The ugly incident of April 14, 2014 when over one hundred female students of Government Secondary Girls School, Chibok were forcefully abducted by armed men belonging to the Boko Haram sect was still fresh in the memory of Nigerians, another of such ugly abduction has taken place in Yobe State.
This February, 2018 abduction, though frightening, took all the security agencies hands down flaying nerves of both parents, government and security agencies.
This, to say the least, is not only despicable but also unbelievable. When the first abduction of the Chibok girls happened, pundits especially the government of former president Goodluck Jonathan did not believe it happened. The government did not believe such abduction could take place. So, a joint presidential team made up of all the security agencies was set up and dispatched on a fact-finding mission. Although the report of that presidential team was not made public but it secretly confirmed that indeed the abduction truly happened. The presidential team did not only confirm the incident, the team went ahead to proffer solutions on how to avoid a reocurence of such incident. Among its recommendations include the provision of tight security in all female secondary schools in the terrorist prone states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.
Consequently, few months after the Chibok episode, a new administration was sworn-in with President Muhammadu Buhari who during his inaugural speech promised to ensure the safety of all schools in the North East, adding that every effort would be taken to ensure that all the abducted Chibok girls are rescued.
Four year gone and only a handful of the Chibok girls have so far been rescued. There is no use commenting on how the Federal Government achieved the rescue of the Chibok girls. A presidential promise should not be a careless talk, neither should such talk be politicised. The life of a Nigerian should be valued and not be equated with that of an animal. While many have criticised the government’s shoddy handling and non transparent handling of the Chibok girls episode, It is therefore painful and unpleasant to hear that the same scenario has played out again in neighboring Dapchi Town in Yobe State. Why the Dapchi incident is painful is because all the key actors from the state government to the security agencies like the police and the Army are all dancing naked in the public as they wag their tongues in a discordant manner issuing press statements to members of the public and bathing in total lies. A cursory analysis of the entire scenario shows that there was a complete failure of intelligence gathering. Secondly, the state police Commissioner, Abdumaliki Sunmonu, whose constitutional responsibility it is to adequately provide security in the state failed woefully and it is surprising that his conscience has not pricked him enough to vacate his office over his nonchalant and abysmal failure to provide security in the state.
In the state of Florida, USA, where a similar situation recently occurred, seventeen school children were killed by an irate gunman that could be considered as a terrorist, the police chief who has conscience wasted no time in vacating his office knowing fully well that he was incapable of providing the needed security for the people of Florida especially the school children. Not so in Nigeria! The shifting of blame about the number of the secondary school girls abducted by the Boko Haram sect has opened up the known deficiency of the commissioner of police. Simply, he is not well qualified to hold such position. When the police commissioner was asked by a journalist about the incident, he replied thus, “From us (Police), no case of abduction has been established, and from the military, they had not told me any because it is a joint operation led by the military”. The matter is further exacerbated with the informal withdrawal of the military and the lack of sensitivity of the police to know when it ought to take over an area that the military had noticeably withdrawn from. Last year this writer was in Borno state to speak with Mr Damian Chukwu, the State police Commissioner. Here is a commissioner who did not wait for the military to formally hand over all the local governments initially captured by Boko Haram, but was monitoring the military progress of the war situation and was preparing his policemen in anticipation of taking over the recaptured local government. The question is, how come there was no exchange of words with the military in Borno which is the epicenter of the terrorist war, between the police and the military?. Again, those in authority should investigate the total withdrawal of the military and the official attitude of the Yobe State police commissioner.
Reports have it that members of the public sighted a Tata truck driven by Boko Haram fighters who disguised as soldiers, shooting sporadically as they invaded the school and “ carted” away the over hundred female students of the school.
The state Governor Ibrahim Gaidam, claimed some of the girls were already rescued by the military.
Furthermore, it is surprising to note that, all the vehicles either abandoned or destroyed by the military that were used by by Boko Haram sect are yet to be thoughtfully verified with a view to ascertain the real owners of these vehicles. These important investigations have been glossed over by the police and other relevant agencies, yet, the evil sect continue to acquire more vehicles for their operations. The war against terrorists should be wholistic with a view to proactively forestalling a reoccurrence. If the truth must be lay bare, the governor should henceforth wield the big stick in such a national embarrassment by sacking inefficient security chief who exhibit gross incompetence in their line of duty.
When big functions where top politicians and very important personalities are invited, like the recent SUN newspaper award ceremony, it is expected that security of lives and property should be paramount on the working arrangement of the organisers.
The last SUN newspaper award event shows a comprehensive and classic preparation and fool proof security arrangement. This is commendable. Often times, hoodlums usually invade such occasion to perpetrate their evil acts and of course help in creating disorderliness.
Among the areas of attention when organising such a big ceremony should include the security of property (vehicles) belonging to invited of guests and of course great attention should be paid to their lives.
A thorough security of lives at such events depends on the caliber of the security company employed with the assistance of the Police for better effectiveness.
When in such gathering, personal items like smart- phones and ladies hand bags should not be carelessly displayed. The phone is call “ handset” and should be treated as such, always classed in your hand and not to be dropped on the table or event in the side pocket. While many n such a gathering, always carry along your hand bag whenever you are to stand from your seat.
Your personal security is entirely your function not that of the organizers.
At the end, the result of security apart from the success of the ceremony add to make the ceremony a complete success.