By Aliyu Nuhu
When we criticize this government, some people deride us as Buhari bashers. They complain that we lack patriotism because we run down our country. But look at Nigeria today and say if it is the kind of country you want to live in or it is the kind of country you want your children and grandchildren to inhabit.
What is the fault of the government in matters that concern our security? It is because of the way it neglected police affairs. Banditry and terrorism are, among others, products of poor community policing. Humans are products of communities, good or bad. The police decide the kind of communities we have as far as crimes are concerned. Before they kidnap anyone, criminals emerge from the community and when they kidnap they return to the communities. Good police will ensure that they don’t emerge and if they do, they can’t return to the community. But today’s Nigerian police are going on strike because of poor salaries and delays in payment of even the poor salaries. Police lack all working tools from the basics such as lie detectors, electricity, and computers; to the complex ones such as data banks for fingerprints and DNA.
Whenever there is a bomb blast you see the president holding emergency meetings with service chiefs. That is missing the point. What have navy, airforce and army got to do with attacks on the train? The president should hold his emergency meeting with police high commands, NSCDC and DSS. That is where the missing links lie.
The military ordinarily has no business safeguarding railways, doing the work of police, DSS and NSCDC. They have no budget to safeguard the railway. The military can be called to give additional firepower to the police when there is a need but they have no solution to the problem and cannot prevent future attacks.
The railway is a product of technology and there is technology to protect it. Only Nigeria will invest so much in railway and refuse to deploy the technology to protect it. There are real-time intelligent railway protection systems of various types to deploy. The minister for transportation had made such a request after the first attack which was denied (though the request was later accused of being through a seemingly corrupt process). The second attack has made the president see the reasons and approved of the technology. I hope that with the new measures, future attacks on railways will be prevented.
Who were the attackers?
According to the Daily Trust, a Kaduna security source, who did not want his name in print, said the attack was carried out by Boko Haram elements in collaboration with bandits.
“Two sources; a local with knowledge of bandits’ activities and a senior intelligence officer in Abuja confirmed that a Kaduna-based bandits leader, Boderi, was involved in hatching the attack.
Boderi is notorious for masterminding a number of atrocious attacks in Giwa, Chikun, Igabi and Zaria Local Governments in Kaduna State, including the abduction of students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, in March last year and kidnapping of the Emir of Bungudu, Alhaji Hassan Attahiru in October of the same year.”
Also, victims said they were not the regular Fulani kidnappers that carry out their raids on the highways. They said they were very young boys between the ages of 18 to 25 years and spoke good English. Some of them were pronouncing “Allahu Akbar”. It pointed to either Boko Haram or ISWAP. Deployment of IED technology is Boko and ISWAP franchise. The attackers used buses, unlike the Fulani kidnappers that use motorcycles, an indication that they came from a long distance. How about 200 terrorists came in buses and carried people and disappeared into thin air beat all minds. There was no single casualty on the side of the attackers and no one was captured. We have a long way to go in security matters.