] ] Idang Alibi A taste of Gov Kashim’s daily fare
What is the political, psychological, military or insurgency significance of Monday’s early morning bomb blast by suspected Boko Haram terrorists in which 75 persons have been officially confirmed to have died and nearly 300 injured? You do not need to be a pundit to realize that the incident was planned and executed with the almost sole purpose of passing on a clear message to the authorities in Abuja, the complacent people of Nigeria and the entire world that Boko Haram is indeed still very much alive and dangerous.
That Monday attack was meant by the Boko Haram strategists to say one very important statement namely, that the head of the organisation’s core leadership has not yet been decapitated. If anything, it is still very much intact and thinking. The snake’s tail may have been bruised, some part of it cut off, but it is still very much alive and dangerous.
The master-minds of the Nyanya Abuja bombing are saying loud and clear that contrary to the growing confidence of some high ups in Abuja and the rest of the country that since several devastating blows have been dealt the group forcing them to the fringes of the country in the extreme north east of the country, it is no longer a potent threat to the safety and security of the country. But by the loud statement made on Monday, BH is saying that it still constitutes a major source of headache to the entire country. They are saying that they are not a north east problem but a Nigerian problem and you must shake yourself off from your smugness and take them more seriously. They are saying that they still have the capacity in men, money, expertise and materiel to strike at Nigeria anywhere, anyhow, any time it likes and that nothing can be done to stop them. And that the soul of Nigeria, Abuja, is very much within their grabs.
Entirely expected, the outpouring of emotions from Nigerians across the country over the Monday incident has nevertheless amazed me. It is as if some Nigerians are only just now becoming aware of the outrageous atrocities of the Boko Haram insurgency because the group has dared to use Nyanya, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory, to remind Nigerians of its unreasonable deadliness. This deadly group has been in existence for over three years now spreading death and mayhem. It started in Bauchi, spread to other parts of the North, visited the FCT and gave residents a taste of its gory campaign of terror before the security agencies drove them to the Borno, Yobe and Adamawa axis where they have now made a stronghold.
While dug in in that North East stronghold, making Borno their bastion and main operational headquarters, the group has engaged in one unimaginable act of mayhem after another, killing, maiming, abducting and levelling whole communities. The Governor of that State, Kashim Shettima, has been crying himself hoarse appealing that some massive force be mobilised to finish the insurgent off there where they seemed cornered or else if they are allowed to disperse once again, we all will be in trouble. Now if that gentleman was one of these garrulous, irresponsible, insensitive and rascally fellows we seem to have in some high places, he would by now been singing a vindication song for all to hear: ‘I told you people so but no one seemed to listen. See what has happened now’’.
Somehow, the Nyanya incident by the Boko Haramists can be interpreted as a sadistic equal opportunity move to give the somehow aloof city people of Abuja a taste of the awful broth they have been serving governors Kashim Shettima and his colleague in neighbouring Yobe, Ibrahim Geidam, almost on daily basis in the past few months. It is true that it is in the nature of terror organisations like BH to sometimes make statements that exaggerate their significance but some of such statements can be ignored only at the peril of the nation. The Monday incident in Nyanya is one of such. I think it was meant to tell the decision makers in Abuja that the time has come for them to sit up and mobilise the entire country to wage a final onslaught on a group that seems determined to destroy the country.
One of the things our leadership must do is to try to correct the impression that once Abuja is safe and secure all is well with Nigeria irrespective of what is happening at the fringes and that the moment security of the capital city is breached it is only then that something is seriously wrong. When you listen to the comments of some people you get the impression that they are only now realizing what has become a living reality, a nightmare, to the people of Borno and Yobe. ‘’With what happened in Nyanya, it means that no one is safe in Nigeria’’, some have said’’. ‘’Are you just knowing that now?’’, I am tempted to respond from the comfort of my sitting room. Capital city people everywhere tend to feel that they are a special breed of people entitled to a better share of everything including security from their nation. They tend to feel that if some calamity exists in the fringes, it is somehow tolerable but the day it comes to the capital then something is seriously wrong. Something has been seriously wrong with Nigeria ever since BH declared war against the country.
However, we must be alarmed by the Nyanya attack because of its special significance. It is an attack on Abuja. And since success tend to give birth to more success, no such spectacular success should again be allowed in Abuja or anywhere else in the country for that matter or else it will serve as a potent tonic for a resurgence of more daring attacks of that kind on the capital city.
It is a shame that in the past few weeks some of our political leaders have been playing politics with the Boko Haram insurgency, trading blames and accusations like quarrelling housewives; inventing unbelievable conspiracy theories and telling improbable tales that sound more fanciful than old wives’ tales. The Monday blast is a rude reminder to our politicians that such foolery must stop and deep thinking should come in its place.
Since the thing that matters most to Nigerian politicians is endless politicking, I think the President should summon patriotic courage to announce a suspension of politicking in the whole country until the BH insurgency is dealt with and no further threat is felt in any part thereof before there can be any resumption of politics. Each politician, especially from the north east, should be required to go back to deliver his constituency from the grip of BH insurgents. Since every Nigerian politician’s destiny will invariably be tied to the fulfilment of such a condition, it means in effect that such a challenge will push them to come together to figure out how they can collaborate to ensure a quick return to politics, the game they love best.