By Kenneth Uwadi
It was Thursday, and I was drinking table water that I bought from a nearby store and from my window I stare at Bunmi that walks toward my door. She is dark, of Yoruba lineage and with large brown eyes .Her legs kept moving, as if she was doing a slow rhythmic dance. She was wearing long shiny earrings with bracelets on each arm. Her cloth hugs her body; the lightest of cotton is that cloth. Everyone in the neighbourhood admires her and she knows it. I was still watching her when the news of the suicide bomb blast at the Nigerian police headquarters was aired on radio.
The news of the suicide bombing in Nigeria hit me like a bucket of cold water. I stayed glued to my radio set so as to get the true story of this gory incident but my neighbours' dog, Jimmy, will not stop barking, the same high, rhythmic bark. Sometimes when this dog starts barking at God knows what, I use to chase it out of my room , close all the windows in the house and put on a home theatre at full blast. Dogs will be dogs, and will always bark. Jimmy; my neighbour's dog has bad manners and a cold nose. Always following me around the house like a porcupine and always climbing all over my clothes, filling me full of mange and rubbing up against my knee like a dog hungry for bone .Damn this dog, I've got to hear this news.
A bomb blew up inside the Nigerian police headquarters killing a suspected suicide bomber and others, witnesses and officials said. The blast tore into a police car park at the compound in our capital Abuja, throwing people to the ground and destroying several vehicles. Holy Mary, Mother of God! This is the first suicide bombing in Nigeria as we face a growing threat from Islamic militants. Boko Haram Islamic sect, we gathered has claimed responsibility for this bombing that left eight people dead and 77 vehicles destroyed. A statement from a senior member of the group, Abu Zaid, said the attack at the police headquarters was to prove a point to all who doubt the capabilities of the sect. It said it was angered by a police declaration that the days of Boko Haram are numbered.
The Police have claimed to have randomly detained at least 58 Boko Haram sect members .The 58 Boko Haram members we are told were moved to Abuja aboard a military aircraft .This Boko Haram set members are full of hate. They are now the monster that grew out of despair. Bombs are going off everywhere in Nigeria, even in places which are supposed to be the safest due to their supposedly tight security. With the adoption of suicide bombing by this sect, Nigeria is now unsafe. If suicide bombers can detonate bombs at the National Police Headquarters,then nowhere is safe again.
IG of Police Alhaji Hafiz Abubakar Ringim had in Borno State announced that the days of Boko Haram were numbered and that the police will soon flush out the group. Tough talking Ringim. He can go ahead to jump up or boxed in and talk the entire tough about how he can flush out the Boko Haram group. He can bang his fists on the wall, beat his chest, kick and shout till he is hoarse but we want to see action. He should make things happen. The Police talked tough when Alfred Rewane was shot and killed in Lagos on October 6, 1995. Till date nobody was convicted for his murder.The police talked tough over the bloody assassination of the then Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Bola Ige. He was a member of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), one of the political parties that presented a candidate for the 1999 polls. Bola Ige was killed in his home in Ibadan, in the South-western state of Oyo, on the 23rd December 2001.His case provoked a severe outcry in Nigeria. He apparently had come to spend the Christmas with his wife when a group of gunmen came into his house and shot him. Bola Ige had publicly stated that he was going to resign his ministerial appointment in order to actively take part in party politics. Till date the police could not solve the Ige murder case. What about the murder of Chief Sunday Awoniyi on January 7,2002. He was found soaked in his blood, reportedly stabbed to death. No one has been convicted for the murder of Awoniyi
Dating back to history, there is hardly any high profile crime case that has been successfully unravelled or solved. Yet IG of Police Alhaji Hafiz Abubakar Ringim is talking tough.The police talked tough when Barnabas Igwe,chairman of the Anambra state branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, and his wife Abigail Amaka were ambushed in their car and brutally murdered in Onitsha, on September 1,2002. The police also talked tough when Ogbonnaya Uche, was shot in his home in Owerri on February 8, 2003, and died two days later.The police talked tough when Aminasoari K. Dikibo, Chairman of Peoples' Democratic Party, South South Zone was killed on 6 February 2004, equally under circumstances termed to be inexplicable. The murder of Dikibo was so mysterious that it has come under public scrutiny. Dikibo was accosted while on his way to attend a meeting of the Board of Trustees of the party.Orji Uzor Kalu once said that Dikibo told him (Orji) that some High Politicians in Abuja were after him. The police till date did not solve the mentioned crime cases, yet Hafiz Abubakar Ringim is talking tough about Boko Haram.
The cops In Nigeria to me are almost as menacing as Boko Haram for they have never come out with solutions to crime cases of national attention. What can our Police forces do well? To me it is time we find someone that can re-structure the police,overhaul the system, improve the intelligence gathering efforts and capabilities. For now, Nigerian Police is obsolete in attitude, training and functions. The activities of the Boko Haram sect are now becoming embarrassing. Authorities that are responsible for security should please stand up, take up their responsibilities and save us from this sect
(Uwadi writes from Mmahu-Egbema, Imo State,Nigeria)