POLITICAL METABOLISM: MR. PRESIDENT, TERRORISM IS NOT GLOBAL
I have waited with sorrowful expectation to see how some political rivals of President Goodluck Jonathan would respond to the insecurity situation in the country that peaked with last weekend's bombing of the United Nation offices in Abuja.
I dare say that I have not been totally disappointed. General Babangida who had recently ridiculed the President's capacity for governance in an open lecture on governance, was the first to respond. General Muhammadu Buhari was to follow with his own rebuke.
The other well known aggrieved person, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar was unusually the last to respond. Turaki, perhaps, contemplated twice before exerting his energies on the man he believes usurped his entitlement from him.
General Babangida in his reaction lifted himself above his previous partisan proclivities in mobilizing an articulated positive response to the situation. 'This is more than a wake-up call to all of us.
We must be ready to assist government in whatever ways to provide information that would be helpful to continue to promote an atmosphere of peace and security,' he said in a statement. 'Government alone cannot do it, it is a responsibility that the present challenge has thrust on us in the interest of national unity and global peace and security.'
Whilst condemning the spate of bombings, General Buhari was to lash out at the response of the security agencies which he characterized as 'incompetent and unprofessional.'
Reflective of his continuing disapproval of the election that brought Jonathan to power, Buhari, unlike Babangida was mute on how the citizenry should assist the administration even though he sympathized with the victims of the explosion and condemned the action of the bombers.
The Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN on its part also flayed the security agencies who the party said, had become dead woods, having run out of ideas on the matter. When few months ago the ACN resolved not to partake in the Government of National Unity arrangement, the party's leaders, however, agreed not taunt the administration on security issues.
Irrespective of our political inclinations Nigerians must at this time rally round the government and its institutions in addressing the dreadful situation facing us.
We must all stretch out hands of support to President Jonathan as he leads the nation against those that have declared war against the father land. For those of us who believe in the efficacy of prayers we should also, as the Bible encourages us to do, lift Dr. Jonathan up in the place of prayer.
However, the President and his advisers need to re-strategize. The fact that no definitive breakthrough has been made in combating the scourge calls for a re-jig of the security strategies, apparatus and response.
It is equally very unhelpful, if not saddening for the President to lace his reaction to the attacks on his country on a global perspective. I was shocked when on his visit to the Police Headquarters after it was bombed that the President said that the attack was not surprising given that terrorism was now a global occurrence.
Again on his visit to the bombed UN building in Abuja the President was to say that the attack on the building in Abuja was an attack on global peace. The attacks in Maiduguri, Abuja, Suleja are not on the international community, they are attacks on Nigeria and Nigerians.
These are attacks that demand fitting local response. When it is couched as a global phenomenon, I look around at neighbouring countries Benin, Niger, Cameroun and I ask if our neighbouring countries are not part of the international community.
The open invitation to the American Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI is also dangerous as it could incite and/or lure global terrorists outside of Nigeria into the country to play a deadly game with the FBI on Nigerian lives. Indeed, the kind of insecurity being seen in Nigeria is not the trend in Africa.
America may have its own concerns about insecurity arising from that country's extended tentacles in the global environment. Nigeria has not overstretched itself in that direction and as such should not be placed in the same frame with America.
Successive administrators at the federal, state and local levels over time have terrorized us with bad governance, bad roads, and allowed their siren-driven convoys to terrorize us out of the pothole-ridden roads.
The new wave of insecurity is only the latest form of terrorism Nigerians have endured for years. May God Almighty grant the families of the victims the comfort to bear the losses they have suffered.