] ] Idang Al­ibi A taste of Gov Kashim’s daily fare

Daily Trust - - VIEWS -

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.