BY Ikeddy Isiguzo, Chairman Editorial Board
THE first bomb blast in Nigeria happened in 1967 and within 36 hours, the culprits where apprehended. But today, the security operatives are so relaxed, thus making it easy for the perpetrators to continue with these gruesome acts without being apprehended. This is not good for the nation.
A day after, the police said the days of the bombers were numbered, bombs went off at the car park of the police headquarters in Abuja. The causalty figures are shrouded in the smokes of the blast. The best accounts, in their gory details talk of body parts that the police harvested for analysis.
It is important to know who the bomber was, assuming that is the body that produced the parts. More importantly, what information do the police have in their database with which to match the result of the analysis?
There is a lot to worry about the way the security agencies are handling the bomb blasts. Senator Shagaya might not have been fair in laying the whole blame on the police. What do all the other security agencies do?
Nigerians have started living and dying with bombs. The insult of the 50th independence anniversary being bombed is still fresh in the mind. The other bombs that marked the end of year celebrations, ones that were set off in churches, army barracks, markets, police stations and at the campaign rallies have followed a steady pattern of Boko Haram warning that it would strike, and then carrying out the threat.
It may still be too easy to look at the issue from Boko Haram taking all the responsibility, something that would delight the sect immensely. Suppose other forces that have their own agenda have started leaning on the lax security situation to promote their intentions?
When the bombs went off in the barracks, nothing happened, nobody was caught, hence nobody was prosecuted. More bombs exploded at campaign rallies, we carried on and held the elections successfully.
Now that the police base had been bombed, at least the bomber got very close, how will the authorities react?
The bombers are working on simple psychology – they are telling Nigerians about the level of insecurity, as if we did not know.
They are saying we can bomb anywhere we want, anytime we want and we know nothing will happen to us. Can the authorities prove them wrong?
The level of leniency that the authorities exhibit in fighting insecurity is frightening. Do they think insecurity in other parts of the country has no economic consequences? If these bombs were going off near oil well and terminals, would the government security task force not move in with full might?
Bombs will keep going off until government firmly and finally takes the position that it is a criminal offence and that there are enough laws to punish it. There is no reason for the bombers to stop since governments are treating them with kids’ gloves and contemplating rewarding their efforts with an amnesty.