Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Bomb Blasts in Kano and Jos, Armed Attacks, Missing Schoolgirls - Which Way Nigeria?

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Two bombs went off in Jos yesterday afternoon, both exploded at the Jos Main Market, a densely populated area and the commercial hub of the city. The first explosion is said to have gone off and the second blast went off 30 minutes later, killing many of those who had rushed to the scene to help rescue victims of the first bomb blast.

According to eyewitnesses, the number of casualties could well exceed 200 ase the market was highly trafficked at the time of the bomb blasts. The area is also close the old site of the University of Jos and claimed the lives of scores of university students, as well as others including pregnant women and children.

The day before that, a bomb blast at a drinking centre in the Sabon Gari Area of Kano State, killed scores of people including the suicide bomber. More unexploded bombs were then discovered and defused by the police.

This morning, another 48 persons have been reported dead in armed attacks in villages in Borno. This is related to similar armed attacks across the country, including Lagos, Benue and more northern states.

And this is as we want to think that Boko Haram and their cohorts should be on the run as Nigerian troops and their allies chase them down in Sambisa to #bringbackourgirls. Yet things seem to be escalating, leading to rising deathtoll and more insecurity around the country.

I was only marginally impressed by the press release put out by the office of President Goodluck Jonathan on the incidents. I can't help but wonder if Nigeria can get out of this quagmire with our current leadership. You can read it yourself as follows;

"President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan strongly condemns the bomb blasts in Jos, Plateau state, today, describing the perpetrators of this tragic assault on human freedom as cruel and evil.  He has also directed all relevant agencies to mobilize support and relief efforts in aid of the victims. The President extends his heartfelt sympathies to the affected families and persons.

President Jonathan assures all Nigerians that government remains fully committed to
winning the war against terror, and this administration will not be cowed by the atrocities of enemies of human progress and civilization

President Jonathan has also expressed Nigeria’s deepest appreciation to the international community on the success of the recent Summit in Paris on the security situation in Nigeria hosted by the President of France, Francois Hollande.

He reaffirms Nigeria’s commitment to the implementation of the resolutions reached by the Summit, in addition to existing measures already being taken by the administration to combat terrorism and ensure the safety of lives.

President Jonathan states that the Federal Government of Nigeria is prepared to strengthen existing mechanisms to ensure the immediate implementation of the resolutions of The Summit, among which are:

 i.    That every necessary measure should be taken to find the school girls abducted by Boko Haram terrorists from Government Girls’ Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State on 14th April 2014;

 ii.    That Nigeria and other countries in the sub-region will continue to co-operate and co-ordinate efforts to combat the Boko Haram menace.

 iii.    That the Heads of State have agreed that each country will contribute one battalion of troops to the international force set up to patrol the border areas, in line with the Resolution of the Lake Chad Basin Commission. France, United States of America and the United Kingdom will extend technical assistance to achieve this objective;

 iv.    That the countries will come together to put in place an effective border management regime;

 v.    That no effort will be spared to stop the proliferation of small arms and light weapons and the supply of arms and equipment made available to terrorists.

President Jonathan considers these measures very useful aspects of the concerted international effort to combat terrorism and put an end to the Boko Haram menace. In addition, the President, in Abuja, today, directed relevant government agencies to ensure enhanced implementation of the following programmes in the areas affected by Boko Haram atrocities:

 (i)      Emergency relief assistance:  The intensification of on-going relief assistance programmes by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA)) in partnership with donor agencies.  The programme will ensure rapid deployment of relief assistance to the affected local government areas and communities.  This will include provision of food supplies, medical supplies, basic relief commodities, and conditional cash transfer programmes for affected households;

 (ii)     Rapid needs assessment:  To support additional intervention programmes in the region, the President has also directed that on-going rapid needs assessment by government agencies should be accelerated to identify affected communities and households and assess the extent of damage to public and private infrastructure, amongst others.

 (iii)    Safety of schools: President Jonathan has also reiterated Nigeria’s determination to ensure the safety and security of schools in Borno and other parts of the country and also provide counselling services to any affected students to enable them return to school and continue with their academic work.

Furthermore, the Federal Government of Nigeria will rebuild the Chibok School and fortify security in schools. In collaboration with the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Education, former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the private sector, the government will launch the “Safe Schools Initiative” which will address security issues; re-build the destroyed schools; and provide equipment and materials.”

  Reuben Abati
 Special Adviser to the President
 (Media and Publicity)
 May 20, 2014

1 comment:

  1. Impressively written,this goes to show that our dear country will forever be good at holding talks only-never does action follow recommendations.


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