Our soldiers are poorly equipped and demoralized.
The fact that Goodluck Jonathan accepts foreign aid he realized the gravity of the situation he says?
Nigeria is a very proud country. The fact that Jonathan is indeed accepts the sign he recognizes that Boko Haram is becoming stronger and that the army can not do anything . What happens in the north of the country is a symptom of everything that goes wrong. The dissatisfaction of youth unemployment, the growing hostility to the very idea of Nigeria. From 1966 to 1999 , political power was in the hands of northern leaders . When that changed , the North could not get used to it .
Many oil concessions were granted to northerners at the time. Why do not they invested in their area?
Because the system of government is feudal , it revolves around the interests of the emirs . Time, there was even a strategy to limit access to the school for the masses , sending in very basic Koranic schools. It is this legacy that Boko Haram prosperous . Young people who have neither job nor special skills they did not go to school, no hope . And suddenly , they speak of a powerful organization that plunders and attacks successfully. Finally, they belong to a group, finally, they are no longer young people that we deal with zero all day.
Islam is therefore a pretext ?
Islam is a strategy for recruiting . It must be to convince young people to become suicide bombers , tell them they do in the name of Allah. But most do not go to school, they do not know much about the Koran.
The government he exhausted all remedies to combat Boko Haram ?
They are not prepared, they have not even bothered to study the phenomenon , to send experts , researchers, sociologists. Because then they would have to acknowledge that the government has not fulfilled its role in tackling unemployment . They hope that one day the economy will improve and that jobs will be created . However, since the 1980s and the IMF structural adjustment plan, the Nigeria deindustrialization . And it is still considering the unemployment as a temporary phenomenon. We pay the consequences of inaction .
The authorities said they would refuse to exchange hostages girls against prisoners of Boko Haram. Is this credible?
The government said that because Americans say they do not negotiate with terrorists. But they do not really have a choice. They will not do it right away, they will begin working with foreign aid. But when it becomes clear that this is no intervention that can save these girls, they will have to negotiate .
Civil society also has a say , right? Events , even small-scale continue .
You are mistaken . Some young women educated in Abuja does not represent civil society is an elite. We have long had a military government and citizen involvement is a new concept. The main problem today is the economy, and even for that , people do not mobilize . She has not yet found a political language strategy to stand up against the government.
Goodluck Jonathan he fears that Chibok cost him his re-election in six months?
No. The general idea is that it is not responsible for the advent of Boko Haram. Many even think that it is a conspiracy to undermine Northern governance. For my part, I think when Boko Haram was born around 2002 , some northern politicians saw it as a way to make it difficult. They did not understand that it was an uncontrollable group, which was fed to the failure of the Nigerian state . These young people do not respect , because the state did not give them a chance , education , employment , the things that a young man has a right to expect of his country.
That is why , if we do not address the structural problems in Nigeria , it will be extremely difficult to stem the rise of Boko Haram. It is not a question of terrorism, it is not a question of religion , it is basically the situation of an African country that has tolerated corruption for too long , characterized by incompetence and inability to to perform the basic tasks assigned to it . This is an argument for a more comprehensive analysis of the phenomenon . These young people are wrong most tragic , but it is due to the bankruptcy of the state.
Interview by CLAIRE MEYNIAL ( ABUJA )
Abubakar Shekau, imam radical de la secte Boko Haram. © AP/SIPA