24 January 2012
THE sense of helplessness grows each time the bombs explode in any location the attackers choose. They do not seem to be short of choices. If the purpose is high casualty rates, Boko Haram must be achieving it with the reported death of more than 200 in Kano on Friday. Among the dead was a Channels Television reporter.
Fridays are becoming a favourite day for attacks. The choice of Kano, with its high population density and religious fervour that would make Friday, a day of lowered guards, should increase concerns of security agencies. There are more reasons for concerns.
The attacks in Kano followed the pattern of other Boko Haram attacks. There was a warning. A little over a month after Boko Haram sent a letter to the Kano State Government that it would attack the city, it did. In the same December 18 message, it listed Jos as one of the cities it would attack. The Damaturu attack, where more than 150 were killed last November followed an ignored warning.
Except in instances where churches were the target, attacks concentrate on knocking off the security agencies. Simultaneous attacks on police headquarters, police stations, office of the State Security Service, and Immigration Service, in Kano, could not have been co-incidental. The attacks were planned to demobilise security.
The state of emergency in some local government areas, as we had warned, was not an effective approach in shooting a moving target like Boko Haram. Kano had been of interest to the sect, after it claimed its members were being prosecuted in the city. If attacks are successful in cities where Boko Haram issued warning, what would happen in other places?
Where is the anger one expects from the security agencies who are also at risk? How much longer will the attackers get away with this affront on everyone? The attackers do not see seriousness on the part of government to deal with them. They keep killing and have the effrontery to issue more threats.
President Goodluck Jonathan said, as in the past, that the attackers would face the full wrath of the law. Governor Rabiu Kwankwanso of Kano State, like his colleagues in other attacked States, promised to pay the medical bills of those injured. Of course, the dead are gone and forgotten.
Assurances, not minding how good they sound, are no longer good enough. The intensity of the attacks, the casualty figures, and the threats of more attacks are enough reasons for government to realise that it is not doing enough in handling this menace. It does not have to wait until the next attacks to prove that crime is intolerable and remains punishable.
Blacknet More than just a website...