8:00PM on Saturday 1st November 2014 – Nigerian time.
Dr. Jibrin Ibrahim and Akin Akintayo have been invited to moderate a Q&A session with Ahmad Salkida about Boko Haram, its ideology, its operations, the violent onslaught and other difficult to understand activities of the sect.
Boko Haram is crudely translated to ‘Western Education is forbidden’ and officially known as Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'Awati Wal-Jihad (People Committed to the Prophet's Teachings for Propagation and Jihad).
To many of us, what Boko Haram does is just purely unfathomable madness, yet, I would suggest that for centuries we never understood what madness was, what caused it, why people were affected and what impact it had on people society would suggest are mad.
Explaining the madness
With the development of psychiatry and psychology, we have a better understanding of madness, or rather mental illness and in some cases medicine and therapy has provided the means to manage it and probably suppress the very lunatic episodes.
With that thinking borne in mind, I want to opine that Ahmad Salkida who has written extensively about Boko Haram is like our psychiatrist, the expert who can explain the madness that appears to drive Boko Haram and bring some understanding to the issues that hopefully would help us contain and probably neutralise the menacing and marauding activities of Boko Haram.
Going into the 7th month, the Chibok Girls are still in captivity, the #BringBackOurGirls movement is unrelenting in their protests, carnage has destroyed life and property, states have been under a State of Emergency for over a year and yet, Boko Haram seems to run writ large on Nigerian sovereign territory.
With every engagement with the Nigerian armed forces, we are left us none the wiser about who is winning, who is losing, what agreements have been reached if a ceasefire exists and whether there is any justice or peace at the end of all this.
Ahmad Salkida will bring some insight and hopefully some enlightenment in this objective forum, and this is something we need within the turmoil of confusion and uncertainty about terrorism in Nigeria.
In offering to moderate this Q&A session, these are the ground rules.
1. The Q&A session will kick off at 20:00 hours on Saturday the 1st of November 2014 – Nigerian time, which is 19:00 GMT.
2. All questions should be in clear and plain English and must use the hashtag #WhatDoesBHWant
3. Every enquirer must exercise the best of manners - be civil, be polite, be respectful and be friendly.
4. Every Question must be in the context of learning and understanding #WhatDoesBHWant, we will not digress from that mandate to tackle distractions.
5. Questions that attempt to excite passions and display personal animus will be ignored, the Q&A is NOT a forum to score points or settle scores.
6. We all have every reason to direct our anger at Boko Haram, however, Ahmad Salkida is NOT a member of Boko Haram, he is a knowledge expert and he has offered to share his knowledge and insights with us out of good faith.
7. No abuse or aggression will be tolerated during this Q&A session, all frustrations must be tempered with the utmost self-control.
8. We would try to have as many questions answered as possible, there can be follow on questions, but we would not revisit questions that have already been answered. At the end of the Q&A session, the conversation will be Storified and published for people to review for posterity.
We hope that all well-meaning Nigerians would participate in this discussion in patriotic good faith and we can all come away wiser and more understanding of what we need to do to end the problems that Boko Haram exacerbates on Nigeria and its neighbours.
“I am not a member of Boko Haram” – Ahmed Salkida speaks on ‘Conversations with Abang Mercy’ [Mercy Abang – April 2013]
Nigerian reporter threatened over Boko Haram coverage [Committee to Protect Journalists – March 2012]
Another Look At The Boko Haram Philosophy- Ahmad Salkida [Peace and Collaborative Development Network – November 2012]
Boko Haram Ceasefire? Do Not Be Fooled, Nigerians By Ahmad Salkida [Sahara Reporters – February 2013]
Ahmad Salkida’s Articles about Boko Haram [Premium Times 2012 -2013]
THE DISPLACED - A Documentary About Nigerians Turned Into Refugees Inside Their Country By Boko Haram [SaharaTV on YouTube courtesy of P. D Braide – October 2014]