By Isaac Ochegbudu
Bothered by the happenings at the wedding of Yusuf Buhari, I was moved to write on “the insensitivity of the Nigerian politicians and the long lasting folly of Nigerias” Yesterday. Few minutes after I had started penning down my thoughts, a colleague drew my attention to what is trending in the news, all media outlets carried the news that the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA) was attacked, I immediately lost appetite for writing and I dropped my pen immediately. I and my colleagues looked at each other and said, it must be a fake news and the usual mischief of bloggers and Nigeria media outlets. We refused to believe the news.
Few hours later, there was a press release from NDA confirming the incident which is referred to as “SECURITY BREACH OF THE NIGERIA DEFENCE ACADEMY ARCHITECTURE”. Seeing the press release, I have no choice than to agree with the news. It is reported that two military officers were killed and one was abducted. Hours later, it is reported that the abducted officer had been murdered too after the abductors had asked for ramson. This news have received a lot of reactions from Nigerians, many of which show their dissatisfaction and fear. If the NDA can be attacked, who then is safe, this is what many have been chanting.
Yes, NDA is not immune to attack and it is not the only important security structure that has been attacked across the world. Even the PENTAGON which is the headquarters building of the United States Department of Defense had been attacked before. My uncle who is an experienced military personnel in his reaction to one of my Facebook post on the NDA attack said “there is no 100% security anywhere. No security is impregnable” There are obviously many reasons why NDA can be attacked, one vital point is the architectural Porousity of the academy and it’s location, even though all this points are true, it does not change the fact that an attack of such is an attack of the faith of Nigerians in the security and defence structure/might of the country.
Some of the reasons why Nigerians feel disappointed in the attacks are: firstly, the NDA is the institution where the officers of the armed forces of Nigeria are trained, thus it is expected to be a tightly secured place. Secondly, this is not the first time important security structures in Nigeria have been attacked. It can be recalled that in 2011, the Nigeria police force headquarters was attacked. Also in 2012, the headquarters 1 mechanise division of the Nigeria army Kaduna was attacked too. There have also been series of attack on security formations in recent times and before now, there have also been recent attacks on two institutions ( Federal College Of Forestry Mechanization and Kaduna airport) close to the permanent site of NDA not too long ago. It is expected that all these incident is supposed to have kept the NDA alert and prepared to avoid such kind of incident at all costs.
Whether we like it or not, NDA is an important security formation in Nigeria, thus an attack on it will be seen as an attack on the entire defence structure of the country. The perennial attacks on security personnels and security formations across the country lower the confidence of citizens in the country and increases fear and social tension amongst citizens. Secondly, the continuous Lackadaisity of government towards security shake the faith of citizens in the security and defence of the country. Thirdly, the loop sided approach to security issues in the country. The situation where terrorists and their apologist are Pampared and those who seek their right and those who commit lesser crimes are given stif punishment is an appalling, it is the highest form of irresponsibility of government towards security in the country. Fourthly, the utterance of politicians and important Political office holders on the security issues kill the faith and confidence of citizens in the government and security structure of the country. It could be recalled that few months ago, the minister of defence have referred to banditry attacks as “a minor thing” and had told citizens not to be cowards but stand against these attackers. Recently, the governor of katsina state have given the same advice to citizens. This is a clear message of hopelessness to citizens. Whilst these politicians who advice citizens to defend themselves are always guarded by heavily armed security personnels around them.
The truth is, the confidence nigerians in Nigeria’s security forces to protect them has been undermined. No reasonable citizen of any country across the globe will feel at ease with all that’s is happening in Nigeria, especially attacks on security. The attack on NDA should be approached as an attack on the defence structure of the nation. It is high time, the government begin to treat terrorist as who they are, speak to them in the language they understand. The contionus lackadaisical and lopsided approach will only continue to worsen the issue. There must be social justice and fairness in the approach to tackling the security challenges in Nigeria.
What is good for the goose is all good for the gander!
If NDA could be attacked, who is safe?
Isaac Ochegbudu (freelance opinion writer and social analyst)