The Immunization Of #Nigeria: Why #BokoHaram Can Actually Make Us Better

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When I attended the National Economic Forum on Education in March I was tasked along with a group of others to develop a mock educational curriculum of what we should be teaching our children in 20 years time…in the future.

But before we could go into the actual syllabus we had to first of all imagine what the future would be like. While moderating that discussion a youngish older man (go figure) on my right got up and said that the world would be a much dangerous place and to counter that danger Nigeria would have to have a strong and able defensive system.

This was an educational forum … why would Nigeria need a strong military I thought to myself. But he made sense and he was right. With the advent and growth of bokoharam it is clear to understand his concerns and fears. But contrary to the norm, I do believe that bokoharam would actually help improve our defensive system? But let’s hold that thought…

naija captcfSeveral decades ago … actually several centuries ago, the 18th century to be precise, smallpox a disease distinguished with ugly rashes all around the body was responsible for 8% to 20% of all deaths in Europe. The very best scientists from all over Europe gathered around trying to figure out a cure for the disease, but to no avail. Nobody could figure anything out.

But then word spread about a successful method called inoculation/vaccination being carried out in the Turkish Ottoman Empire. By extracting the puss from the smallpox rashes on an infected individual and injecting it back into the body of a healthy person, they (the healthy person) were able to build immunity to the disease and permanently.

This did not make much scientific sense. How could the injection of a disease end up causing the body to build immunity against that same disease? It was confusing.

Well it turns out that the puss contained a less severe strain of smallpox. And due to the weaker nature of the smallpox in the puss, the human body had enough time to fight and simultaneously develop a natural defensive mechanism against the disease. In other words the human body could build immunity naturally without suffering any great damage.

What was even more interesting (back then) about this technique was that the newly acquired immunity could protect the body from future attacks from even stronger small pox strains.

Now back to that thought you were holding…

The injection of a disease into a human body to make the human body more resistant to the disease was a strange thing years ago. The same thing would be said about boko haram being a good thing for Nigeria and our National defence. But if you look at boko haram as a disease (and they are a disease), you will realize that they are testing the Nigerian defensive mecahnisms daily and the natural projection is for us to improve and grow.

So that’s why anytime a terror attack happens in Nigeria, the sense of hightened security is palpable. Police officers actually stop and search vehicles and are not even interested in collecting bribes. Security counters at airports are more diligent and stricter, the country is on a higher security watch.

Like smallpox injected into a human body, bokoharam injected (albeit tragically) in the Nigeria system causes the nations defensive mechanism to improve. Over night but subtly we become better police officers, more alert soldiers, better defensively and soon if we survive we could like Israel build a strong immunity to terror attacks. By doing so we would be prepared for even more dangerous future attacks more advanced than boko haram just like the gentleman predicted at the economic forum.

But we can only get there if we are able to survive the boko haram disease. And we have shown temporal signs of improvements, but can we make them permanent? That is the key. If we can make our defensive improvements permanent, then our airport security will bebetter, our army will be better, our border control better and Nigeria overall will be defensively better.

But that is only if … emphasis on “IF” we survive the bokonization of Nigeria with minimal casualties, without a civil war and together as one Nigeria. But can we survive? #bringbackourgirls

twitterWritten By Okechukwu Ofili of
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Author: Ofili

Words by Okechukwu Ofili of
Follow him on Twitter
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Read his crazy titled books on konga or okadabooks
Feed his children at…no wait he has no kids…. 

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18 comments on “The Immunization Of #Nigeria: Why #BokoHaram Can Actually Make Us Better

    • A very interesting perspective here. As GIFT stated, the defensive mechanism may be slow. However, an immunization you see in a child or adult will take time for the body to accustom to.

      Slowly but surely, Nigeria will implement effective innovations to combat future bombing attacks and local terror attacks. Hopefully a device developed by the Nigeria security system will detect and stop potential explosive situations. An upgraded bomb squad is desperately needed.

      What else do you think. Please share your comments as well at our website

  1. This is very true. When I first saw the headline I was like can anything good be said about these Evil people, as to now making us better! Nice thought, I wish the Nigeria security systems (if after surviving this crisis) can actually wake up and strengthen themselves for the worst because no country is entirely free from this terrorist attacks, what matters is how they can put it to a stop without innocent citizens being victims to such crisis.

  2. Bibii on said:

    Its the “IF” that scares the sh*t out of of me. If we survive it as a nation good for us, I believe we will be better,if we learn from it like you have rightly pointed out. But if not…. Let’s just be optimistic. #BringBackOurGirls #PrayforNigeria #GodBlessNigeria

  3. I wish I were as optimistic as you, I only see the CIA’s prediction of Nigeria’s break up in 2015. I don’t think the boko haram threat is a week one. FYI there have been many cases of people contracting the illnesses they were vaccinated against, either because the bodies immune responses/mechanisms were already weakened or the “dead” or “weak” viruses in the vaccine were stronger than expected.

  4. Chiaka on said:

    Thank you adaeze, exactly my thoughts Nigeria as a country is already too weak to keep enduring all these vaccinations. How ? By looking at the inherent attitude of most Nigerians from our ogas @ d top down to the common security man. The “ME, ME, ME” disease has eaten so deep into our psyche I literally can not imagine my unborn children schooling in this country. I am very scared for Nigeria & her dim future, I am not expecting the same Arab spring rising to wash over us but d*mn! It didn’t take a week before people started begging NNPC to forget about the missing $20 billion just so they can fill up their miserable cars & continue on with their miserable lives. B.H. Disease ain’t no vaccination it’s the real deal because the Americans like a teasing older brother trying to teach us a math solution, will come is & rescue the girls in a short period with little explanations & our soldiers like the younger brother will just sit there scratching their head wondering what the heck did he just teach me…nothing

  5. Yahya Bala Wambai on said:

    My dear ones, let us not loss hope in Nigeria. I am extremely happy that Nigerians at home and abroad are looking at the Bokoharam issue as a Nigeria’s issue, not sectional or religious. Once we continue to see it like this and continue to press on our sleeping Governments at all levels, state, federal, things will work out better for us.
    It is unfortunate, our leaders only need us for our votes but if we are dead, who is going to vote for them.
    Very big shame to our security personnel. What happened to our girls from school to the bush?

  6. wole on said:

    The callous wait to see how it would play out is what made President Jonathan run into the culdesac he has presently found himself.

    Many people including the our dear first lady alluded to a possible inflation in the number of female students abducted by the terrorists This is a reflection of the deep-seated ignorance of most Southern Nigerians about the whole North, an attitude that has led to the majority self-conceited but numerically dominant irredentist Northerner taking charge of the resultant political vacuum created by the aloofness of the ‘egg-headed’ self-deluding Southerner who thinks wrongly that he is intellectually and automatically more intelligent than any Northerner..
    Some areas in the ‘far-North’ populated by largely ‘animist’ masquerading as committed Christian (oftentimes, more fundamentalist) than the their animist correspondent masquerading as a Northern Muslim, are peopled by Nigerians who are superbly better educated and widely more traveled than their Southern abrogates.
    Western education got to places like Zuru, Chibok, Biu, Jega and Doko earlier than Ijebu, Ngwa and Eket.
    Therefore, if the mad Boko Haramites want to hurt innocent young ones and indeed, if our security forces were well-motivated, such places should have been better secured before that looney laid his hands on those cherubes.
    However, I am getting further enlightened about how jaundiced my fellow country men are and the dangers ahead of our dear nation, because many youths are not very different from the frankenstein calling himself Abubakar Shekau.
    The duty to save our Motherland should start with self-education and wide travels in humility and hunger for knowledge!

  7. Ok. Let me flow with your thoughts about inoculating with a weakened form: what if the Boko Haram members in SSS custody or in the custody of other law enforcement units were absorbed into our military, police, immigration, Civil Defence and other government offices? 😉

  8. Victoria on said:

    The IF… we survive a civil war is really quite scary.
    However how do you fight a faceless, directionless people…seeking only to cause mayhem.

    But then again after the security is increased, what happens after the mayhem has died down… the police guys are back to collecting their bribes.

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