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A Memo to Nigeria: On The Security Situation In Nigeria

June 19, 2011

Last Thursday, a bomb was detonated by persons unknown at the police headquarters in Abuja. According to the latest press reports, 8 people were killed including an alleged suicide bomber; many others were injured.

Last Thursday, a bomb was detonated by persons unknown at the police headquarters in Abuja. According to the latest press reports, 8 people were killed including an alleged suicide bomber; many others were injured.

The audacity of this attack, targeting the Nigerian police itself at the very heart of the political establishment in Abuja, conveyed a clear message:

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•    To a global audience and the world at large, the message was stark and simple: “Nigeria is in crisis”.

•    To the government of Nigeria and the Nigerian police in particular, the message was expressed as a direct challenge, an open declaration of war. Basically, the bombers told the government of Nigeria: “You are weak. Pitifully weak. And we know it. That is why we can attack you and humiliate you like this, before the whole world. That is why we can shit in your face and piss in your mouth like this - why we can rub your face in the disgrace of your utter helplessness, of your abject ignorance and your absolute incompetence. We are stronger and better organised than you – and we mean business, serious business. We are coming after you and we are going to get you, sooner or later. It's a question of time”.

•    To the general population of ordinary Nigerians, the message was: “Be afraid. Be very afraid. You don't have a government. Not a functioning one anyway. We can strike at any time and anywhere in Nigeria. No government institution or agency in Nigeria can protect you. No government institution or agency in Nigeria can guarantee your safety or personal security – certainly not the police whose headquarters we have just bombed. Nor the army whose Mogadishu Barracks we bombed on New Years Eve. Nor the SSS which has failed to mount a credible investigation into any of these attacks or produce a single suspect after several years of such explosions in Nigeria. You are completely on your own; completely isolated, completely exposed and completely defenceless.”

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On the very same day, a spokesman for Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the explosion in an interview with Voice of America. According to the VOA website, “Usman Alzawahiri says yes, the blast is their handiwork. We are behind it, he says and we are going to attack the entire north and other parts of the country, including the capital, Abuja. He says Boko Haram personnel just returned from Somalia five days ago and have been scattered around northern parts of the country. He says they are advising everyone to be wary.”

It is plain to see that Goodluck Jonathan and the government of Nigeria cannot respond to this threat in any way, shape or form – effectively or otherwise. They are at a complete loss. The whole world can see that Jonathan and his government are completely flustered by these events, that the so-called authorities in Nigeria dont know what to do besides mouthing the same old platitudes about how they will fish out the culprits etc etc. But the population has tuned out. Millions of Nigerians have stopped listening because they no longer believe in the empty promises and false assurances of the Nigerian government. Not the intelligent ones anyway.

The increased frequency of these attacks means that Nigerians are now waking up to the fact that Nigeria has an extremely serious problem, that there is an armed insurgency threatening the government of Nigeria and the continued existence of Nigeria as we know it. Don't get me wrong; I am all for the destruction of Nigeria because Nigeria is a colonial prison, a colonial institution but that is a topic for another day.

Today, millions of Nigerians understand that what used to be very far away, in places like Beirut and Baghdad, is now on their doorstep. And the government of Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP is absolutely clueless. Absolutely helpless. They dont know what to do or how to react. In the present situation, Nigeria can be compared to a drunk walking home late at night. Out of the darkness and without prior warning, he is felled to the ground by a series of devastating blows. There is no one around, nobody to be seen and the street is completely deserted. He gets up and tries to continue but the same thing happens again.

Wham! Whack! Whack! He is being hit left, right and centre but he has no idea where the blows are coming from or who is hitting him. Just like these bomb attacks. Just like the Nigerian government. Absolutely clueless. Absolutely helpless.

Ironically enough, during a state visit to Washington DC last week, President Jonathan claimed that Boko Haram was a minor problem which Nigeria could handle without foreign assistance. However, it is also a matter of public record that the Nigerian press published a story two weeks ago stating that the PDP government had invited anti-terrorism experts from Israel to help Nigeria deal with it's terrorism problem. (According to the Guardian newspaper of February 27 2011, the government of Jonathan's political godfather, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, signed a $260 million dollar contract with an Israeli security company Aeronautics Ltd in 2006.

Under the terms of that contract, Israeli agents were responsible for tracking the emails, phone calls and movements of Nigerian citizens in Nigeria).
Imagine that! Inviting the agents of a foreign government to protect you from bombers in your own country. Think about that for a minute. Here we have a sovereign nation, a supposedly independent nation, asking another country to provide security for your own citizens in your own territory. And you were sworn in as president only 5 minutes ago! Did an Israeli win the recent presidential elections in Nigeria? What does the constitution say about this? What are the responsibilities of a government? Does the Nigerian government exist only to embezzle public funds? Is that it? Nothing else? Are the so-called elites in Nigeria so fractured, so weakened and debilitated by their ongoing orgy of corruption that they cannot even muster the resources to confront this threat to their existence? Have those so-called elites not been exposed as incompetent frauds and parasites - useless at anything removed from “authority stealing” as Fela called it?

If the government of Nigeria cannot provide the basic need of adequate security without recourse to foreign governments (imported security), why don't we hand over the administration and government of Nigeria to the Israelis and let them run the whole thing? Instead of security alone, they might as well manage our economy, run the army and take over the country. Why not? If Jonathan and the PDP are incompetent or slavish enough to hand over the internal security of Nigeria to outsiders (to the Jews of all people!), it wouldn't make the slightest difference if those outsiders did take over and run the government of Nigeria. Unfortunately, that won't happen. Yet.

It won't happen because that would be the final straw, the gust of wind which would expose the anus of a colonial fowl called Nigeria and the sham of our independence.

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