by ‘Nonye Obi-Egbe
Ignorance is a disease, some say, and now, I believe.
Too often, we are wrapped up in our individual lives, scurrying around in the rat race of our meagre existence, failing to see anything beyond our immediate vicinity, beyond our line of sight. Sometimes, even seeing, we deny the possibilities and realities, choosing to believe our own illusions.
I came to this realisation recently, on seeing the scary-looking picture of ammunition seized from a well-known Lebanese business owner in Nigeria.
According to this piece on The Scoop, Terrorism: JTF uncovers the Lebanese wonder behind Wonderland Amusement Park, and a few other dailies, the Joint Task Force (JTF) uncovered a storehouse of terror-inflicting ‘treasures’ including 17 AK 47 rifles, 44 magazines, four land mines, 12 rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) bombs, 14 RPG charger, 11 66 mm anti-tanks weapons, two sub-machine guns (SMG), one SMG magazine, one pistol and magazine, 11, 433 rounds of 7.26 mm special, 76 hand grenade, 122 calibre artillery, rocket propelled guns and anti-mines weapons. For some perspective, see the image from AFP below (and no those are not long grains of rice). Apparently, right under our noses, Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda, and God alone knows who else, have been training Nigerians for attacks against the country and all Israel and Western interests here and abroad.
There we were thinking our only, main, security problem is Boko Haram, and all the while Hezbollah has been training our children for terrorist attacks on a grander scale. So now, we not only have to worry about Al-Quaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), we now have to throw Hezbollah into the mix.
How did it get to this? How did we open our doors to these abhorrent aliens? How do we expel them? Is it even possible? How many more terrorist group cells are yet uncovered?
It is scary to think that weapons of this magnitude are present in our country, scarier even when we factor in the militants in the Niger Delta and their own preparations for unrest should Jonathan not be re-elected. Or did we really think that Asari Dokubo was making empty threats when he said “Nigeria will be history”? By that statement alone, the guy has become a traitor, so we can expect that he has some wicked stash of weapons to support his stance. Not only that, we should also assume that he has laid out an elaborate plan of attack should he be captured, and probably one for his rescue.
Needless to say, Asari-Dokubo must pay for making threats against the country, you and I are not safe until people like him are made to suffer the consequences of their actions. President Jonathan will be caught in the cross-hairs no matter which way the pendulum swings. If he calls for the man’s arrest, there are some who will say he is ungrateful and that the man laid his life on the line for him. If he doesn’t, more people will think it is OK to do or say whatever you like as long as you have the reputation of Asari-Dokubo. A few others will accuse Mr President of consorting with the renegade, where others will say he is afraid of the guy. Therefore, this is a classic case of being between the devil and the deep blue sea. Still that is another matter altogether.
Beyond Asari-Dokubo and his traitorous mouth, we have other security problems. There are those smaller groups of rebels whose response to not getting what they demand is destruction, the organised and sometimes confused robbery rings in Lagos, and the more civilised thieves in the seats of power. Our security forces must do something about them, so that our lives can be easier.
However, for once, let us take a break from pointing fingers and blaming the government for all the problems we have in the country. For once, let us forget about all the things our leaders are doing wrong. For once, let us applaud this feat, let us celebrate the achievement of JTF. By extension, let us congratulate the military, the lawmakers, and the presidency. We have scored a small victory; now let us hope our winning streak endures.