Anxiety Permeates, As Abuja Residents Live Under Fear After Repeated BlastsArticles/Opinion, Latest News, News Thursday, June 26th, 2014
By Tajudeen Balogun with Agency Reports
The last bomb blast in Abuja on Wednesday evening, which is the third in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and its environs, since the beginning of the year, has occasioned palpable fear among the residents a day after, with respect to security of lives and property. Although, no one has claimed responsibility, yet many have suspected members of Boko Haram as brains behind the latest havoc.
In Wednesday’s blast at Emab Plaza and which at least 21 people were confirmed killed while so many were injured, the aftermath of the eruption is being felt and observed as tension heightened going by the submissions of many residents of the city.
In a survey by AFP Thursday, Ryan Cummings, a South Africa-based security analyst for Red 24, said the latest attack, if confirmed to have been carried out by Boko Haram, would suggest that the group had the ability to bypass security “even in the most well-guarded of areas”.
“Discrediting and undermining the Nigerian government in terms of both domestic and international onlookers may very well be the motivation for these attacks,” Cummings noted.
He added the attack would spread fear outside of Abuja, “extending to cities such as Lagos which have been spared from the violence this far”.
His reasoning has coincidentally being vindicated as a twin explosion was recorded allegedly at a farm tank in Apapa, Lagos where five persons were feared dead while several others were injured, just some hours after Abuja blast.
The North Eastern part of the country has been trapped in the insurgency which is blamed on dreaded Boko Haram members since 2009. Over 3000 people have been killed by the insurgents this year alone. Another latest disturbing dimension to the the terrorism was the abduction over 200 secondary school girls in Chibok, Borno State.
Another respondent, Andrew Noakes, who coordinates the Nigeria Security Network of security analysts said Boko Haram was intent on showing Nigeria that the insurgency is not just “a northern problem”.
“They want to send a message that nowhere is safe. But its significance should not be overstated. Abuja is not too far from some of the northern areas where Boko Haram has operated with force in recent years, unleashing terrorism on people without necessarily adopting a high level of sophistication or infiltration into the local population” Noakes submitted.
This postulation is also another salient point especially, if the pre-attack security reports in some of the attacks and certain contradictions are to be taken into consideration. For instance, African Examiner gathered that yesterday Emab bomb blast has been predicted ahead for (the day) or the following day – Thursday and was widely rumored. In the end, nothing was done, no security measures were taken, hence the eruption which substantially confirmed the prediction.
Similarly, the Military men stationed very close to the gate of Yobe Unity secondary school when Boko Haram stormed the school around March this year, killing over 50 students and abducted some students was in the same light – an avoidable disaster. These raise fundamental question of security connivance in the raging insurgency and subsequently why some of the attacks have been made so easy.
Finally, pundits have advanced that the Federal government has not been apt and coordinated enough to do the needful with a few to wrestle the insurgents in the Northern part of the country. After all, the same government mobilized thousands of security personnel –comprising the military, police, SSS and civil defence officers for the conduct of just concluded Ekiti. Gubernatorial election. Of course, the aim was to check criminality and ensure peaceful election. To a very large extent, the objective was achieved. President Goodluck Jonathan should replicate the same in the North-Eastern Nigeria – Borno, Yobe and Adamawa where Boko Haram and its agent have been ruthless and held sway.
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