By Dr. Deji James
One of the greatest challenges President Goodluck Jonathan's administration faces is the growing insecurity across the country. Nigerians are said to now be living in perpetual fear of falling victim to the spate of bombings, assassinations, kidnappings and other acts of terrorism in the country.
Boko Haram, in its fifth straight day of violence, overran a police station in Toro Council in Bauchi State and carted off arms and ammunition. Elsewhere, a heavy explosion followed by bursts of sporadic gunfire hit Maiduguri, where the Islamic fundamentalists have also been waging a campaign of terror.
The Coalition of Ethnic Nationalities of Nigeria (CENN) has said the nefarious operations of the Boko Haram sect must be considered as an act of war and terrorism in the class of a foreign invasion against the country, "and must be drastically confronted as such by the security agencies to prevent further international embarrassment to Nigeria and further loss of Nigerian lives and property".
Governor Obi of Anambra State described the actions of the Boko Haram sect which has resulted in killings of innocent Nigerians in parts of the country, as unacceptable and must be tackled.
Senator Olubunmi Adetumbi, representing Ekiti North Senatorial district of Ekiti State, has justified the recent deployment of soldiers to Abuja to combat the menace of terrorism by Boko Haram, describing the move as a sure way to curtail the activities of the terrorist group. He assured Nigerians that members of the National Assembly will open debate on the matter after recess, saying the issue of terrorism in the country has reached a feverish pitch and needed utmost urgent attention.
Boko Haram has announced its Jihad in Nigeria and its intent on causing further mayhem until its goals of setting up a nation under Sharia is met. For many Nigerians, this is a serious threat, and must be taken very seriously by this President. Boko Haram has basically declared war on the Federal Government of Nigeria, and it is important to evaluate the situation carefully in the coming days on whether to initiate A-grade operations in the North to root out this threat now or allow it to fester and create a growing, inoperable cancer. It is better now to excise the tumor before it spreads.
The Boko Haram menace has taken a new and deadly twist, with the dreaded group issuing threats to eliminate all Christians and even Muslims currently serving in the Federal government. In the statement released by the group last week, it said: “This is a government that is not Islamic. Therefore, all its employees-Muslims and non-Muslims are Infidels.
While the deadly Maiduguri based terror group, Boko Haram, continues to maim, murder and destroy properties, the Nigeria state officials, security agencies are simply at sea as to how to curtail these strings of mayhem. The police most times try to minimize the magnitude of destruction.
Boko Haram’s Terrorism Does Not Threaten Only Nigeria. The Nigerian government has imposed a curfew on the national capital city, Abuja, following recent attacks by Islamist militants. Nightclubs, beer parlours, and cinemas must close by 10pm local time (2100 GMT) and public parks that admit children should close by 6pm. Abuja city’s administration said it has also banned parking of vehicles on two roads where most government offices are located. The security problems bedeviling Nigeria must pique our interest because of its implications for the entire West African sub-region.
To confront this problem we need to have a full understanding of the notion Boko Haram. Its direct translation in English means "Western Education is Forbidden" this notion is a very eccentric idea which takes its roots from the colonial era when the British having subdued the fulani's with their artillery batteries in Sokoto had implemented a system of indirect rule in Northern Nigeria, a system which allowed them to pursue their imperialist plans indirectly through the emirs taking full advantage of the existing feudal system.
This grievance has led to mass protests in the north and also the ruling Peoples Democratic Party losing a lot of seats to other political parties. The elite themselves are not safe at all as a result of the spate of high profile assassinations in the country by the dreaded Boko Haram sect. It is very obvious that there is a high level of entropy and ambiguity in the North. The real danger is not in the present but what is yet to come that is why the government must do its best to address the issue of poverty, unemployment and illiteracy in the North.
This time around Nigerians are faced with a problem in the form of terrorist jihadist militants going by the name of Boko Haram which means Western Education is forbidden in the Hausa dialect. The kidnapping of people and blowing up of government infrastructure is one thing but the act of suicide bombing whereby the aggressor is willing to risk his own life by blowing up himself and the intended target to oblivion is a whole different thing entirely.
The recent suicide bombing attack on the National Headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force which is the heart of our nation’s civil security outfit is such an unfortunate event. What even makes the situation more alarming is that it was a suicide attack, the first of its kind in our nation’s history.
This is a war that cannot be won by confrontation because these people live among us and for every terrorist that is killed there will be more to eagerly replace them so it is important that the authorities attack this problem from the roots so that our beloved nation will not follow other countries like Somalia, Afghanistan and the rest.
This is a report of how the fear of Boko Haram is threatening to change night life in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja. It is a season of a long list of forbidden activities after 10pm- including weekends. The Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, acting on intelligence and sound security advice, is toeing the path of caution.
Barely an hour after a local government council chairman was shot dead on Sunday evening in his house in Maiduguri by suspected members of the Islamic fundamentalists, Boko Haram, the group was reported to have bombed another local drinking joint at Wulari mammy market in Borno state capital leaving several persons dead and many others injured.
Afghanistan!: That was what it called its based in Kanamma, Yobe State. It uses guerrilla tactics as a means of doing devilish things, yet it professes Godliness. Drive-by and ride-by sporadic shooting of police officers and innocent passers-by have become another way of wreaking havoc. Bombs have recently come in handy, and bombs are being deployed with maximum effectiveness. This is the world of Boko Haram, the Islamic terrorist group that appears to be fast replacing the militants of Niger Delta.
The issue of security should not be left alone to government. From my own point of view, government alone cannot stop the activities of terrorists which have left thousands of innocent Nigerians either dead or wounded. People in their thousands are relocating from Maiduguri to their villages and other neighbouring states they consider safe, as the city has been turned into a war zone. When our correspondent visited some motor parks across the metropolis, thousands of people, including students of the University of Maiduguri which was closed on Monday, were seen trying to flee the embattled city.
Death & Destruction, Thy Name is Boko Haram: The members of this sect do not spare royalty or religious leadership. Take: On May 30 this year, suspected members of the sect shot dead Abba Anas Umar Garbai El-Kanemi, the younger brother of Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai El-Kanemi. Also, a renowned Islamic Scholar, Shiekh Ibrahim Gomari Airport ward in March.
There was stampede in Kano, Bauchi, Kaduna, Maiduguri, Abuja, Jos, Kogi, Adamawa, Yobe, and Suleja over Boko Haram terrorism acts on Monday when news of incessant killings and bombing by Boko Haram with military forces were announced.
‘’We want people to know that the Federal Government fought us and therefore by the grace of Allah, we would continue fighting until we succeed or die in the process,’’ he said the sect spokesman. Abu Zaid said the sect members would continue to trail former governors of Borno and Bauchi states, Christian preachers as well as all the enemies of God.
Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have arrived Nigeria to help in the investigation of the 16/6 bomb attack on the headquarters of the Nigerian Police Force in Abuja. The FBI is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency (counterintelligence).
The University of Don said that despite the threats by the police and army to crush Boko Haram, the group has continued relentlessly to attack and kill policemen and military-men with ease. The manner in which they went to attack police headquarters in Abuja underscores the fact that they have intelligent people behind them.
However, it is time for government to act before it is too late!
(Dr. James, writes from Abuja For Human Rights Group)
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