The recent unprovoked and unwarranted attacks on security personnel, hapless and innocent Nigerians especially of Christian extraction at places of worships in core northern and north-central Nigeria (Middle Belt) which claimed hundreds of lives, maimed others and destroyed properties valued at billions of naira has attracted condemnation locally and internationally.
These VERY unpopular trends of ghastly events perpetrated by sanguinary persons with religious agenda cleverly disguised as ‘Boko Haram’, whose stock in trade is prosecuting a HOLY WAR (Jihad) against ‘infidels’ on behalf of their ‘god’ has brought disrepute to our security personnel who have won laurels as accolades are endlessly showered upon them for their professional participation in several foreign peace keeping missions. Although the elusive radical Islamic sect seems to adapt and re-strategize quickly in the face of an attack however, the flummoxed various security outfits are devising various means on a daily basis of effectively combating the menace posed by them.
For instance Plateau State, the heart beat of the Middle Belt (north-central) geo-political divide of the country, which has been subjected to series of avoidable ethno-religious crises recently, experienced separate bomb attacks on Christians at their places of worships which killed scores of innocent worshippers wounding hundreds of others. Again in their usual mannerism, the sanguinary Islamic sect- Boko Haram was quick to claim responsibilities for the dastard acts. Recall the 2010 Christmas Eve multiple bomb blasts which ended lives of hundreds of innocent citizens.
As proactive measures towards curbing the menace of this diseased sect, security operatives have put in place strategies where Churches are barricaded from traffic hundreds of meters away in addition to armed eagle-eyed security personnel deployed to various churches on Sundays seems to be yielding result. Also internal security personnel of various Churches who often thoroughly frisk worshippers with electronic metal detectors before they are allowed into the church is complementary even as vehicle owners are advised to park all vehicles outside church premises. This move has further ensured the return of momentary peace in the troubled city as praises are showered on the security outfits for such proactive step.
The recent Easter multiple car bombings in the city of Kaduna would have been more devastating on Christians as they observed the resurrection of Christ in Churches had it not been for the proactive measure by the security personnel which saw to the prompt diversion of motorists including the suicide bomber. Despite the bomb blast during the Easter festive period which did not claim any life in the crowded neighbourhood of Tudun Wada, Jos North residents of Jos showered praises on the police and officers and men of the Special Task Force (STF) for the earlier temporary ban on the activities of commercial motorcycle operators popularly known as going/okada and the rigourous stop-and-search exercise on both commercial and private vehicles.
A drive around the city of Jos reveals that apart from the ubiquitous presence of security check points, most Churches, Banks, Police Stations and major public establishments have some form of security barriers/barricades ranging from low walls of bags of sand, stumps of metal beams, heavy concrete barriers etc. in front or round about them. All these further attest to the rate of security awareness and proactive steps towards curbing any surprised unprovoked attacks.
These further attests to the fact that the menace posed by Boko Haramists may TRULY be a thing of the past as President Goodluck Jonathan recently told Nigerians. However, until all peace loving citizens of this great nation join the campaign against terrorism irrespective of tribe, religion or political affiliation, it may end a fiasco. It is indeed true that ‘evil will continue to thrive when good men just sit and do nothing’.
By Panmak Victor