The maniacal destructive force ravaging Nigeria has refused to give in to the incessant barrage by the security forces in the past few months. With the fall of their strongholds in the North East Zone, the dreaded Boko Haram sect seems to have resorted to guerrilla warfare in a clear change of strategy. The audacious raids and annexation of towns and villages in the last days of the past administration have given way to sporadic but consistent attacks by suicide bombers on soft targets, with equally devastating effect.
The heightened spate of destruction unleashed by this infamous group must indeed be a big source of concern for the new administration, who in a few weeks into office, has seen a sort of renaissance of a supposedly dying force. The removal of military road blocks across the country, an ill-timed decision that has granted the insurgents, unfettered access to prone areas. The relocation of the military command to Maiduguri, another questionable decision that seems to have shifted attention to a remote corner, while the insurgents have infiltrated our ranks and are having a field day.
Our enemies’ resort to suicide bombing is an indication that our security awareness in the Nation should be at an all time high and just as I argued in my article published here a year ago, a Nation under attack does not sleep. The bombardments and deaths are becoming too many and beyond a sustained enlightenment campaign to sensitize the populace, our security forces must heighten their intelligence gathering. Armed with the right information, they can surely nip many of these attacks in the bud. Like Dinta the hunter, they must learn to shoot without aiming, in order to outwit an opponent that has mastered the trick of flying without perching. An onerous and perilous task, I must admit but that is the reality of the day.
An enhanced border security has to be in place as other security efforts would be undermined by our porous borders which are breached at will by these elements. President Muhammadu Buhari’s engagement of our neighbours and the joint efforts of the Lake Chad Basin Commission member-states to tackle Boko Haram is therefore, a step in the right direction.
The President must however know by now, that the gains of his initial momentum in the fight against Boko Haram is becoming lost on the populace. The distracting efforts in recent weeks to unite the aggrieved APC Leaders, who are still smarting from the blow of the National Assembly imbroglio and the connected delay in forming a cabinet, are worrying signs that it’s back to business as usual. In a Country, that is desperately in need of change, whose citizens have suddenly realised the power they wield, such a perception is a bad omen.
The President in his inaugural speech, clearly recognized the challenge ahead; “… the newly elected government is basking in a reservoir of goodwill and high expectations. Nigeria therefore has a window of opportunity to fulfill our long – standing potential of pulling ourselves together and realizing our mission as a great nation.” At this early stage, a concerted effort at quelling the Boko Haram menace and permanently obliterating this “typical example of small fires causing large fires” as described by him, would buy him time and ensure the reservoir of goodwill isn’t quickly depleted.
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