By Azubuike Ihemeje
Extremes can be worrisome and could lead to blind destructive actions, at the same time. Several nations in the past suffered the dire consequences of promoting extremism and its usually violent cuisine, most of them endangering the lives of their own people, and often times, collapsing and, or completely ending and wiping out entire empire, kingdoms, race or ethnic communities.
The old Grecian, Egyptian, Persian and even Roman empires and civilization went down and ended up in the hands of one powerful group or charismatic Leader of Violent Extremism. Aldolfus Hitler, with his Nazi group of Germany, was an outstandingly charismatic Leader.
He employed and applied his highly Violent Extremism, which culminated into the 2nd World War – that claimed millions, and millions of lives. You may research how he practically roasted millions of people (especially Jews, who he believed were dominating his own people, economically) alive in his famous Concentration Camp.
So, when you hear your supreme leader talk about training his arms wing in their Camps, you can now relate properly. It’s not today at all.
However, Violent extremism usually comes from one genuinely, selfless, charismatic Leader, who often feels deeply concerned about the bad situation of things around him, and the injustices, oppression and sufferings of people of his own tribe or race. In a world already filled with all sorts of justice already, a charismatic Leader will often find plenty of reasons to sell market well.
Nigeria’s case especially gives a lot of reasons for an extremist group Leader to; promote his extreme views on things, and encourage people to hate a particular race or group of people that may have caused, contributed or supported the perceived injustices against his people. The present government and its nepotism exacerbated the already bad situation, thereby providing seemingly justification for extremism in the Eastern region. In fact, there’re many allegations, that even the Buhari himself is a Chief Extremist who got into power by promoting violent extremism and establishing cult-like follower-ship across the North especially among the poorest of the poor people.
References have equally been made of his infamous discriminatory 5% against the region that gave him fewer votes during elections. Now, down the eastern region, another violent extremism is being foisted on the land. But before I get into that proper, let us examine one of the strongest tools the Leaders use – Groupthink. Groupthink happens, however, when those in the group stop and suddenly cease stating their opinions or using critical thinking because they wish to avoid conflict. This can result in extremely poor decision-making. At this point, ONLY the supreme leader’s decision is final in any matter, whether right, wrong or even in decisions that may be detrimental to the followers.
Violent extremist organizations are highly vulnerable to groupthink. They are often headed or motivated by a strong leader who is rarely challenged like the latest version, now holding sway in the Eastern region of Nigeria. He comes along as narcissistic, hateful, opinionated, violent and extreme in his view. Different beliefs or ideas are not accepted within his group, or he’ll unilaterally disband or suspend the Chapter, where such opposing views may come. Violent extremist groups often work in secret, not only because their activities and plans are illegal, but also because they want to keep out other opinions.
Forget whatever the leader of the violent extremist group may be talking, the truth is; Democracy and its fundamental principles are not part of their agenda. He doesn’t like democracy, human rights, tolerance, and inclusion. Justice is equally not synonymous with their ways and real actions. Are there no grievances to justify their actions? There are plenty of course! Nigeria is enough grievance already.
The truth is, throughout history, in all cases of collapsed and destroyed nations, Violent extremists often defend their actions with warped principles. Plenty of times, they use real grievances or half-truths to justify their beliefs. Other times, violent extremists say one thing but do quite another. for instance, they may claim to support love, tranquillity, kindness, peace and freedom of chukwuokike-abiama, but on the contrary, they still kill anyone who disagrees with them. Could be the police or those who they tag saboteurs. And they can BLAME anything else for their actions, but themselves. Their blame is legendary. You can’t beat them to it at all.
Extremist groups and individuals often appear in communities or race, that’s struggling with social or political issues. But they’ll never endeavour to invent, discover or initiate meaningful development to their people. You can never see them as technologically advancing any solution. Nor embark on scientific research or discovery. But rather than improving these situations or their own lives through constructive actions, violent extremists often place the blame on another person or group. They argue that the only solution to these problems or injustices is to violently oppose and even destroy those they claim are responsible. This is exactly the character that’s being experienced in the eastern region of Nigeria today. Placing blame is their supreme leader stock in trade.
And his most effective way is to recruit people with feelings of frustration, hypnotize them and turn them into a group united by a sense of purpose. Blame, and blames enables extremists to invent an “enemy” that must be destroyed. This makes violence seem like the best solution and even a moral duty.
For example, the supreme leader of the East has been quoted as saying the many abhorrent things, including but not limited to the following statements:
1) “I will go to Abuja and bring back the head of Buhari”
2) “Every woman that ties double wrappers is a Biafran woman it does not matter if she is from Kogi”
3) “Kill Tinubu. Kill his children”
4) “Kill Wike. This is an order. Anyone who kills him will get 100 million naira. The money is in Biafra land ”
5) “Kill all policemen in the east. Kill, behead, and roast them. That way they must go to hell.”
6) “Jesus is not the only son of God because Igbos have many Nwachukwus.”
7) “An Igbo man who worships in a church with a Yoruba pastor is worse than an imbecile”
I don’t know any further details you’re still waiting for, to discern a typical case of Violent Extremism here. Recent terrorist attacks in the eastern part only point to one irresistible conclusion; that the East is now doomed by violent extremism and terrorism, and further, collateral consequences should better be imagined, than experienced.
Nigeria itself is already infested by the same plaque of extremism, right from the North, before the East copied and are now moving faster than ever. When all things have ended up in ruins of destruction, Nigeria will be count and join the league of collapsed uncivilized, empires. And, then historians shall write concerning a race and a country that was comprehensively destroyed by violent extremism.