The recent menace of Boko Haram brings this to the fore.
Most associates of mine severely castigate the president, Goodluck Jonathan, as being weak, lame and unprepared for leadership of this country. Their assumption is that he is doing less than required since we still hear of bomb explosions every now and then.
I never knew Nigerians could be this nostalgic for Baba Iyabo!
What they fail to see however, is that Nigeria is not alone in this experience and that the government is doing her very best in these situations.
The IRA held North Ireland hostage for generations, detonating bombs at will, even killing the much revered Lord Mountbatten, the patriarch of British monarchs on British soil. Not even MI5 and MI6 were able to foresee this.
Equally, the Spaniards were held hostage by ETA for decades with indiscriminate killings of citizens.
There is a catalogue of terror related incidences globally, including September 11, 2001 in New York City, 1995 Timothy McVeigh bombing in Oklahoma, the Virginia Tech massacre, the Columbine High School shooting, Fort Bragg soldier/psychiatrist shootings, the Norwegian 92, the July 7 London train bombings in which a Nigerian died, Madrid train bombing, and the catalogue goes on.
Clearly, none of these were preempted because, how do you get into the mind of anyone intent on destruction, particularly the suicidal type?
American soldiers were severely decimated in Iraq from IEDs (Improvised Explosive Device), and there was very little they could do about it for a long time.
The success of these terrorists lies in their guerrilla tactic. They are not uniformed, they wear no badges, there is no face to them, and they operate surreptitiously and in covert. How do you intercept this?
Over the years, because of corruption, nepotism and lack of professionalism, our security infrastructure have gone decrepit, bust and bankrupt, ill-prepared to meet the challenges of the day. Unfortunately, the ills and decay of yesteryear cannot be repaired fast enough and Boko Haram thus appears to be having a field day.
Understandably, the cries of Nigerians are borne of the novelty of bombing to our soil, the fear, the grief and devastation left on their trails.
We nevertheless must endeavor not to give in to panic and fear which is the principal objective of Boko Haram. It wages a psychological warfare and aims to portray the government of the day as weak and lame; incapable of protecting her citizens.
“What we need to fear, is fear itself….” Winston Churchill in admonishing his people during World War 2 bombing of London said.
Unfortunately, the media seem to be at the forefront of misinformation, weeping up popular sentiments and fear.
What Nigerians must do is to rise up in unison, not against the government, but against the enemy, Boko haram. We must determine to work hand in hand with security agencies by remaining alert, possibly constituting vigilante and watch groups.
We must also be willing to understand the issues and provide valuable information of suspicious activities wherever they are noticed.
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