Terrorists In Nigeria Abduct Navy Officer, Killed ACP, Strike Prisons, Attack Buhari’s Convoy Around The Same Time, Ways Out

Source: Prof. John Egbeazien Oshodi
Prof. John Egbeazien Oshodi
Prof. John Egbeazien Oshodi

A really bad day in Nigeria is when violent injury, death, and destruction of government properties occur from terrorism. The urgency of this moment in Nigeria is that there is going to be a break as no one is safe.

Within 24 hours or so, terrorists, or as some may call them, bandits, attacked a federal prison in the nation’s capital, Abuja.

The Navy officer in Lokoja, Kogi State, was abducted by suspected terrorists and the Nigerian Navy said that efforts are ongoing to rescue the personnel.

In Kastina State, a presidential convoy was attacked by terrorists in the President Muhammadu Buhari ’s native home; and a police area commander, ACP Aminu Umar, during a clearance operation of bandits and terrorists in the forest in Kastina, was killed in an ambush by terrorists. A really bad day for everyone.

This leads to the conclusion that one must feel unsafe wherever one goes and wonders, "Is this the day I die?"

Before the Buhari administration, bandits and terrorists caused havoc on citizens' properties during other administrations. The only difference now is that these violent people are madder and target acts that are more shocking.

Psychologically, the types of terrorists this time, in a way, are vicious and carry out daily attacks against the Nigerian people as well as systems such as law enforcement, the military, and the presidency. As usual for Christians, moderate Muslims are always part of their cruel game.

The type of terrorist in Nigeria now, no matter the hard or soft name or label they get, their landscape has grown more complex.

While many of them have been dealt with, these terrorists have proven to be more resistant, determined, and adaptable, and they are constantly adjusting to present counterterrorism pressure.

In a society that does not value long-term pre-psychological assessment before allowing candidates to gain entrance into security and law enforcement work, it is not uncommon for some officers to have ties to a constellation of armed terrorist hate groups and to join the forces and become officers.

Terrorists are just like white supremacists in the western world, as evidence suggests that these extremists infiltrate law enforcement and security agencies.

These are the ones that will look out for terrorists and alert them about needed information that will help terrorists score well when they target people or officials.

Nigeria must engage culturally sensitive aware psychologists who will use advanced testing tools to help tailor out policies and standards that will help prohibit people who engage in extremist violent mentality from joining or becoming police/security officers or remaining on the force.

Nigeria needs to create laws and policies that require departments to inquire into police candidates’ ties to extremist groups and allow the government to revoke their accreditation if they are affiliated with those groups.

The phenomenon of groupthink is known to be present in terrorist minds. In other words, groupthink is a psychological experience in which people strive for accord within a group. In many cases, people will set aside their own beliefs or adopt the opinion of the rest of the group.

Terrorism in Nigeria needs to be examined in relation to constructs such as ethnic religious attitudes, ideologies, and world views.

In recent times, Nigeria has been known to engage in negotiating with bandits and terrorists, granting amnesty and leniency measures, including a defectors' program for "repentant" low-risk male combatants and a rehabilitation program for "low-risk" females.

But the psychology of terrorism tells us that terrorists do not change or adapt completely in terms of their political, individual and group dynamics, processes, and principles—those who are subconsciously less afraid of death and those who have a desire for meaning and personal significance in regard to the extremist lifestyle remain dangerous.

Terrorist mentality and actions are difficult to change. Most terrorists are not "crazy" in any traditional sense, but they are more open to terrorist recruitment and radicalization as they are more prone to feeling angry, isolated, or markedly disenfranchised.

They believe that their current social or other involvement does not give them the power to effect real change, so they seek alternatives.

They like to identify with perceived victims of the social injustice they are fighting against. They feel the need to act rather than just talking about the problem. They believe that engaging in violence against the government is not immoral.

They seek out friends or family sympathetic to their cause. They believe that joining a movement offers social and psychological rewards such as exploration, camaraderie, and a heightened sense of identity.

Nigeria, a deeply ethnic-religious place, must be careful to directly or indirectly use culture and religion to protect these people, as they do not change easily. Some become terrorists because of their inability to soften their hearts.

I agree with teaching them how to become moderate Muslims. It is essential to hold dialogues with arrested or detained terrorists about Islam’s true teachings on violence and jihad.

Assisting them with emotional and supportive therapy like defusing their anger and frustration, showing concern for their families through means such as funding their children's education or helping their families, which includes wives,

Addressing their radical beliefs is imperative. It is helpful to use former radicals who are realistically demonstrating law-abiding citizenship to convince former terrorists that violence against civilians compromises the view of Islam.

For those who continue to kill indiscriminately and are not afraid to blow up or kill themselves, use threats towards their families or others, and vehemently pursue aggressive engagement. They should be treated equally in accordance with the law.

The current constitution, in a defective way, is undermined by disorientation, falsity, and religious and ethnic complications, and for many of the issues raised in this article in terms of meaningful systems, laws, and policies on violence and security, we need a fundamental change that will produce a working and governing document called the constitution.

John Egbeazien Oshodi was born in Uromi, Edo State in Nigeria and is an American-based Police/Prison Scientist and Forensic/Clinical/Legal Psychologist.

Prof. Oshodi wrote in via [email protected]

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