The killing of the leader of Boko Haram Islamic sect as claimed by the Defence Headquarters has so far been acclaimed as a welcome development and one that will henceforth determine the campaign of the group.
As noted by individuals, the death of Shekau will mean an automatic end to the groups onslaught on the society in the guise of religious campaign.
It is expected to bring respite to a traumatised people. Sceptics have expressed doubts over the claim by the military that the man who assumed the sect’s leadership after the death of their spiritual leader and founder of the group has indeed been eliminated. This stems from previous claims by security forces that he had been killed after which the man would again resurface and become more deadly in terrorising the people.
Given the record of events as narrated by the military, they appeared convinced this time around that the man had indeed been killed after a deadly confrontation with security forces from which he was fatally injured. The doubts being expressed in some quarters are not unexpected given the style of operation of the sect in the past.
If indeed the man who loved to kill had been killed himself, it is good riddance to a bad rubbish. Many Nigerians would have wished him dead even before now given the trauma his leadership has caused both his members and non-members in their unholy campaign to enforce Islamic government in the country.
Apart from the skewness of the campaign, the extent of destruction of human and material resources unleashed on the country and the people is also a reflection of the confusion of the campaigners and their supporters. Never in history of religious intolerance in this country has it been said that a group will target the destruction of the same people it aspires to lead particularly in the name of a supreme being who also will need this same people to worship him.
Given the boldness and the events which led to his death, it will take a resurrected Shekau to convince the people that he is still available and able to continue with the struggle.
However, the death of Shekau, at least for now, is not a reason for government to dismiss, condemn or abandon the cause of what led to the underlying current of their disenchantment with the system and the larger society.
If they have indeed not tasted the benefits of western education and those educated have not being of any inspiration to them individually and collectively, they have the right to look up to someone they believe will take them to their promised land, the style and process of getting there notwithstanding. Perhaps in Boko Haram they saw a leader pointing them the way to heaven and to live their lives to please God. It does not matter to them whether they are being wrongly indoctrinated by a leader who never had western education and does not know the benefits.
To them their leaders represent their God-sent messengers whose instructions and commandments must be obeyed. So killing innocent souls who they see as infidel, to them is a way of securing eternal life since the world they live offers nothing good and particularly no future for them. What they see and experience too further confirm these assertions.
So to them, it appears meaningless to leave this world without doing what was expected, that is to help destroy others who they see as the enemies of their own God. Government policies rather than disabuse the minds of these ones have continued to reinforce their believe in the doctrines as told by their leaders since they could not see a future that guarantees a good life comparable to the one they can see through the teachings of their leaders.
Beyond our shores, this dangerous religious doctrine is spreading fast and becoming a major threat to the world. The network is fast is growing at an alarming rate and the ultimate aim is to ensure chaos, turmoil globally. An hungry man is an angry.
When hunger disappears from the needs of a man, one may reasoned how to contribute meaningfully to growth in the society. When former leader, Mohammed Yussuf was mysteriously killed, no one would have thought that he has replicated himself in the likes of Shekau.
So rather than heave a sigh of relief and relax at the news of the killing of Shekau, government must begin to embrace and execute programmes that will give hope to the hopeless by deliberately executing policies that provide jobs for teeming population of the jobless and able body youths.
Once they are available and able, the devil will surely engage them and pervert their ways and thinking which if had been properly harnessed and managed would have turned assets to the society