Its actually quite pitiful how desensitized to violence we are in this country. It hasn’t been long since bomb blasts became part of the Nigerian psyche yet we have become so desensitized to it. Over the past weekend three bombs went off in different parts of the country. People died and definitely others were injured. Let us not lie to ourselves and say we are as outraged as we were the first time a bomb went off and killed people in this country. Not to go off topic but sometimes I believe our “God is in control”/”E go better” attitude prevents us from being outraged and demanding change, our complacent nature. God is practical not theoretical jo. I refuse to allow bomb blasts become as commonplace as road accidents, armed robbery or even kidnapping. These things are not normal. No offence, but this is Nigeria not Iraq. We are not at bloody war!
The news and media are not helping. They carry news about these bomb blasts for a few days; if we are lucky a week and then they move on. Are you kidding me? The media should be proactive and ask the police what they are doing to solve these crimes against our nation and humanity. You should never let people forget about issues like this, instead you want to focus on zoning of ministers and the like. These are the things that cause divisions in this country. So what if the president has instituted a committee on the election violence or even Boko Haram, what if he has signed an Anti-terrorism bill? This doesn’t mean squat if bomb blasts are still occurring and people are still dying. I dare anyone to mention one committee on such an issue that succeeded in effecting a positive change. Many times after the committee is done, people have forgotten the issue and the government ignores their report. We just like to create committees to continue to chop money when there are people whose responsibility it is to do the jobs the committees are doing.
In my opinion, it is a damn shame that our National Security Adviser, Director of SSS and various heads of security agencies in charge of protecting the lives of our citizens have been retained. It doesn’t make an ilk of sense. If people are dying and you are not catching those behind it, it is safe for me to assume you suck at your job and deserve to be fired. Simple and short. An overhaul and reorientation of our security agencies is needed.
How? Of course I have a few suggestions. Apart from overhauling the security agencies and making sure non-performers are eased out in favor of performing officers, there is a need for greater intelligence training. We need to have informants. Security officers need to befriend some of the shadier people in our society who might have information about crimes that are about to go down. Every security officer needs to know his community well and be friendly with the people he is serving. This way he will be in touch with what is going on in his community, the good and the bad. This will help in reducing crime by a lot.
In line with greater intelligence training and gathering comes another important tool for any security agency, undercover work. Yes you might think I watch too much American movies and TV. Yes, I m a fan of 24, Jack Bauer kicks ass. Only if we had a Nigerian version of Jack B to kick terrorists’ ass. Yes, these people setting off bombs are nothing but terrorists. It is crucial that security agencies infiltrate these groups. It doesn’t take much, in the case of boko haram you will need a Muslim officer who speaks hausa/kanuri/Fulani and can blend into the group and stay with them for months and trace the key figures behind the bomb blasts as well as pass information to security agencies to enable them stop these attacks. It is very important to be pro-active not reactive in the war against terrorism.
This also brings me to another point I have said over and over again, it should be a crime in this country to make hateful/inciting speech. These people especially the Boko Haram have cassette tapes and CDs in circulation in markets filled with hateful and inciting speech. I believe it is within the full rights of security agents to follow the trail of such inciting media, find their source and deal with them appropriately. Haba, the time when people acted in this country with impunity should definitely be over.
We as a people need to stand up and demand changes. We cant let people to continue dying. If we let this go on, we will no longer be surprised or express shock when a bomb blast occurs. We will just shrug and say thank God no one I know got hurt. Haba Nigeria, we should be a nation that even if 1 person loses his/her life we should be outraged. As much as I know that power and unemployment are priorities for our new president, it is important that he ensure the security of lives and property. That is one of the main functions of any government. Lets fix this now before kids grow up thinking its okay to gut a human being. Smh.