Boko Haram: Need For Security Consciousness


When on Friday, 26 August, a suicide bomber crashed his Honda Accord vehicle into the United Nations House in Abuja, it was the opinion of majority of Nigerians that the Islamic fundamentalist sect, Boko Haram has introduced an international dimension to its struggle against civilisation in the country.

The bombing of the UN House was not the first attack by the sect on public buildings in the country but it was certainly the first on an international institution. By attacking the UN House, the sect was able to get undeserved international attention as news and photographs of the bombed building was relayed throughout the world by news agencies.

Following the attack, various security measures were taken by both the federal and some state governments to stop the sect from wrecking more havoc on the people.

It is in the light of this that we commend the proactive measures taken by the Lagos State Government to protect residents and public institutions from attacks by the Boko Haram fanatics. We observed that security had been beefed up at the state secretariat and some crisis-prone areas to prevent residents being used to foment trouble.

Apart from this, we also want to implore the state government not to take lightly the unconfirmed report that the sect plans to extend its activities to Lagos by bombing the Third Mainland bridge. The bridge is a strategic infrastructure connecting the mainland to the island and everything possible should be done to protect it.

The state government should also embark on an enlightenment programme to sensitise Lagosians on the need to be security conscious. Residents should be told to report every suspicious movements and unknown faces to the law enforcement agents.

In the light of the present security clampdown on nationals of some countries in the north by the Immigration Department, it is not impossible that some of these nationals will escape down south to continue their violent activities. The state must be made too hot for them.

Security agents must be posted at the entry points into the state to check the influx of these agents of destruction.

We also implore the security agencies to mop up the illegal arms in the country. Efforts should be made to initiate security measures to curtail profileration of arms across the country. Gun owners should be asked to renew their license and those who do not have license for their guns should face the music.

It is sad to note that the wanted mastermind of the UN House in Abuja was earlier arrested but later relesased without being prosecuted.

Government should, as a matter of priority, prosecute all those charged with violence to serve as a deterrent to others. It should also address the massive poverty among the people through the provision of youth empowerment, job creation and social justice.

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