The bomb attack at a mosque in Mubi, Adamawa State, which left about 50 worshippers dead and many others wounded, has demonstrated that the Boko Haram terrorist group is still capable of launching deadly attacks despite government’s claim that it has been ‘technically’ defeated. The sect’s continuous successful attacks on “soft” targets in some parts of the country suggest some level of complacency on the part of our security agencies, which should not be the case at all. This is the time for the agencies to intensify and sustain the battle against the insurgents.
The Mubi bombing was carried out by a young male suicide bomber who reportedly detonated an explosive device strapped to his body at about 5am as the Muslim faithful observed prayers at a mosque in Kunu Araha area of Mubi town on Tuesday morning. The incident, which was confirmed by the Adamawa State Police Command spokesman, SP Othman Abubakar, has highlighted the need for greater vigilance and proper utilisation of intelligence by the security agencies handling the fight against terrorism in the North-East zone.
President Muhammadu Buhari has expectedly condemned the bombing and commiserated with the families of the victims. Besides the condemnation, the government should overhaul the nation’s security architecture with a view to containing the insurgents. The ability of the sect to deploy suicide bombers shows that the battle against it is far from over.
Apart from the deployment of troops and the use of arms and ammunition, government must come up with other methods to dissuade Nigerians from being used as suicide bombers. This has become imperative because the sect is now using some misguided youths for its suicide bombings.
A de-radicalisation campaign should be carried out in the North-East to dissuade youths and other radicalised citizens from religious extremism and violence. It is also necessary to create more jobs for the idle youths so that they will not become easy recruits for terror organisations.
Government should also vigorously encourage all those who are of school age to go to school, to reduce the level of illiteracy in the country. Education is one of the ways to curb religious extremism and militancy in the country.
Nigerians, especially those living in the troubled North-east geopolitical zone, should also be more security conscious. They should not think that the war is over and relax their vigilance. At home, in churches, mosques and other public places, Nigerians must be alert at all times to curb the increasing attacks on soft targets by the insurgents. Worshippers going inside churches and mosques should be screened regularly. On no account should security be relaxed at these worship centres.
Efforts should be made by security agents, especially the police, to ensure that all soft targets are guarded. More than ever before, there is need for greater intelligence gathering and sharing among the security agencies involved in the anti-terrorism war. This is, perhaps, the only way this war can be won. Because there can be no development without peace, we urge Nigerians, especially those in the North-East, to do all that they can to ensure peace in their communities. They should promptly report suspicious persons to the police to avoid further attacks by Boko Haram.
We commiserate with the families of the victims of this bombing and wish the injured a quick recovery. Let all citizens divulge relevant security information to the security agents as part of their contributions to the war against insurgency. We strongly believe that with military/civilian cooperation, the Boko Haram terrorist group can be decimated and defeated.