ANALYSIS: The Global Terrorists’ Sieges And The Incoming Nigerian GovernmentFeatured, Featured Contributors/Columnists, Latest News Friday, December 19th, 2014
By Tajudeen Balogun, Head, African Examiner, Nigeria Bureau – Before it, there had been catalogues of terrorists’ restiveness in different countries across the globe. But the September 11, 2001 otherwise referred to as 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center in New York City, United States (US) till date despite the lingering global insurgent attacks, remained the most devastating, in terms of capital asset loss. The havocs wrecked on the twin mega edifice were so devastating, to the extent that the re – construction took the world super power about 13 years to achieve. Renamed One World Trade Centre, the global commercial and business meeting arena just came alive over a month ago.
Despite bringing down the one time ally of the US powerful political dynasty and oil magnate, as well as “mastermind” of the fatal attack – Osman bin Laden, who was believed to have strong link with the world strongest and most dreadful terrorist group – Al – Qaeda, the world is yet to be completely relieved from the killings and wicked claws of the dare devil insurgents. Regrettably, the insurgent attacks, under various appellations are reported almost daily, from one continent to another and from one country to another.
The Taliban terrorist group thrives in the Asian countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and others. In the Eastern Africa, in particular, Kenya, al – Shabaab will not allow the breathing space for the innocent citizens to live, while Nigeria battles with the its local, but daring and dreaded Boko Haram militant group. Far in the Middle East, ISIS or ISIL standing for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or Islamic State in Iraq is daily making statement through invasions, attacks and killings that it must be a force to reckon with and ultimately its interest must prevail.
Given the prevailing circumstances, it appears insurgency has become one of the permanent oddities the world now lives and contends with. But despite this worrisome reality, the trending dimensions of the terrorist attacks are passing on; the impression and somewhat provoking the question: where is the world heading to?
For instance, the killing, about three weeks ago, by the al – Shabaab insurgents of 36 miners in Kenya is still ‘trending’. Of course, the casualties (sack) that followed it from the government circle are still very much in the public discussion. Similarly, on Monday, November 10, 2014, Nigeria was gripped in the mourning, as a suspected Boko Haram suicide bomber disguised as a student and made his way to a Senior Secondary School in Potiskum, Yobe State, North Eastern Nigeria, assembly. While assembly was in progress, the bomb was detonated, followed by eruption and left at least, 52 students dead, beside the severely injured.
This did not however stop yet another huge human loss to the terrorist attacks as about 150 worshippers November 28, 2014, were killed in another suicide bombing in the ancient Kano central mosque. Several other invasions and sieges have earlier and later taken place, in different parts of Northern parts of the country, where so many lives perished.
And between between Monday and Tuesday this week, there was about 16 hour’s siege on a café in Sydney, Australia, by an Iranian Born and self-acclaimed Cleric, Man Haron Monis. He and two of the 17 hostages died in the crossfires between him and the city Commandoes.
Still, the world received on Tuesday December 16, 2014 what unarguably is the wicked and dastardly insurgents’ onslaught, in the world history, when the Taliban ran into a military school, in Peshawar, Pakistan in a cold blood, killing estimated 132 innocent children! Action was blamed on the previous fatal swoop on them (Taliban) by the National Military. The world has ever had this bad!
There is an important and key angle to the Monday Sydney café terrorist attack. The Iranian’s Deputy foreign Minister for Asia and Oceania Affairs, Ebrahim Rahimpour, alleged that Australia authorities ignored the fore warning sent by Iran over the imminent siege, but no prevention measure was taken. The Minister accused: “We provided information and asked them to watch this person but unfortunately, they did not pay attention. The Australian government acted very poorly as far as security and protective standards were concerned”.
This allegation if true was a big minus on the part of the Australian security and more seriously the government. Although, prompt efforts were later matched against the Indian gunman, but the fact remains that if the earlier security reports have been yielded, possibility of the siege taking place at all, would have been curtailed, hence the 17 hours tension in the city would been saved and lives of the dead would been preserved.
The Nigerian authorities should please take note of this for now, especially on the need to be apt on pre –empting and preventing crimes, instead of the traditional chasing of suspected criminals after the damages have been done. More on this later.
Again, it is important to note that those in charge of the government machineries are proactive and pragmatic in the approach to fight terrorists. On this, more actions than talks are needed. Please recall the April 15, 2013 two bombs eruption at the finishing line of the Boston (US) Marathon race. The explosion killed three spectators, including Martin Richard, an eight years old boy, while over 260 were wounded.
The gladden point here is that the smartly and sportful US President Barrack Obama visited the Boston city within 24 hours, condoled the bereaved families, but handed down an asserted pledge that the evil perpetrators would be tracked down and dealt with. Obama’s exposition was followed with actions as about four days later; Boston Police arrested a suspect, a 19 years old adolescent, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. His 26-year-old elderly brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev and another suspected terrorist were killed in a shootout with the security operatives. In addition, the city Federal Prosecutors then indicated intention to press charges against the only survived insurgent suspect in November this year, leading to death penalty verdict.
Nigeria has been confronted with insurgency challenge over five years ago. What I am aware mostly in our clime is the condemnation and usual promises to deal with the evil perpetrators. Okay, President Goodluck Jonathan visited Monday, April 14, 2014 the scene of two bomb explosions at Nyanya Motor Park in the outskirt of FCT Abuja, Nigerian capital. The siege claimed by Boko Haram consumed over 80 lives, minus the injured.
Similarly, Mr President called at Emab Plaza, the scene of June 25, 2014, another terrorist attack, which claimed 21 lives and left 17 brutally wounded He did condemn the act as usual and as well visited the injured in the hospital. However, there was a reported security lapse on Emab explosion as it was said prior indication (security report) was leaked but without a conscious and coordinated efforts and measures to prevent the attack. Which is among the reasons why many hit at the present administration and accuse it of laxity in counter attack against the insurgents?
We may not forget too that Pakistani teenager and child education activist, Malala Yousafzai, visited around mid-July this year, Nigeria and had audience with our dear President, discussing and prompting him on the veritable needs for his government to double efforts and ensure freedom for the over 200 abducted Chibok (Borno State) secondary school girls, who have since been held hostage in the forest for over eight months. The Presidential Villa meeting with teen Malala as well as the follow up prompted parley with the parents or their representatives? of the kidnapped students were all Mr. President could do to seek release of the girls. No visit yet to Chibok and some other spots where the underage were the target of the attack. (Stand to be corrected).
Whereas, President Jonathan moves around the country and junkets around the world for political rallies, lobbying, meetings and for the so called “socio – economic” prosperity of the country. This is unlike Obama as witnessed in the Boston’s Bombs saga as well as bold, courageous and exemplary moves by other world leaders, who without any hesitation, bring themselves low and identify with the victims of terrorist the sieges. Please, I am mindful of the Nigeria Insurgents Victims Initiative Funds, yet the real moral showing and sincere demonstration of passion is the issue in focus here.
Then back to reaction to the insurgents threats; the country is presently faced with another. This week, the leader of the Nigerian militant group, Abubakar Shekau released another video clip, threatening attack against the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi II. Whether true or false, the question is what are the measures being taken so far to arrest the imminent danger by the security and government? Shekau’s warning might be ‘maradonic’ after all, I mean the group may have a different target or agenda entirely; so, what initiative the authorities are taking to expose and puncture all possible tactics and tricks by the militants to avert another national disaster, especially during the coming festivity seasons?
As it is said, to be fore warned is to be fore armed. The Nigerians again will not spear this government another round of condemnation and will be more emboldened to dear and put to it, as being very clueless and incompetent in the national security management. Also, the public accusation of “likely benefits” by government from the insurgency against the administration will become easier.
The renewed attacks by the insurgents after the hope was raised that the country was almost surviving the terrorism war has been overwhelming, shocking, more daring and bloodier than ever before. And the result of this are: tension; fear; worry and uncertainty among the Nigerians, not only in the troubled zone (North) but also in the entire Southern Nigeria. And to worsen the situation is the approaching general elections in the country.
So, as the country prepares for a new political dispensation, there is need to begin to sound a new, workable and ‘circle’ paradigm of approach to war against terrorism – the one with no blame trading; needless political jabs and beyond the mere public condemnation and empty promises to punish the master minders.
The obligation is on the two active Nigerian political parties – the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) and the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP). If at the end of 2015 February Presidential poll, the opposition is favored, then Nigerians will expect not less from it, than to act its long articulations in managing effectively and efficiently the raging security challenges in the country. After all, it has boasted of being capable of addressing the matter better, among others. If only it could, better for all.
However, if the ruling PDP is returned, I believe that will be another four years of golden opportunity to right the previous wrongs. In that wise, no more excuses; no to politicizing of issues relating to the security of lives and properties; and no to mere condemnation, rather, more actions and actions are required.
Nigeria is blessed with the creative and diligent people, so they need government and leaders who are disciplined; leaders who would create platforms to excel and live by examples and ultimately ensure that their security is guaranteed as they set out daily to struggle for means of livelihood and survival. The most interesting aspect of the people in this part of the world is that they key very easily into the system of any resolute and committed leader that presents to them a coordinated standard that promotes productivity; discipline and peace. Ironically, to some extent, Nigerians are more disciplined outside the country.
Finally, whether it is the APC or PDP that triumphs in the coming Presidential election, resolving the insurgents’ siege are one of the most challenging tasks facing the country and it must be given and pursued with similar zeal, vigour and priority.
Dr Okupe, You Lied!
One major and common challenge of those in charge of information management of the ruling PDP; the present administration and President Jonathan is misfiring – making sweeping, offensive and misleading public statements. Unfortunately, they have overtime succeeded in forcing many public commentators to join issues with them; President Jonathan’s government and the ruling party. In the past, I have reacted to the disdainful comments of the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh. (Search the main piece of Sunday, June 8, 2014 titled: Olisa Metuh Should Be More Cautious And Reasonable and Friday, September 5, 2014 sub piece entitled: Who is Olisa Metuh, PDP Trying To Impress?) As I always express, whatever that is going on in either of the APC of PDP fold, directly affects the rest of the country.
Please let me say this ahead of the real issue. In Yourba land, when someone, for whatever reason says, or people put to him; that he is not qualify to be addressed with the surname he bears, such is regarded as Omo Ale (a Bastard). So, the self-acclaimed “attack” machine of President Jonathan and his Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe while on a visit to a National daily newspaper house said of the opposition APC: “If they (APC) don’t crumble and disappear by 2014, don’t call me Okupe”. Historically, the party was formally registered in July 2013 – making it by now over a year old and surviving the year. So, what do you call Dr Okupe? Kindly conclude for yourself. Again, I heard Okupe throwing his usual punches when he misfired and said the only thing General Muhammadu Buhari said in his acceptance speech was; or that were said one after the other aftermath the declaration of the APC presidential Primary winner was that he (Buhari) was incorruptible and disciplined. Dr. Okupe by this statement lied and was only chasing shadows. My reaction (please) is not personal; rather, it is about something irritating and offensive to so many critical minds. Therefore, if he wishes, he might go back and watch again and adjudge for himself. By the way, won’t Nigeria be better off, if opportune to be led by a character Okupe was referring? And he had again vowed that the ascribed virtues to the General would soon be contested at the appropriate time. Please, Dr Okupe, Nigerians will so be glad if this is done without any delay.
However, I feel again that the product Okupe is projecting is not that hard sell. Again, I have mentioned it repeatedly that, Nigeria is presently in political harvest season and what sells now are the performances and the records of the past. Therefore, If Okupe is very sure his party and boss have done creditably well for this country, he should rather pre – occupied himself and his team, with how to drive all that home. Still, as I have mentioned again, if they succeed in convincing Nigerians on the self-acclaimed economic glories, again, they should also be able to defend failure of the same government to address the current security lapses (which the President himself persistently admits) If succeeded, goodluck to him, his party and his superior. These are far better than the ‘street or garage’ – like verbal offensives by Dr Okupe. After all, you have likened your boss to Jesus Christ for bearing the burdens of Nigerians, the same manner the Messiah did to his followers. Please, who else should have bear the brunt? Isn’t that another display of spiritual arrogance?
Well, the statement by Chief Olisah Metuh after declaration of Gen Buhari’s running mate, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) that his choice “showed that the APC was the personal project of Bola Tinubu and some cabal” really, is no issue to me. All that is political and the accused is or are very capable to offer reply if he, or they wished. Finally, Dr. Okupe, it will be much better, if also you can be more reasonable, and careful about your subsequent public statements, for the Nigerians are so intelligent; know and understand better all the issues at stake. Therefore, never again underrate them or toy with their sensibilities. This is another food for thought; you are very free to reason along and aloud!
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