Nigerian Security and Executive chiefs need Re-education on security Matters
As the Nigerian government struggles to manage and quell the continued targeted and strategic acts of wide-scale terrorist violence in recent times and even just a few days ago, it is not unusual to read or hear some of our nation's federal officials dismissing warnings of bombing from security tested societies like the United States of America. In the least, this shows that the Nigerian security and executive chiefs need professional development and educational orientation on security talk and matters.
A case in point is the blatant, open and the careless dismissal of the United States of America's warning that Abuja the nation's capital could possibly and soon face planned terrorist attacks. This open disregard ironically came from the federal ministry of information/communications through the painful and now laughable words of the nation's topmost head of Information, Mr Labaran Maku.
He is not the first to utter dismissive words on terror warnings as others have thrown out same type of verbiage in the past.
Mr. Maku shockingly rebuked the United States Government “not to create public panic in our country.” America had warned us on April 17, 2012 and in nine days Abuja was attacked!
For a country swimming in systemic darkness, open insecurity, devastating violence, poverty of infrastructures and insufficient terror alerts, one would think that every information regarding possible attacks should be fully pursued vigorously.
Especially when such aid is coming from a globally tested anti-terror power like America who before the 9/11 terror disaster, had not fully toughened its anti-terror readiness.
But today, America can openly and publicly show full evidence of thousands of terrorist arrests, prosecutions and convictions, as well as show a profound global cognizance, control and reduction of terrorism.
Therefore, for our federal security/information chiefs and agencies to continue to downplay these warnings over and over, and doing it openly show signs of lack understanding for a complex matter like fanatic violence, lack of political imagination of the seriousness of radical-based violence or simply shows a sign of gross miscalculation on matters that require second-by-second watchfulness.
Terrorist-based violence occurs in almost all societies of the globe, but the values for combating it is the understanding the Nigerian people wants to see in and hear from our law enforcement, security and other public officials.
President Jonathan should begin to direct a new understanding and call for a full responsibility in matters that continues to give tremor to our internal democracy as Nigerians are just tired of complacent or unworried governance, and mannerisms that should not be occurring at these unpredictable times.
What we need now in our war against Nigeria-based terrorism is a line of scholarly thoughts in order to get additional, current and objective home-grown understanding of terrorists and terrorism as well as the influencing factors in the psychology of people who threaten or use violence against others while willing the perish in the process.
We need scholars to begin to find ways to study how to reduce the complexity surrounding terrorism as it relates to the sympathy that terrorists could be getting from some Nigerians.
The interpretation of terrorist violence in Nigeria must include evidence based external, political, economic, religious and intellectual treatments of terrorism. An all-out thinking and contributions from scholars in our Nigerian universities could assist in the interpretation of the patterns of violence we are currently experiencing and these studies could help uncover the psychological , sociological, economic and political as well as the scientific aspects of terror pacification, counterterrorism, and other forms of terrorist Violence.
Unlike many terror and security tested nations that see so much value in constantly using terrorism specialists and law enforcement scholars in the fight against terrorism, the Nigerian federal and state governments have been slow in this type of strategic collaboration.
In fact many of our public officials and some scholars appear to be equally shortsighted in regards to pressuring each other to join hands together in order to draw lessons from their own everyday work and scholastic research on terrorist violence.
We need vital collaborations that will not only assist individual and structural levels of analysis on terrorist mindset and strategies but would educate public officials on the need to be extraordinarily careful on the use of words as well as educate them on common modern usage of the words when dealing with the public, or explaining to the citizens and analyzing non-nationals predictions on terrorism matters.
The current government of Nigeria and its security and executive chiefs should bring in psychological scholars to take on and study the revelation by the President that terrorists have infiltrated the executive, parliamentary, judicial sections of government and other sections as this type of follow up will be the main road to initiate a line of solutions to control our everyday worry of when and where the next high-level simultaneous bomb and gun attacks on a public place across various cities will occur.
We need our law enforcement and judicial agencies to show actual numbers or data, successful prosecutions and court convictions on terrorism cases for the public to see, as such move will undoubtedly be the best way for our security, ministerial or executive chiefs to reduce public panic, ensure some degree of public confidence and show that we are not relenting on our anti-terror fight just like America, China, Pakistan, and Spain appears to be currently doing successfully.
No reasonable mind is asking that Nigeria becomes authoritarian government which could lead to unnecessary multiple raids, and unnecessary detention.
At this time and right now our preparedness is in doubt as evidenced by the “Jabi” surprise among others, therefore our officials should not wait for external bodies and agencies like American organizations to tell them or communicate to them their source of information on terror alerts as that will be clandestinely foolish, instead our officials must view all public instruments as targets and that include but not limited to media houses, markets, children play grounds, public eateries, higher institutions, hospitals, eateries, and others.
The next time we hear of terror warnings from credible sources and powerful authorities internal or external, let us start to see leaflets, mailshots, and fliers in different dialects in homes, shops, markets, schools, hospitals, fire stations, police stations, airports, post office, and other avenues educating us and giving info on terrorism warning, emergency preparedness and rescue tactics, and emergency evacuation methods.
In truth, these are trying times for our beloved country and the distresses Nigeria is currently going through remain similar to those of America before the 9/11 attacks, therefore scholars and policy makers alike must find a way to collaborate and seek out important transformation strategies and answers to help tackle various typologies of violence as in native terrorism or self-induced terrorism, cold blooded terrorism, religious-perpetrated violence, and situational terrorism as well as silent terrorism which as we all know is arising on a daily basis and it is being committed by those afflicted by what could be called “corruptomania”—a common monetary disorder among many public and private officials in particular.
John Egbeazien Oshodi, Ph.D., is an Abuja-based Forensic/Clinical Psychologist. [email protected] 08126909839