. Yesterday in a piece on the Abuja bomb Blasts, I asked if we were at war. Pardon my mistake as that now looks a bad question. When I asked the question, I had thought the bomb blasts in Abuja and Borno were the regular car bombs strategy but this turned out to be something entirely different. Yesterday’s blast at the Louis Edet House HQ of the Nigerian Police was carried out by a Somalia trained suicide bomber.
While the Inspector General of police was doing his best to protect erstwhile Speaker of the House Dimeji Bankole from being arrested, Boko Haram was more business-like. They were working out strategies with their Somalian counterparts on how to carry out more attacks on Nigeria. The terrorist group had in a statement a day before the Abuja and Borno attacks stated its readiness to take the war further across the northern states and Abuja citing the IGP’s declaration that ”the days of Boko Haram are numbered.”
They soon made true their threat by attacking the Police HQ in an apparent attempt to kill the IG Hafiz Ringim himself. He escaped by whiskers.
As usual, the police has been issuing tough statements but we are used to that aren’t we? If kidnapping has risen to the level of being a social problem and corruption is a national political culture, terrorism is now making a strong statement of inclusion on the list of Nigeria’s burning issues. Blames and counter blames will expectedly be flying around so I need not throw mine even when tempted to ask questions of our Intelligence Unit. This is a first entry for suicide bombers in Nigeria and it shows the level of determination of the Boko Haram terrorist group to indeed have a go at Nigeria. They’d think “if we can successfully bomb the power house of the Nigerian Police Force, Aso Rock isn’t too far away.” Of a truth, Aso Rock is only a minute drive from the scene of yesterday’s terror attacks. Considering the task of the president in terms of delivering on his gargantuan campaign promises, his job has now become even more humongous. Don’t mind my grandiloquence but these bombs deserve bombing terms. Lol.
Make no mistakes though, this is not in anyway a laughing matter. I was thinking may be making a state commissioner of police the country’s No. 1 cop without any meaningful preparation or training is coming to haunt the president who himself has been described as not strong enough in terms of tackling crimes. Don’t ask me about my opinion on this as Goodluck Jonathan is already our president and hence must be trusted to take us further into the wilderness if we go the route of Israel or straight to the promised land if we chose to go straight ahead. Having said that though, Boko Haram’s challenge is a tough distraction. This is not what we need as the basic challenges of life still call for urgent national attention and now Boko Haram has crashed our plans.
Questions arise: How do we deal with the Boko Haram question? Is it the George Bush and American styled all-out frontal attack or we go the amnesty route like the Niger Delta militants make-shift solution? These and more are the questions the president must find answers to. Whatever he does though, I’d expect him to advance the nation’s strength on Boko Haram in short term just for them to know that while we remain a deluded and confused African Giant -or is it Giant of Africa?-, we are still a military force to be reckoned with.
We are at war! This war started a long time ago as Boko Haram was arming itself recruiting and training its men but it is not too late for Nigeria to wash this madness off my land. A day of delay on this month is equal to days of strategy for Boko Haram. Run Jonathan run is the song Boko Haram would pray the president heeds to even though he joyfully heeded to same only recently. The days of running are over, sir, it is time to assert your authority as the President and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. Presidents talk and attend International conferences, they sign laws and organise special dinners but the best presidents have only been remembered by the results they achieve. Some wars are inevitable. This one against Boko Haram is one we must not run away from. Jonathan please don’t run! Your destiny indeed calls.
You can follow Japheth J Omojuwa on twitter like other Nigerians who care @omojuwa it is.