Terrorist Attacks In Nigeria And The Need For Terrorism Advisory System

By Oludare Ogunlana

“On the AIT news yesterday evening 4th May 2012 by 8:00 pm, a telephone message to AIT from Boko Haram leaders promised to launch an attack within the next 78hrs in Abuja and Lagos respectively...”

The above message is an example of the story being circulated on the social media network in the last 24hrs. This is just one of the few messages you read about Boko Haram every day.

The recent Boko Haram attacks against some media houses and the killing of some Christian’s worshippers inside the Bayero University Campus, Kano have opened the gate of rumors. The tale of the next targets of Boko Haram sect in the series of bombing has been flying from lips to lips among the citizens.  Nigerians are now living in fear, not only because of the threats alone but for lack of information and public guide from the government. There is a need for a National Terrorism Advisory System; a program similar to the United States Department of Homeland Security warning system, which will more effectively communicate information about terrorist threats by providing timely, detailed information to the public, government agencies, first responders, airports and other transportation hubs, and the private sector.

In the last one week, we have heard the rumor of Boko Haram’s purported plans to attack Lagos City, Ibadan Metropolis, and the latest is the University of Ilorin in Kwara State. There was another Hoax bomb threat at Banex Plaza in Abuja. The situation has gone bad that even students who did not prepare to sit for their examination invoke the threat of Boko Haram bombs on the authority to have the examination cancelled. Some of these stories are even comical in nature. One of such lies is the one on the Facebook recently; claiming four members of the Boko Haram sect who wanted to bomb the Winners Chapel Headquarters in Ota ran mad and started confessing before Bishop Oyedepo.

The most disturbing of all these is no inspiring information is coming from any agencies of the government assuring people of their safety and telling them about the credible threat and what to do when they are confronted with such a situation. Nigerians are already used to the occasional messages from the presidential spokesperson, saying “the government is on top of the situation and every citizen should be calm and go on with their normal duties.”

Nigeria is currently going through a challenging period of which the information dissemination to the citizens about the prevention of terrorism becomes very important. Therefore, the government needs to be more open and sincere in managing information than giving the opportunities for rumor mills to peddle rumors, which create fears and heighten tension.

We know that the government cannot prevent all the attacks all the time, but there is a need for a strong mitigation process as part of our preparedness and exposure reduction. Mitigation is a sustained action to reduce or eliminate risk to people and property from hazards (natural and man-made like terrorism) and their effect.

The Boko Haram has been using threats to create fear among the public, trying to convince citizens that the government is powerless, unpopular and lacks credibility to give directives and mobilize citizens against the terrorists. One way the government can reduce people’s vulnerabilities to terrorist incidents is to give them accurate and credible information as part of the mitigation process.

During the attack on the media houses in Kaduna, the citizens facilitated the arrest of one of the suspects. The lesson from this act is that the citizens can work with law enforcement agencies and the intelligence community to attack and defeat terrorism in Nigeria if they are properly mobilized, informed and inspired to act in support of the government.

 Nigeria confronts a dangerous combination of known and unknown vulnerabilities, strong and rapidly expanding adversary capabilities, and a lack of comprehensive threat awareness. The Boko Haram, bombing activities is occurring every day on an unprecedented scale with extraordinary sophistication.

Nigeria as a nation faces domestic terrorist networks, organized criminal groups, individuals, and other corrupt political actors with varying combinations of technical sophistication and intent. Terrorist groups and their sympathizers have continually expressed interest in using terror, violence and fears to destabilize the entity called Nigeria under the leadership of President Goodluck Jonathan.  Criminal elements continue to show growing sophistication in their technical capability and targeting churches, media houses, schools, and the Nigerian police

Therefore, the government should recognize that Nigerians share responsibility for the nation's security, and should always be aware of the heightened risk of terrorist attack in the country and what they should do. The citizens need to be informed or else some of them will resolve to self-help, which may further worsen the situation.

We need an agency that will be at the forefront of given a strategic direction as part of the concerted national effort to prevent terrorist attacks within our country and reduce Nigeria’s vulnerability to terrorism

Oludare Ogunlana is a Security/Terrorism Analyst and President of the Global Alternative Agenda
 

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It is because of people like

It is because of people like you that many believe Nigeria will never be good.You sit down in one corner of your house and begin to plot means and ways of enriching your self.You want the Government to create a new agency so that you will be enlightening the public when there is terror alert.What is the work of NOA now if I may ask you.Instead of you to suggest holistic ways of tackling this menace,you are busy concocting ways and means to enrich your self.Shame on you.Until people like who unfortunately are in the majority begin to look beyond their selfish interest,am sorry,Nigeria will continue to decline.

NO PALLIATIVES PLEASE

WE MUST NOT ADVOCATE WHAT WE DONT KNOW.

"Our own paranoia has accomplished what Osama bin Laden and his minions could not with hijacked airplanes and vague threats about future attacks these fears have forced America to abandon its principles and create a police state.

This new Department of Homeland Security has the power to wiretap any American it wants, without a court order, without cause and without justification to any higher authority. Homeland Security goon squads will have the power to enter any American home, without a search warrant, without probable cause, simply because someone somewhere says hey, this guy might be a threat. No checks and balances, no due process. Nothing."

Doug Thompson, founder and publisher of Capitol Hill Blue.

Welcome to the American Gestapo

@zubairu-yes we need early warning system-

We need early warning system. But in the USA the security agents are patriots. They will never sell their country to agents of Bin laden. In Nigeria almost all of them work for boko haram and the sultan. If there is any ethnic group that I dont understand in Nigeria, its the Igbo group. You can kill any number of Igbos, it does not concern them. Because I have observed with much sadness in my heart efforts to blame Igbos for the ongoing killings in the North by the Buhari brigade also known as Boko haram. Tundemess will soon come here to say PDP created Boko Haram. Her their leaders tundemess! (ALHAJI Tanko Yakassai, former Special Adviser on National Assembly to former President Shehu Shagari, has said, the Boko Haram insurgency began in Yobe State in 2003 and later spread to Borno and Bauchi states. He added that all the three states were not governed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) then, therefore, could not be associated with the zoning arrangement of the PDP.

This is nonsense,how many

This is nonsense,how many boko haram you cought but any action you are taking on them,the government,security agencies knws d boko haram.you saying people are 3ying as in kaduna bt no any news about him yet,all those that you cought evry dey no any good or bad news 4rm dem..EVEN THE BOKO HARAM COUGHT IN KONTAGORA ROAD KADUNA HIS AN IGBO,HE KILL PEOPLE BY TROWING BOMB ON THEM.MOSTLY THOSE THAT ARE DYING BY BOKO HARAM ATTACKS ARE MUSLIMS.

Brother U Dey Find Contract ?

...nigerians never see food eat..na to do "terrorism warning system"...e be like na contract you dey find...haba Oga..take am easy ooo...