Re-Boko Haram, A Ruse or Misperception II


The reality must have dawned on everyone now that Boko Haram is no more a ruse but a threat to national peace and tranquility with the attack on the police Headquarters and the recent bombing of the United Nations building both at broad daylight when all security agencies are supposed to be on red alert.

The primary responsibility of any given government is to ensure the enforcement of law and order. This is basic and can only be achieved with provision of adequate security measures. Even in dark ages rulers then considers safety of its people above all other issues. To this end any reasonable and responsive government should not take the issue of security with levity.

A reader of this newspaper after reading my piece on Boko Haram called and told me frantically that though he agrees with me on some of my opinion on the issue of Boko Haram but strongly disagree that the use of violence by any group of people be it militants, social crusaders, freedom fighters or terrorists is barbaric and should not be encouraged. He mentioned that no matter the grouse of Boko Haram, it is inhuman to take innocent peoples’ lives for no reason under the heavens.

To all intent and purpose I cannot but agree with him, even though in my piece I never encouraged or agree with the violence method and approach adopted by the sect in pressing home their demands, be it genuine or counterfeit, depending on the side of the divide one belongs, like I stated in that piece. My concern is still that someone is not doing what he is supposed to do or succinctly putting it that our leaders, especially those elected are not helping this nation towards the path of progress and development.

When a nation falters it should not be to the extent of not being capable to protect itself from internal crises not to talk of ability to protect its own from external aggression. Once our attitude to governance and nation development degenerated to the level that we are brought down to our knees by self-determining and insurgent groups at will, then where lies our sovereignty?

Aftermath of the attack on the UN building, an action claimed by Boko Haram, a report by Associated Press (AP) and credited to one of the security agencies in the country revealed how incompetence, corruption and nepotism among the security agencies have helped the fundamentalist Islamic sect behind the recent bombings in the country to thrive.

Among other astounding claims, the report again revealed that security officials in 2007 arrested, detained and later released the man who planned the bombing of the United Nations building in Abuja.

The report read that the release of the UN bombing mastermind, named by the State Security Service as one Mamman Nur, and many other terrorists arrested that year was facilitated by senior security officials. To everyone’s amazement, names of those involved were not mentioned.

AP reports that the militants were caught with bombs, guns and lots of cash, adding that they were later released because government was wary of antagonizing powerful interests of the North extraction. Some of those arrested were said to have been planning to carry out attacks in the United States and on America interests in Nigeria. Investigators at the time said they had ties to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and the Somali terrorist organization, Al-Shabab, but could not proceed because of the order given by the top officials in the administration of the late President Umar Yar’adua that they should be released. What a pity on a country that used to be the Giant of Africa.

For any right thinking individual, reports that failed to go the whole length of specifics by mentioning names of those that are upright or otherwise in the discharge of their duties is not a report but a document conjured by its author from the figment of his imagination. Are we not being fooled all over again even by this kind of emanating reports that are immune to mentioning names of officials or that seemingly ‘top official’?

The report further said “one of those men was Babgana Ismail Kwaljima, also known as Abu Summaya, who was arrested again days before the August 26 bombing.”

The agency claimed to have arrested Kwaljima in October 2007 in Kano during a roundup of suspected members of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb operating in the country. One should not be hastily criticized if one puts up this poser “The roundup in 2007 was at whose instance and to satisfy what purpose?

Aftermath the bombing of the UN building in Abuja we have heard series of arrest being made but the report says “some 50 al-Shabab members were arrested in Nigeria recently for plotting attacks on Western targets, citing postings made  to jihadist websites. Those arrests if ever made were not announced by security agencies because if they were, the oppressive Nigerian media would have reported same.

At least, it is common knowledge that security agencies in the country regal themselves in the parade of suspects arrested for stealing ten cups of rice and three tubers of yams. To me, if any arrest of the magnitude being reported recently had being made in the past, the Nigerian Inspector General of Police would have been recommended to become the Chief Executive of the World Police, if any such body exists!

If the reports still claims that the Nigeria’s intelligence agencies abandoned a US-assisted anti-terrorism program tagged “Focal Point” in year 2007 which saw the federal government wasting public funds to set up units in major cities to monitor suspected terrorists and that the units fell apart as agencies stock them with friends and relatives who took advantage of funds earmarked for those units to make trips and leaving the job of tracking suspects to local police authorities who knew nothing about the gravity of issues involved. Then who should be blamed for the rise in the spate of bomb attacks all over the country and fear of insecurity on lives and property?

Whoever is of the opinion that these attacks may soon cease needs a rethink if security agencies do not brace up and face challenges that lurk around in the guise of freedom fighters and crusaders for social justice and fairness. Terrorism has crept into our midst in the full glare of several security agencies who are more interested in lining their pockets under the auspices of an elected government.

God sparing our lives and help us shake awake our leaders at the national level from the deep slumber they are going into while the nation regressed gradually into anarchy, the end of the whole journey of our dear nation might not be far away and the labour of our heroes past might finally be in vain, as I foresee other miscreants taking up another form of campaign under the disguise of actualization of another sovereign state within a sovereign nation unleash another round of irredeemable terror on the populace.

Written by Joke Orimaye

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