Moving around the nation’s economic capital of Lagos, you can smell the fear all around – a situation that would have been almost improbable two years ago when it didn’t matter – at least not urgently – to Lagosians that a war was ravaging the North-East or that there was any avenging going down in the South.
Today, residents of Lagos now possess an unspeakable knowledge of how much the country’s security has been breached. As we write this, there are families in the Igbonla environs of Lagos hoping to God that the kidnappers of their sons won’t make good on their threat to strike again if they aren’t included in the Federal Government’s Amnesty Programme. The nerves on them.
This is certainly not to say that Lagosians should be immune to any of the terror that is going on around Nigeria. It just underscores the level of emergency if Lagos which used to be cocooned from much of the insecurity ravaging the rest of Nigeria is now this exposed to it.
Yesterday morning, an armed gunman walked unchallenged into a Church in Ozubulu, Anambra and opened fire on worshippers, killing at least 7 people. It’s been over 24 hours and security operatives – including the Commissioner of Police in the State who issued a statement after the shooting – are yet to give a conclusive report on the killer, the circumstances surrounding the shooting or at least the number of casualties of the incident.
In July alone, we reported at least 7 separate attacks on different communities in Maiduguri. By our count, these attacks left at least a hundred people dead. 100 citizens whose lives the Nigerian Government took an oath to protect. That’s not inclusive of the infrastructural setback that this attacks have caused in an already war torn State.
Kidnappings all over the nation, random killings, militants in the South threatening to re-open fire on the nation’s economic lifeline in oil-rich areas, cult groups like Badoo committing heinous atrocities against the bodies and property of helpless residents and a looming threat of another mass pogrom in the North against people from the South East. Yet, the focus of the Federal Government seems to be solely on the increasingly insurmountable task of defeating Boko Haram.
On the orders of the Acting President, service chiefs relocated to Maiduguri to help tackle the recurring insurgency in north-eastern city. The Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai has also just issued an ultimatum to Operation Lafiya Dole to capture Abubakar Shekau within 40 days – dead or alive. This is the same Shekau who has, at different times, being reported killed/captured by the Nigerian Army.
On top of it all, international reports have just been revealed that suggest that all of the progresses recorded and boasted about by the Nigerian government as regards the defeat of Boko Haram has been a ruse all along.
So what we have on our hands is North ast situation that won’t go away despite concentrated efforts by the Federal Government while the rest of the nation is left in the hands of a police force ill-equipped to handle the increasing spate of insecurity around the rest of the country.
And it’s not even the election year yet.
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