by Segun Odeleye
Nigeria’s federal government has alleged that most times when there is a terrorist attack in the country, it occurs at a point when the President Jonathan administration records a landmark.
The information minister told journalists in Lagos that what the government has noticed is a pattern whereby almost always when there is need to collectively celebrate an important landmark recorded by the government, appears to be the time when the insurgents find pleasure in attacking.
“Anytime the current administration had cause to celebrate an achievement, bombs explode to distract Nigerians and portray the government in bad light. I can tell you that almost every milestone recorded by this government is accompanied by bomb blasts,” he said.
Maku listed examples to include the World Economic Forum which was preceded by bomb attacks in Abuja, and the widely acclaimed Ekiti State governorship election victory of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The Minister said “immediately we announced the re-basing of our economy and it was now confirmed that Nigeria was the largest economy in Africa, there were bombs at Chibok. Immediately they learnt we were going to hold the World Economic Forum, WEF, there were bombs in Abuja and its environs to make sure that Nigeria does not get the economic benefits of hosting the World Economic Forum and to discourage the world from coming here so as to make the attack the center point of international and local media…
“We also noticed that immediately after our victory in Ekiti, the bombs started raining again,” he said.
According to Maku, “there is a correlation between the exposure of development efforts in the media and the insecurity in the northern part of the country.
“That is why most times I have continued to insist that the media should have a change of strategy , I wouldn’t say change of attitude. Because, as you know, with terrorism, once its takes hold, it takes very long for it to be dealt with. Because the terrorists themselves are looking for the opportunity to be exposed, to sell their ideology, to use the media to frighten the society, to give themselves some invincible image, so they keep doing those strikes mainly because they want those headlines to be celebrated, they want the society to be afraid,” he said.
He again lamented that terrorism has exploited the liberal tendencies of democracy and free press to sell its own ideology to the world, and “I believe frankly that the media should, side by side, while reporting incidence of terror attacks, where they unfortunately occur, focus on development and deepening of our democracy. That is the only way we can defeat them.”