#PENtagon: Taming the time bomb – By Jaafar Jaafar @jafsmohd

Published:19 Dec, 2012

#PENtagon: Taming the time bombBy Jaafar Jaafar @jafsmohd

 

By the time you are going through this piece, chances are that killings, bombings or slaying are taking place in one of the states ravaged by Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria. The recurring carnage is becoming as certain as the earth revolution, which turns broad daylight into blinding darkness. Killing human beings is becoming easier than killing house gecko.

 

But what is the federal government doing to stop the terrorism that is slowly bringing businesses to their knees in the Northern part of the country? When will people in this part of the country live without fear, trepidation or dread?

 

When on March 13, 1996, Thomas Hamilton, a 43-year-old former Scout leader, shot dead 15 school children and their teacher at a primary school gymnasium in the Scottish town of Dunblane, the UK government went back to drawing board in order to forestall future recurrence.

 

A year after the Dunblane school killing, UK lawmakers passed a bill “banning the private ownership of ALL handguns in mainland Britain.” (emphasis mine). This decision was adjudged one of the stringent anti-gun laws in the world. And it paid off. Sixteen years after the incident, school shootings never occurred in the UK.

 

If the US government had imposed tough anti-gun laws, the mass shooting of elementary school children in Newtown, Connecticut, which claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults wouldn’t, perhaps, have occurred. From 1998 to date, nearly 10 school massacres took place in the US.

 

But in one of the articles I wrote few months ago, I explained reasons the sale of fertilizer and associated chemicals should be regulated in Nigeria in order to make the improvisation of bombs difficult to the insurgents. Much as bombings continued, the article will remain evergreen. In view of its relevance to the current challenge, I will therefore quote extensively the relevant portions of the article.

 

When a former US top commander in Afghanistan Major General Jeffrey Schloesser succinctly said “IEDs are the biggest threat we face,” his two former colleagues, a former CIA sleuth Robert Morgan, and retired General James M. Dubik, gave the emerging threats of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) a more explosive description they so deserve. The IED, said Morgan, “has leveled the battlefield in favor of insurgent and terrorist groups,” while General Dubik said “explosive strategies—always an option for terrorists, insurgents and criminals—are becoming more sophisticated and prevalent.”

From the forgoing interrelated remarks, one can paint the theme of Nigeria’s current security challenge, mainly precipitated by Boko Haram’s IEDs. While the bomb-related deaths accounted for about 70 percent of America’s combat deaths in Iraq, Boko Haram’s bombs seem to account, in conservative estimate, for over 90 percent of deaths among the police, soldiers, immigration and Department of State Service (DSS) personnel. Equally disturbing, civilian deaths in Nigeria through Boko Haram bombs and guns are also taking a high rise.

 

Until the murderous debut of Boko Haram in 2009, bomb attacks, heretofore, came in trickles, and in wider succession. But when Boko Haram unleashed its reign of terror in torrent, previous incidents became naturally submerged in the ocean of our thoughts.

 

Instructively, the recent spate of terror has made — relatively trifling sorrows — the letter bomb that snuffed the life of the editor-in-chief of Newswatch Magazine Dele Giwa on October 19, 1986, the ‘bomb’ that killed Bagauda Kaltho of The News magazine on January 18, 1996, the May 31, 1995 Ilorin Stadium blast, the January 20, 1996 Malam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano explosion, the January 27, 2002 Ikeja Cantonment multiple blasts and a few others.

Apart from Boko Haram saga, it’s so heartrending that the nation’s other maladies are intractable and incurable. From power problem, infrastructural decay, security challenge, unemployment, corruption, down to poverty, Nigeria’s systemic ill-health appears to be terminally chronic. I hope this current wave of terror wouldn’t last long enough to join this stubborn league of predicaments that characterized Nigeria today.

While some advanced societies are trying to reduce crime rate through curtailing alchohol drinking binge particularly among youths, Nigeria seems to be at crossroad as to how to curtail the killing binge that becomes the order of the day. The UK government is systematically reducing drinking binge through imposing strict regulation and clampdown on speakeasies. Why can’t we do the other way round? I mean why can’t the government impose strict regulation on the sale of fertilizers — an easy source of ammonium nitrate used in making IEDs?

Since the 1995 bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma and the frequent IED attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US is taking proactive measures towards stemming the deadly warfare. American government has now pumped more than $20 billion into the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, which was used to develop heavy armored vehicles; 6,000 drones and robots used to detonate the devices and about 37,000 radio jammers to disrupt detonators. In addition to this, the government is devising a way of using bees and dogs in bomb detection strategy.

If subsidy funds can be reinvested efficiently, if corruption can be checked, if bogus overheads can be purged, nothing can prevent Nigeria from borrowing a leaf from the US. Since the IEDs are easy to improvise as the name implies, and our leaders cannot move Nigeria’s agricultural potentials beyond subsistent level, let us go ahead to regulate the sale of fertilizer. Although many Nigerians will bear the pang of starvation over the self-imposed crunch, yet sacrifice must be made for the nation to live in peace. Let the fertilizer be only sold to accredited farmers. Set an agency that will establish the amount needed in an acreage, track its movement, regulate its sale and usage so that any suspicious purchase or usage can be monitored.

Since the failure of the much celebrated General Obasanjo’s Operation Feed the Nation (OFN) in the late 70s, successive administrations unfortunately turned their focus on the oil field — a field where minted petrodollar sprouts without tilling, ridging, planting, watering, weeding and threshing. Petrodollars neither have chaffs nor shells! The end products of crude oil also produces petrodollar.

But much to my chagrin, fertilizer cannot be regulated in Nigeria. Our politicians cannot do it. Why? Fertilizer is a vital campaign tool that is used woo the locals’ votes. The inflow of fertilizers in a local community can determinate a politician’s electoral fortunes. I know with this proposition, not only Boko Haram will call for my neck but the politicians.

 

However, beneath the censure the terrorists deserve from both the government and the general public, the government needs to adopt anti-IED strategies from the developed societies by establishing such agency or agencies that will check the unregulated sale of fertilizer and related chemicals.  Apart from establishing the agency, the need to reinforce the security agencies to confront terrorism head-on is also imperative.

 

I just hope somebody is reading.

 

 – Jaafar Jaafar (jafsmohd@yahoo.com)

Follow on twitter: @jafsmohd

Related Posts

Recent Posts

Actress Mercy Johnson heavily pregnant with baby number 3 (photos)

Nollywood actress Mercy Johnson Okojie who recently turned a year older has shared photos from her birthday celebration on her Instagram page which revealed she's expecting baby number 3.   The beautiful mother of 2 who got married to her husband, Prince Okojie, in 2011 has since kept a low profile.   Below are photos from her birthday celebrated with her family...

Amaechi denies criticizing Buhari over appointments, arrives Port Harcourt

Former governor of Rivers state, Chibuike Amaechi has debunked rumours that he flew to London on Friday in anger because he was not offered an appointment in any key position recently announced by President Buhari.   The former Governor Amaechi who arrived Port Harcourt, Rivers state capital on Saturday to attend the opening of St. Vincent Due Paul Catholic Church, Elechi beach Port Harcourt, was received at the airport by Dakuku Peterside, the governorship candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) and...

Ogunsanya Tosin: Welcome Into The Nigerian School Of Public Governance

A welcome speech by the institute head… Listen up everybody, we welcome you all to NSPG, a place where we transform individuals to leaders primarily in the public sector. You are left with only one option and that option is to learn. More specifically, NSPG covers all aspects of governance in domestic and global organizations, from risk assessment to policy analysis, disregarding societal status to whoever jettison the rule of law, design and evaluation.

#DeltaTribunal: Lack of Proper Certification of Election Results by INEC Threatens to Render Evidence Inadmissible

?The Delta State election tribunal proceeded with a hearing on Friday, 28th August. The counsel to the petitioner (Emerhor/APC), Chief Okpoko (SAN), drew the attention of the tribunal to the failure of INEC to properly certify results from polling units in 24 LGAs. He noted that certification is to be done by an authorized scripted signature rather than an unscripted signature, and further stated that INEC, being an electoral body, should be an unbiased umpire instead of...

Kylie Jenner Allegedly Paid Tyga’s Rent

Tyga made headlines last month when he allegedly had his girlfriend Kylie Jenner lend him cash and by cash we mean $50,000 to pay off rent on his Calabasas, Calif. mansion. The 25-year-old was pictured on Thursday leaving a bank, openly holding a stiff looking stack of dolla billz! We can clearly see a Ben Franklin at the top of the stack, an can only assume there is more where that came from! Read...

OPC Opens Up On Buhari’s Appointments

Reacting to Buhari's appointments on Thursday, founder, Oodua Peoples Congress,OPC, Dr Fredrick Fasehun has implored Ni­gerians not only to be vigilant but also get prepared for a long battle ahead. According to him, Buhari through the appointments has shown himself to be insensitive to the feelings of oth­er ethnic groups across the country. ‘’What Buhari has done is evil. Through his actions since his inau­guration, he has been pandering to­wards the interests of a particular...

Senate Begins Probe Of Power Sector

The stage appeared set for a comprehensive probe of the nation’s power sector as the Senate declared on Friday that officials of the Federal Ministry of Power, its departments and agencies and other key players within the sector would soon appear before it. The Chairman, Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Power, Senator Abubakar Kyari, stated this when the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, inaugurated the 14-member fact-finding panel at the National Assembly Complex. Kyari said stakeholders in...

Seven Die As Nigerian Air Force Aircraft Crashes

Seven people have been killed after an aircraft belonging to the Nigerian Air Force crashed at the old site of the Nigerian Defence Academy Kaduna , Northwest Nigeria. The casualties include all four crew members and three passengers. The victims were travelling from the Nigerian Air Force Base in Kaduna en route Abuja. Emergency officials say the helicopter crashed less than ten minutes after taking off. Read More: channelstv

Appointments Will Be Balanced By September, Buhari Defends Appointments

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday defended the appointment of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir David Lawal and five others. The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, yesterday assured Nigerians that President Muhammadu Buhari’s political appointments will balance out soon. Adesina spoke on a radio programme, Political Platform, on RayPower 100.5FM. Adesina said the President was aware of federal character and expressed the belief that...

BUSTED! Boko Haram Planned To Bomb Nnamdi Azikiwe Int’l Airport

A plot by Boko Haram terrorists to bomb the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport was uncovered last Monday by the Department of State Service, DSS. The DSS made this known on Saturday in a statement by an official, Tony Opuiyo in which he said a fourteen year old boy,  Sulaiymon Abdulraman (a.k.a Sunday AJAYI), of Kogi State was apprehended inside the airport. On interrogation, Abdulraman allegedly disclosed that he infiltrated the airport with the assistance of...

Buhari’s Appointments “Totally Unacceptable To Ndigbo”- Igbo Youths

The Ohaneze Youth Council (OYC), on Friday, condemned President Muhammadu Buhari’s latest appointment for the positions of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the Chief of Staff to the President and others. Okechukwu Isiguzoro, the president of the group, said in a statement he jointly signed with the OYC’s spokesperson, Obinna Adibe, said the appointments were “totally unacceptable to Ndigbo”, arguing that they violated the principle of federal character as enshrined in the Nigerian...

Jonathan’s Bodyguards Posted Out Of Villa

Department of State Services personnel who served as bodyguards to President Goodluck Jonathan have been posted out of the Villa to various state commands. Competent sources at the Presidential Villa said that the signal for the posting of the over 150 bodyguards who had remained redundant following the directive by the ADC to President Buhari that they should leave the presidential villa came yesterday. “Almost all of our personnel who were bodyguards in the villa...

Lagos-Based Journalist Arrested In Cameroon, Accused Of Spying For Boko Haram

A Lagos-based Cameroonian journalist, Simon Ateba, has been arrested by Cameroonian authorities as he investigated the conditions of Nigerian refugees camped in the country’s far north. The journalist, who managed to leave a messages on his Facebook page before he was locked up Friday, said he was arrested for venturing, without permission, into a refugee camp with 50,000 Nigerians. He later told a colleague that the authorities were threatening to charge him for espionage –...

Buhari Orders CBN To Pay Amnesty Beneficiaries

President Muhammadu Buhari, has directed Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria  (CBN), Godwin Emefiele to ensure the outstanding tuition, stipends and allowances of all amnesty beneficiaries were paid without further delay. This is as the European Union (EU) has strengthened its partnership with the  Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, under which the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) is domiciled, to seek ways of ensuring that the programmes meets up with...

Garba Shehu: Understanding Buhari in 100 Days

The enormously popular talk show, ‘Berekete’ on Wazobia FM, Abuja, told the incredible-yet-true story of a hard-working and respected school teacher somewhere in Plateau State who hanged himself. He hadn’t been paid salary for seven straight months. He came home to find that no-one had eaten and two of the children had medical prescriptions for which there was no money. He sneaked out without talking to anyone. After a long while, news came home that he had...

Obasanjo, a liar, economic illiterate – Soyinka

Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has described former president Olusegun Obasanjo as a pathological liar, adding that he has lost total respect for him. Soyinka said this on Friday night when he was responding to questions during a programme tagged: ‘An evening with Wole Soyinka’, organised by Globacom.

Praiz, 9ice, Pasuma And Others Set For Battle At The Celebrity Fans Challenge Tomorrow !

The biggest and most exciting celebrity football party is back  !Kiibati Bankole presents another exciting edition of her novel celebrity football contest- Celebrity Fans Challenge; and this time around, it is bigger than ever, as some of Nigeria's biggest names in entertainment go head to head for bragging rights and the title of Nigeria's biggest celebrity SUPERFAN!The celebrities include 9ice, fuji ace- Pasuma, Reminisce, Praiz, Gbenga Adeyinka(GCON), Illbliss, Nollywood stars Segun Arinze and Fred Amata; and representing the ladies- Simi (Jamb...

Troops Kill Boko Haram Members Dressed In Nigerian Military Uniform

Boko Haram members dressed in Nigerian military uniform were killed during a raid of the sect members camp in the North East. See the photos after the cut...be warned it's graphic!

#Pausibility: Gehazi, Vuvuzela-General And The Lesson For The New Generation By Adebayo Coker.

The diverse reactions that were triggered by the recent appointments of the President are funnily incredulous. Very soon we will hear Dauralization or Patriarchization. We voted PMB to deliver to us chenji then we complain when he selected his team. PMB has chosen the people he wants to work with; I hope when playtime comes he will consider some of us. September is a month to look forward to. My...

Chad Sentences 10 Boko Haram Members To Death

Chad has sentenced 10 members of Nigeria-based Islamist militant group Boko Haram to death on terrorism charges, judicial sources said on Friday. "They are all sentenced to death," said one of the sources. Chad's capital N'Djamena, less than 100 kilometres from the Nigerian border, was hit by a series of suicide bombings in June and July that killed more than 40 people. Source: Trust.org

Fayose Appoints 72-yr Old Carpenter As Council Boss

Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State Friday appointed a 72-year old Carpenter and illiterate, Mr Olatunde Afolayan as the caretaker chairman of Moba Local Government. Fayose, also sworn in members of the State Independent Electoral Commission, headed by a retired Chief Judge of the State, Justice Kayode Bamisile , to be able to conduct local government elections before the end of the year. After administering the oaths on the appointees, Fayose told President Muhammadu Buhari to remove Mrs Amina...