The fact that we are living in perilous times cannot be overstated. The recent bomb attack at a mosque in Mubi, Adamawa State, which left about 50 faithful dead and many others wounded, demonstrates the nature of the environment of the time. Boko Haram terrorist group which some people erroneously call an Islamist organisation has shown with the attack in a mosque and on Muslims that they are in this blood sucking venture on their own terms. Equally worrisome is still the capacity of the group to launch deadly attacks despite government’s claim that it has been ‘technically’ defeated. The sect’s continuous successful attacks on “soft” targets in some parts of the country suggest some level of complacency on the part of our security agencies
Reports say Mubi attack was carried out by a young male suicide bomber who preliminary investigations reveal detonated an explosive device strapped to his body at about 5am as the Muslim faithful observed prayers at a mosque in Kunu Araha area of Mubi town on Tuesday morning. The incident, which was confirmed by the Adamawa State Police Command spokesman, SP Othman Abubakar, has highlighted the need for greater vigilance and proper utilisation of intelligence by the security agencies handling the fight against terrorism in the North-East zone.
As expected, President Muhammadu Buhari quickly condemned the bombing and commiserated with families of the victims. However, besides the condemnation, the government should now overhaul the nation’s security architecture with a view to containing the insurgents. The overhaul should begin with bringing in fresh hands to head strategic positions in our security services. Those there now have done their best and as a country we should be proud of their sacrifices. But it is high time they are allowed to move on to other ventures. We need fresh faces and fresh ideas.
There are certainly new ways of combating homegrown terrorism. Also, it still disturbs us that many years down the line there has never been a time that Nigerians were told about the sponsors, recruitment methods and financing options for the terror group. We need to crack that. How for example and from where are these young suicide bombers recruited? It is as if government and security services are just doing trial and error. One cannot point to any coherent plan for the degrading and eventual termination of terrorism in our land.
A de-radicalisation campaign should be given and should run visibly by now. Clerics and traditional leaders should have partaken in the process of de-radicalization. It should be done openly throughout the North-East to dissuade youths and other radicalised citizens from religious extremism and violence. It is also necessary to invest in the creation of more jobs for the idle youths so that they will not become easy recruits for terror organisations.
Government should also vigorously encourage all those who are of school age to go to school, to reduce the level of illiteracy in the country. Education is one of the ways to curb religious extremism and militancy in the country.
Nigerians are the first phase of intelligence gathering. Security agencies must make themselves trust-worthy to reap from this goldmine. Boko Haram members, informants, etcetera live among us. So the state must be ready to provide protection for willing citizens to spill on Boko Haram adherents. Our security agencies should not think that the war is over and relax their vigilance. At home, in churches, mosques and other public places, Nigerians must be alert at all times to curb the increasing attacks on soft targets by the insurgents. Worshippers going inside churches and mosques should be screened regularly. On no account should security be relaxed at these worship centres.
Efforts should be made by security agents, especially the police, to ensure that all soft targets are guarded. The death of any Nigerian diminishes us how much more the death of 50 people in such a gruesome circumstance. We hereby commiserate with families of the victims of this bombing and wish the injured a quick recovery. Let all citizens divulge relevant security information to the security agents as part of their contributions to the war against insurgency.