Nyanya: We Better Wake Up Or Die Where We Lie
I do not know what to say or write here that will make sense. In other terrorism-infested climes, an attack like the one at Nyanya will not be taken lying low. This is because it is a hit at the heart of the country: Abuja.
Elsewhere, I have asked: what is the security plan of the GEJ government? They do not have to disclose it to the media; after all the Americans never knew the plans of the Obama administration to get Bin Ladin till they liquidated him. But I hope I am sincerely wrong when I say that GEJ and his men do not have a plan. And if they do, it is not working.
Only the good Lord can comfort those who lost loved ones. But now the terrorist monster has brutally set up shop in the centre of the country all of us must take notice.
First, it is not too late for every state administration and capable private institution to take security issues seriously. Trainings are needed everywhere.
Second, the earlier we accept Nigeria is at war, the better for us.
Third, it is high time we realise that God has given us brains and use them. Prayer and fasting are okay but they should galvanise us to action; not hoping on the angels of heaven take up AK-47s on our behalf.
The response of the security forces to this Abuja assault will either embolden the terrorists to launch an even deadlier attack at the capital, and this time, not just a mere car park, or retreat to the hills.
I am not into security and espionage but it seems to me that our security outfits are bedeviled by these obstacles, apart from the presence of fifth columnists:
a terrible corruption of the like we dare not imagine. Where are all the funds voted for security going to?.......a politicization that carried over from the military era.
inability or unwillingness to adapt to the stark reality that these guys are not conventional fighters or even typical guerrillas. They are a combination of guerrillas, commandos, terrorists and plain mass murderers for whom the higher the body count, the better.
I shudder to imagine that the West, Israel, Kenya and other countries with vast expertise and experience in these matters are reluctant to work with us because of the following factors:
the plainly silly notion our leaders and some citizens have of a big and strong Nigeria capable of handling her own affairs and standing up to neo-imperialist intervention;
sheer corruption; bureaucratic inertia and jockeying for juicy positions and privileges;
too many leakages which might have been created in the past era of boot-stamping security services. These may be old-boy networks; ethnic-cum-religious links that were brought into place to safeguard political interests in the military days and the early days of our democracy. Now these paraphernalia are totally against the terrorism war because they filter down plans to the enemy through fifth columnists;
religious and ethnic posturing in our security services;
the desperation of both the PDP and APC for domination which can only create tension in a charged environment;
the interests of these powers;
reluctance on their part as well as the Nigerian authorities to radicalize elements who are only too ready to shoot CIA or US MARINE officers on the streets of Nigeria.
But these need not deter the authorities if they want to take on these devils. Or have they conceded victory to them?
Finally, it is time to begin systematic and sincere efforts to teach Nigerians from ages 55 down (I have little faith in those above this bracket) that we are all human beings before ascribing ethnic, religious and cultural labels. Nigeria is sick, true; her creation was sick; but we in this bracket must seize the space and define what type of entity we want. Even if we must go our separate ways, need it be in a hail of bullets?
There is work to be done. God give us the perception to see it; the grace to take it on; the courage to confront it.
Henry C. Onyema is a historian and writer.
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