By Najeeb Maigatari
The recent attack on travellers along the Abuja-Kaduna road is shocking. The fact that those ‘terrorists’ could now detonate explosives before killing and kidnapping innocent people is damming and quite alarming. It says a lot about our security system.
It also sends a clear message to everyone that no one is safe. We are all in this mess together; the ordinary people and the ‘elites’ alike. No transportation system is secure in the country. One could now be attacked when travelling by road, railway or even by air.
The unfortunate train attack is not the first of its kind- and will seemingly not be the last unless the needful is done. The only difference is that this time around, unlike other attacks before, the ‘terrorists’ appear well-armed, more audacious with the hunger to kill, which shows their daunting strength.
Those terrorists have been attacking villages and killing people, especially in the northern part of the country, where such attacks have become the order of the day. They have established themselves as an authority with several villages under their control. Some of their brutal attacks and heinous crimes are underreported in the news media.
According to the Nigeria Security Tracker (NST), in a report published from January to February, at least 1761 people lost their lives across the country in incidents related to insecurity and protracted armed violence.
Under our noses, our beloved country, once a nation of peace and tranquillity, is gradually turning into the likes of Somalia, Libya, and Afghanistan or worse; today’s Nigeria has become a slaughterhouse, and its citizens turned into walking corpses.
Even worse, most of those killed are people trying to make a living for themselves and their families. People are killed in their homes, offices, markets, on roads, and virtually everywhere. It’s practically killings everywhere at every turn under every circumstance.
It suffices to conclude at the moment that there’s seemingly the creation of ‘a state within another’. On the one hand, there’s almighty sovereign Nigeria – that continually fails to protect its citizens – and on the other hand, the hypothetical terror nation ruled by such terrorists as Boko Haram, bandits, kidnappers and the likes.
The government is evidently failing – woefully so – in its fundamental responsibility of securing the lives of citizens, as they swore to do before taking over from the previous administration.
Therefore all hands must now be on deck to nip in the bud this issue that threatens our existence irrespective of gender, ethnicity, religious or political affiliations.
To begin with, the government should be bold enough to fish out and address the ultimate cause of all these crises, such as answer the question as to the genesis of the terror groups, their sponsors, financial channels, sources of arms and weaponry, contacts in the community, etc.
In addition, such factors that tend to inflame the situation as poverty, social injustice, illiteracy, etc., should also be proactively addressed by devising measures to assuage people’s suffering and displeasure.
Furthermore, the security forces should be well equipped with state-of-the-art weapons to take the war to the terrorists’ camp. They should also engage the public as people. If people can get trained, they can be utilized for intelligence gathering, informant tracing, reporting suspicious activities, etcetera.
In conclusion, the people should also cooperate and work hand-in-hand with security forces and other relevant government agencies in every way legally possible in order to curtail the worsening insecurity crisis ravaging the country once and for all.
Our lives must matter as long as we continue to call this our homeland. We should not allow those ‘terrorists’ to take over our homes and rule our lives in perpetual fear. If those in authority cannot secure our lives, they should honourably step aside and let competent individuals take over the helm of affairs in the country. Enough is enough!
Najeeb Maigatari writes from Jigawa State and could be reached via email@example.com.