Posted by Emeka Ugwuonye | 20 April 2013 | 3,954 times
In the past three days, America, like Britain in their turn, has demonstrated to the world the decisive and comprehensive manner in which the totality of a country’s law enforcement could be used to bring down a terrorist gang. Today, the two bombers of Boston have not only been identified, one has been killed and the other captured. It is to be noted that the work was done by the FBI and Massachusetts State Police, without a single use of the United States military forces. That’s how it ought to be.
Compare that with what you have seen in Nigeria’s three-year-old effort to apprehend even a single Boko Haram terrorist for exploding bombs and killing the innocent. While President Goodluck Jonathan would like to remind Nigerians that terrorism is a worldwide phenomenon, he fails to recognize that other parts of the world deal with the problem differently – by fighting terrorism. As of today, no single significant terrorist has been arrested following an investigation of a specific bomb blast in Nigeria. Indeed, as of today, Nigeria is addressing the problem in a completely opposite manner. Nigeria is handing out some carrots to those that exploded bombs that killed many. The Government is begging Boko Haram to accept forgiveness (amnesty) and Boko Haram is refusing. The Government is now doing what it does best – appoint a committee to beg them to accept amnesty.
While America responds effectively to a terrorist attack, all within three days, Nigeria has spent three years doing the following: (a) killing the leader of the Boko Haram sect while he was on handcuff; (b) declaring a state of emergency on some local governments in some states; (c) mobilizing Nigerian army as if the country is in civil war; (d) having the President acknowledge that terrorist sympathizers had infiltrated his cabinet and other arms of government; (e) holding prayers and asking religious groups to pray for the terrorists to have a change of heart; (f) killing thousands of innocent people in various crossfire with the elusive terrorists.
America’s success, achieved with only a few hours of curfew, rather than Nigeria’s years of state of emergency, is the triumph of a true democracy and accountable government, as well as that of truly professional law enforcement agencies. If Nigeria could learn a lesson or two from the American way of handling this kind of problem, that lesson should be that we need in Nigeria a genuine democracy where power is held and exercised for the benefit of the people, and where accountability and transparency in governance should replace the present day dishonesty, corruption and rot. Only then can Nigeria stand a chance of building a modern a society and solving its basic security problems.
• Emeka Ugwuonye, Esquire, whose photo appears alongside this piece, is a U.S.-based lawyer admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States.
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