The alarming disclosure that some extremists from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are sneaking into the country should be treated with utmost concern by our security agencies and the government. This revelation should serve as a wakeup call on the government to put the security agents on red alert.
The report said that the extremists have established exchange programmes which will allow them to recruit new fighters from vulnerable countries like Nigeria and send them to their cells in the Middle East for training and later deploy them around the world to spread terror.
Also, the Department of State Services (DSS) has announced the arrest of two commanders of the Islamic State in West Africa in Kukuntu village, Gwagwalada, Abuja. According to the DSS spokesman, Mr. Tony Opuiyo, the suspects were arrested on May 5, after DSS operatives carried out special operations on identified targets. The Minister of Interior, Lt-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd), has disclosed that the Federal Government is reviewing intelligence in order to deal with threats from ISIS and other groups propagating violent extremism. The minister, who stated this during the presentation of a new curriculum for the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) in Abuja, assured that government will maintain the nation’s territorial integrity.
We recall that the Boko Haram sect had some time ago, announced its affiliation to the ISIS and al-Qaeda terror groups. Boko Haram has also been rated the 4th deadliest terrorist organisation in the world. In the last decade of its operation in the country, it has killed over 200,000 persons, displaced over two million persons and cost the country trillions of naira in loss of property. As a result of the insurgency, the country is having large numbers of internally displaced persons (IDPs).
The scary security situation has portrayed the country as one of the most unsafe places to live in
the world. Our security operatives must always be on the alert to contain the present threats by ISIS. The threats must not be waved aside. The war against insurgency is not yet over. The insurgents’ capability to detonate bombs is still sharp and brazen.
It is good that our aviation security is working with other relevant security forces to increase surveillance and ensure safety at the nation’s airports. Such security measures should be extended to our seaports and land borders as well. Unfortunately, our land borders are porous. This fact was underscored by a recent United Nations (UN) and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) report which revealed that over 20,000 refuges entered the country in the last one year alone.
In order to enhance our general security, in the light of the latest terrorism threat, we suggest that priority attention be placed on the deployment of the modern technological equipment to improve surveillance and the country’s overall security. Security matters must be treated as national priority and this requires the cooperation of all arms of the government.
Our security forces must continue to prioritise interagency collaboration and intelligence sharing and seek international support from friendly countries in areas where we need capacity building and expertise. This calls for our security agencies to be on the alert. The government should also further investigate this matter while putting in place measures to prevent the infiltration of the terrorists into the country.