Monday, April 14, 2014
My good friends, the security situation in Nigeria is seriously being threatened by the heightening of terrorism by the resident Boko Haram.
The latest act of carnage traceable to this terrorist group occurred today in the Nigerian capital city, Abuja, killing more than 70 and injuring about 120 commuters in a car bomb explosion on the outskirts of Abuja.
An eyewitness told the BBC: "I have never seen [anything] like that in my life. It was just terrible... We were just running helter-skelter. So somehow I think that they planted something inside one of the buses there.
"So there are many dead shot down at the scene of the accident. And as you can see now some of these casualties... we are hoping, we are praying they will be ok. We saw some ambulances bringing corpses to other hospitals."
Jonathan Goodluck later visited the scene of the carnage and was reported as saying that the problem being caused by Boko Haram was “temporary”. Really?
I have said it several times before and will continue to reiterate it that Boko Haram’s destruction of limb and property in Nigeria and threat to the country’s security cannot be tackled by the Nigerian government alone.
I wonder why Jonathan Goodluck’s government feels it can handle the problem alone. It is not possible, which is why the government must look for support from other countries and systems to eradicate this Boko Haram.
More importantly, the potential of this Boko Haram’s activities spreading to other parts of the West African Sub-region is high, which is why the leaders of the 16-member ECOWAS should have acted decisively long before now.
The fundamental concerns that spawned the Boko Haram terrorist group may not obtain in the other countries, but given the massive failure of governments in the various countries to solve existential problems pushing the people deeper and deeper into narrow circumstances, there is the possibility of agitations which will likely fester into disaffection and become the building block for terrorist groups.
There is no single country in the sub-region that can be said to be out of the doldrums. Despite the over-abundance of human and material resources, nothing remarkable is being done to improve living standards, which irks the citizens to the full.
Discontent is high, and dissension mounting day-by-day. These instances create fertile grounds for terrorism as disgruntled and unscrupulous elements use terrorism to wreak their kind of misplaced vengeance on the system.
Armed robbery is just a minor aspect of terrorism. If we consider the impact of armed robbery on the society, we should be alarmed enough to not want its worst counterpart (terrorism) to become the order of the day.
That is what must prick the conscience of these leaders of countries in our sub-region.
Unfortunately, they cannot see the urgency of the situation and are all “sleeping”, deceiving themselves that Boko Haram is Nigeria’s own problem to solve alone.
When they recently met in Yamoussoukro in the Cote d’Ivoire, all they did was to deliberate over the European Union’s Economic Partnership Agreement (another albatross that they are positioning their necks for).
Instead of putting heads together to consider solutions for larger-level problems that threaten to destabilize the Sub-region, they found solace in hot-headed, empty rhetoric about betraying their own people through this weird imposition packaged as the EPA.
Not until something drastic is done through collaboration (whether inter-governmental, bilateral or multilateral to help Nigeria neutralize the activities of Boko Haram, they will not come across to me as capable leaders.
If this Boko Haram terrorism spreads to other West African countries and engulfs the entire Sub-region, there will be a huge price to pay.
I encourage President Mahama, current chair of ECOWAS, to move fast by reaching out to his colleague heads of state so they can help Nigeria combat this Boko Haram group. Otherwise, the situation will worsen and limb and property will suffer. Is that what these “sleeping” West African leaders are looking forward to?
I shall return…
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