I had a hidden grin on my face as I wrote this column, grinning silently away at the sudden change that seems to have taken over our hitherto slumbering security formations across the country, including the rapid security consciousness of an average Nigerian these days. All across the country Nigerians are beginning to take the issue of security seriously, especially our various security agencies who had previously been more engaged in chasing armed robbers, kidnappers and other petty thieves like pickpockets, goat ,chicken and bread thieves.
Today the story has changed, the coming of the deadly sect known as Boko Haram has instilled an inevitable fear among the populace, especially among our ostentatious elite and politicians who until now had been having it smooth and enjoying their stashed looted public funds. The fear of Boko Haram has suddenly become the beginning of wisdom among them and our elite are now scared stiff of publicly uttering their well known charade and selfish remarks. Most of them have even become dumber than a dumb and are contented to Sidon look as things unfold across the country.
One would wonder what has happened to our noise making zoning and anti-zoning politicians who almost tore this country apart during the last presidential election with their prejudiced utterances and their religious counterparts who instigated hundreds of their innocent followers against each other and preached politics more in their sermons in churches and mosques. All over the country the topmost issue now is on security and the fear of the unexpected.
The sudden invasion of the Boko Haram sect has brought about a dramatic transformation of our security apparatus and the tightening of our porous borders, including the unleashing of different security measure across all states of the federation, principally in our lavish Federal Capital City where our elite and politicians hitherto had the erroneous impression could never be hit. Today Abuja is one of the most security perambulated and fortified cities in the world.
All these thanks to the invasion of Boko Haram; who knows if the Boko Haram had not bombarded most of our states what would have been the security situation in the country today. Would our egunje striving police force been more active? Or would our barracks sitting soldiers wake up to their duties? Would our globetrotting politicians learn how to cut down on their excessive travelling and show off? And would our cities have been more alert to terrorism and bombings?
Right now the soldiers and police are everywhere, searching and going after crime and criminals, instead of waiting for them as usual. Our hitherto slumbering Immigration personnel are becoming more alert and opening their sleepy eyes to illegal immigrants who had always found it easy to drift into Nigeria and blend easily among our unsuspecting citizens. Our imperceptible State Security Service personnel are not left out in the current security alertness brought about by the Boko Haram as they are now more visible and up and doing.
What about our various organs of government from the executive, to the legislators and the judiciary? There seems to be a change in their outlook to the issue of security and the need to protect the lives and property of the citizenry these days, as nobody knows who or where the next target would be.
I could not help but grin widely as I heard about the banning of achaba and okada in Maiduguri, Kaduna, Lagos and other parts of the country. The fear of Boko Haram cyclists with their dangerous bombs actually brought about a change and ban on this outdated and unreasonable mode of public transport in this 21st century, something long overdue across the country. At least many Nigerians are now safe from accidental death through achaba, and okada ride.
All over the states the suspicion of non-Nigerians,especially those from volatile neighbouring countries, is now part of our daily watch. Nigerians are beginning to ask questions and demanding a better policing and securing of their country from invaders. The rising of the Boko Haram sect has taught most of us to now be wary of where we go and who we deal with. It has curtailed the daily activities of husbands who hitherto left their wives and kids at home and spent most of their time in bars and recreation centres.
But has the coming of the Boko Haram now fully instigated and motivated the various governments across the country to revive our moribund industries and create jobs for our teeming youths?
Has it put enough fear in our corrupt politicians and treasury looters to be cautious on how they loot our resources and impoverish the nation and people? Would our political office holders be wary of what they now do and say, knowing that the unseen bombs of the Boko Haram could blow them to shred and destroy their political ambitions?
I am still grinning, reveling on the sudden change that the Boko Haram sect has made possible in my dear country Nigeria. And true to what the famous British thriller writer James Hadley Chase rightly observed in one of his thrilling novels Want to Stay Alive? “ fear is the key that unlock the handbags and wallets of the rich” And how truly one can confidently refer this bold statement to the present situation in the country. The elite and politicians are now more scared due to the fear unleashed by the Boko Haram and as expected their handbags and wallets are now unlocked.
Most of them are now talking about the need for adequate security in the country. The fear has made the government unlock its wallets and focus its budgets on security issues, including the long overdue urgency to train and upgrade the reasoning and capacity of our security personnel across the country.
Fear, I tell you, has become the golden key that has unlocked the minds and seriousness of our government officials on the need to create jobs and vocational centres for the teeming youths of this country, as currently being witnessed in the Niger Delta; where hundreds of the hitherto restless youths have been ferried to various schools and trade learning centres abroad, while the other regions await their turn silently.
Who knows if the Niger Delta militants would have gotten their break if they had not put that fear in the minds of those who had long been stealing their wealth and siphoning their resources for selfish gain? Fear is everywhere and it is beginning to unlock the sleeping selfish minds of our leaders across the country?
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Abdulkarim Ibn Shuaib Yola, Nigeria December 27, 2011
Comrd Dangari the truth of every situation most be said no matter how bitter the affected person most be. It is obvious that Militants from Niger Delta were angry with their greedy leaders that see no reason to the suffering of them which they stand to fight, what can we say is the demand of the so called Boko Haram and what do they want.
Please something very urgent need to be done immediate because time of big English or Grammar is over. It is time of Action. Thanks
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