By Jide Ajani
The Federal Government of Nigeria has declared that there is a disturbing nexus between major terror attacks in the country and the development landmarks of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration.
A pattern, the government said, has emerged whereby almost always when there is need to collectively celebrate an important landmark recorded by it, appears to be the time when the insurgents find pleasure in attacking and making their statement of terror.
Information Minister, Mr. Labaran Maku, made this claim in Lagos during an interview.
Maku lamented that what had been happening in the past two years was that terrorism had taken the front pages and deprived the country of news of development and social issues.
He said it was becoming very disturbing that “anytime the current administration had cause to celebrate an achievement, bombs explode to distract Nigerians and portray the government in bad light.
“I can tell you”, he continued, “that almost every milestone recorded by this government is accompanied by bomb blasts,” pointing at the World Economic Forum which was preceded by bomb attacks in Abuja, and the widely acclaimed Ekiti State governorship election victory of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP,” as examples.
The Minister said “immediately we announced the re-basing of our economy and it was now confirmed that Nigeria was the largest economy in Africa, there were bombs at Chibok. Immediately they learnt we were going to hold the World Economic Forum, WEF, there were bombs in Abuja and its environs to make sure that Nigeria does not get the economic benefits of hosting the World Economic Forum and to discourage the world from coming here so as to make the attack the center point of international and local media…
“We also noticed that immediately after our victory in Ekiti, the bombs started raining again.”
He then concluded that, “there is a correlation between the exposure of development efforts in the media and the insecurity in the northern part of the country.
“That is why most times I have continued to insist that the media should have a change of strategy , I wouldn’t say change of attitude. Because, as you know, with terrorism, once its takes hold, it takes very long for it to be dealt with. Because the terrorists themselves are looking for the opportunity to be exposed, to sell their ideology, to use the media to frighten the society, to give themselves some invincible image, so they keep doing those strikes mainly because they want those headlines to be celebrated, they want the society to be afraid,” he said.
He again lamented that terrorism has exploited the liberal tendencies of democracy and free press to sell its own ideology to the world, and “I believe frankly that the media should, side by side, while reporting incidence of terror attacks, where they unfortunately occur, focus on development and deepening of our democracy. That is the only way we can defeat them.”