Boko Haram’s Growing Sophistication: A Result Of Government’s Ineptitude – By Adekunle Adeola Sijibomi

How many more innocent people have to die before our government put an emphatic end to this bloodshed? Just how many more lives must be lost? How many parents must become bereaved? How many more wives need become widows, or children become orphans or husbands become widowers before this administration understands the need to tackle the maddening height of insecurity? Or maybe they are waiting till their own children or cousins or in laws or some close relative become a victim.

Under the watch of this administration, bombing and terroristic activities are no longer news. Since the first strike during Nigeria’s 50th independence anniversary, bomb attacks have continued, unabated, unresolved and almost continuously. Nobody would want to put up the figure of how many attacks has occurred since then, we have lost count. One thing on everyone’s lips – that is those who are not involved in and are not benefiting from the attack – is how Nigeria will put an end to the bombings and other attacks.

Now, the name Boko Haram is more popular and provokes more fear than the President’s name and presidential threats. What started as a “small group” whose method was strictly machete on the motorcycle has grown into a full fledge threat to the Nigerian democracy and the future of the Nigerian nation. The incubating condition for this “growth” is the ineptitude – the now apparent lack of courage and the cluelessness – of the Federal Government and all its apparatus.

he group has undergone tremendous development and metamorphosis. First was the change from machetes to bomb attacks. Then it advanced into suicide bombing attacks. And now, it is capable of coordinated attacks, at different places at almost the same time. As it is, the group has moved into an advanced stage of terroristic evolution. The only chapters left to make it replace Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah on the top of the list in the intelligence world would be those of Aircraft hijack and its associated forms of attack. And no one can guarantee if these are not already in their plan.

Yet, while the group continued to grow more sophisticated in its forms of attack, the government has also continued to wax stronger in its tardiness and lack of approach. For every bomb blasts that has happened in Nigeria, the only thing the President has done is to make a press statement which contained the sour words “we are on top of the situation and we will bring the perpetrators of this act to justice.” Beyond saying this, the government has never grown what the Spaniards call “cojones” to act, and decisively put an end to the crisis.

From Eagle Square to Louis Edet House, which is the police headquarters, to UN building, to the Church at Mandalla and the Easter Day Bomb Blast, the President has spoken just his dull words and recoiled into “shell”. It became his routine. It gave Boko Haram the needed inspiration to advance their works. For the failure of any government to act decisively and in time to terroristic activities is the right culture media for the spontaneous and mutant growth of the malaise.

If, immediately after the 9/11 attacks, the US government had not swung into actions to preempt and disrupt terroristic activities around the country and elsewhere in the world, that country would have been wiped out by now. For any first blast or attack is a vulnerability check. If after it, the government is not seriously concerned, that government has invited terror into its land. This is the mistake that President Jonathan’s administration unconsciously committed through its aloofness and ineptitude.

For this reason, BH continued to grow sophisticated per time. From the first suicide bombing, it has carried out a coordinated attack. Yet, after the gruesome loss of life at the bomb sites in Kaduna, Abuja, and those of Bayero University, Kano, the only thing the president could do is change his words and add new terms to his statement. No riot act read. No state of the nation address on insecurity, other than the stale homilies written by Dr Reuben: just the normal effervescence – but with new words.

If a government exists primarily for the provision of security for its citizen, and bomb attacks killing innocent people and destroying properties are occurring almost consistently under the watch of any government, then it will not be too far to declare such an administration a failure. For if it builds roads, hospitals and new schools, but it cannot guarantee the safety of the people who are to use these facilities, of what benefits would these things be? The latest bomb attacks on the offices of This Day Newspaper in Abuja and Kaduna and those of the Bayero University Kano, Gombe and Taraba are big signals that this administration and its leadership are big failures.

Nigerians gave President Jonathan their votes. And in return, he gave them the fuel subsidy removal hoax and turned their country into a haven for opportunists crusading as terrorists. Where people look up to their leaders for courage in such trying times, Mr. President has not shown much of it for himself. For the last independence anniversary, He had to stay in the “bunker” of Aso Villa because of threats from BH. Yet, day in day out countless liters of bloods of innocent Nigerians are shed from bomb attacks. How those holed up in the Aso Villa are able to sleep despite these gruesome murders is a subject for emotional and scholastic research.

Beyond indicating government’s failures, these incessant attacks are also tending towards the fragmentation of Nigeria and a second civil war. Also, the continued silence on the part of southerners on these attacks is very worrisome. The current localization of the attacks to the North is no guarantee that it won’t cross the Niger and the Jebba bridges into the southern regions in the nearest future. If the President won’t act, and the northern leaders would prefer to babysit the issue, southern leaders must start taking initiatives of how to prevent, preempt and disrupt any future attack in within their regions. They must fire the presidency on all cylinders to move it into swift action.

And to borrow from the Presidential new words, which would be more “ignoble”, a man who turns his country to a terror holocaust site through his lack of courage and wit, while he has everything at his disposal to turn things around, or a small faceless group that is bent on achieving its devilish purpose? If the President would commit half the “subsidy-removal” energy to insecurity, He would go a long way. But if he continues this way, he might as well become the last president of Nigeria. Nigerians are tired of living in fear in their own land. If fragmentation can bring them the desired peace, they will go for it.

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