Boko Haram: Nigerians Are More Scared Of Our Police Officers


Hodewu Suru Avoseh, a representative of Badagry Constituency 2 in the Lagos State House of Assembly, says the country is on the edge over rising cases of insecurity and government’s seeming inability to find a solution to the challenge

We learnt that after the bomb blasts in Kano, some other vehicles loaded with bombs were discovered in the city, do you think the government can stop this menace soon?

Well, the issue of bomb blast in the northern part of Nigeria and some southern parts of the country is appalling, the reason being that we are not in war time and I don’t know the intention of the perpetrators. We have heard some information and if they are true, then the Federal Government needs to look inwards and be decisive in making sure that those involved are apprehended. They are not ghosts, they are human beings, they are living in our midst and until those who sponsoring them are arrested and brought to book, we might not see the end of the heinous act. I got a report today that some former governors used to give as much as N10 million in the past to those involved in this act, so they did not carry out the bombings then, but the present governors there have failed to give them money, and this they say is the reason we have the bombings now. In a situation like this, every information is important. If you get an information and you hoard it, it could be devastating.

We are saying this so that the presidency and the security agencies would look inward to know how to handle the matter. What we are seeing now is no longer a religious war, it is a war on all Nigerians, so the president and the security agencies should ensure that the situation is arrested before it gets out of hand. The case of the suspected member of Boko Haram, Alhaji Kabir Sokoto, who was arrested by soldiers and ‘released’ by the police, calls for serious concern. I used the word ‘released’ because the circumstance of his escape is suspect. Most of the places being bombed belonged to the police such as the police headquarters in Abuja, police formations in Kano and other places of subsequent bombings; it means police themselves must look inward because some of their men could be involved just to cause trouble in the country. It is time to act and not to talk. In Nigeria, we like talking; too much talking will not solve the problem.

Sir, you said the security chiefs and the president should do something urgently, but it’s like the president’s hands are tied, do you see any way out?

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We must all be concerned, if the police formations are not safe, then I am not safe, you are not safe, nobody is safe in Nigeria, but we have taken our case to God to secure us. All the same, the president cannot say his hands are tied, if you know a culprit and you fail to expose him, then you should be expecting something worse because those people can kill anybody, can kill their fathers. The victims of Kano and Bauchi bombings could be their own kinsmen, so a terrorist does not know a friend; he does not know his father or even his child. Anybody who has information about them and hoards it should expect the worse; it is not a matter of one’s hands being tied. It is now time for the president and all the security chiefs to act and show the nation a direction to follow or else it would become a national problem. But the problem I foresee here is that Nigerians do not have confidence in the security agencies especially the police. Nigerians may doubt their sincerity. What if they report a suspected terrorist and at the end, the same police officers reveal the identities of the informants? This is a major challenge I see.

An elder statesman, Mr. Tunji Braithwaite, said he foresaw a revolution and the United States of America said Nigeria would not be together by 2015, do you see Goodluck Jonathan as the last President of Nigeria

What is happening in the North is not a revolution so I don’t see a revolution in that form. There might be revolution without gun. Look at the last national strike, see the way the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) organised it, see the people who gathered here in various places, look at the way they carried out their grievances, that is a form of revolution that is a normal thing that could happen. Those who are killing are devils, they are evils, they don’t want progress for the country, Nigeria will continue to be one because we love to be one. Go to the North, see the number of Southerners there, come to the South here and see the number of Northerners; we have mingled with ourselves such that to separate will be difficult. What we can have is true federalism and that is what we are saying. Let Nigeria stand as a nation; let the regions or the states as we have them be independent like the democracy we inherited from the USA. Those of us in the western part of Nigeria know ourselves and we know how to take care of ourselves. Those in the Niger Delta know themselves, those in the Middle Belt know themselves and how to care for themselves. If they are able to do that, it will prevent a violent revolution. Those up there should listen since they too don’t want Nigeria to divide.

What advice do you have people?

My advice is that everyone of us, as the Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Raji Fashola, said recently, must be security conscious. If we see any odd movement where we live, or see anybody who is a criminal, we should not hide them, let us expose them so that we can all be safe. We must all be alive to our responsibility, but the fear of everybody is the police; how are they going to handle it?

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