Anxiety Over World Economic Forum In Abuja

Editorial

The 24th World Economic Forum on Africa to be held between 7 and 9 of May, will bring together regional and global leaders to discuss innovative structural reforms and investments that can sustain the continent’s growth while creating jobs and prosperity for all its citizens.

Schools and government offices are to close during the event, which will be attended by the presidents of Rwanda, Senegal and Kenya as well as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. The government says at least 5,000 policemen will be deployed to Abuja for a smooth summit and that movement will be restricted in and around the venue of the event.

Despite those measures, many Nigerians and foreigners remain extremely skeptical, because of successive bomb attacks in the capital in the past few weeks.Some foreigners have even decided to stay away and people such as Bill Gates have already pulled out according to reports.

Nigerians are skeptical because an explosion late last Thursday killed 19 people, two weeks after a nearby bombing left 75 dead. The same day 75 people were massacred in Nyanya, on the outskirts of Abuja, over 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists.

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The bombs are yet to stop exploding and the girls are yet to be released despite assurances by the Goodluck Jonathan administration. These incidentsts and many others across Nigeria seem to disprove assurances by the government that it is “on top of the situation”.

With many foreign leaders and the global business elite in Nigeria and with all eyes on our country, Boko Haram may attempt to gain global recognition or attention by striking right in the heart of Abuja.This should be avoided. Because if that happens, it will be the confirmation that the Jonathan administration has failed to protect Nigerians and foreigners in the country.

Boko Haram members are suicide bombers and only pro-active intelligence gathering about their activities can stop them before they strike.  Although a spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said on Saturday that many foreigners associated with terrorism in Nigeria have been detained and were being interrogated and had provided “useful information”, we believe that intelligence gathering on Boko Haram by the State Security Service, SSS and the Directorate of Military Intelligence, DMI, has not been adequate, which is why the terrorists have been carrying out their deadly attacks with reckless abandon. The intelligence agencies must sit up to prevent Nigeria from being dealt a big blow during the world gathering.