Monday 9 January 2012

Terrorism in Nigeria: Our Preparedness and Exposure Reduction since October 1, 2010 Bombing

Oludare Ogunlana
It will be a year very soon after the major terrorist incident recorded in Abuja, Nigeria. The October 1, 2010 Independence Day bombing of Abuja during the Golden Jubilee anniversary of Nigeria was not the first incidence of terrorism in the country. Nevertheless, it was the first and a symbolic attack in the capital city since General Babangida hurriedly relocated the administrative center to Abuja in 1990 after the Gideon Orkar abortive bloody coup detats. 

The Abuja terror attack plotted by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger-Delta, MEND,  is not a story narrated to me, but I witnessed it life because I was among the privilege few at the presidential villa with  President Goodluck Jonathan for the Golden Jubilee anniversary breakfast on October 1, 2010. Of course, just like the way Americans failed to imagine the possibility of attack in their homeland, we also failed in our imagination that our home-grown terrorist groups have developed the capability to carry out daring attacks in few yards away from the Aso rock Presidential Villa. 

The October 1, bombing further confirmed the assertion that the 21st century terrorist organizations can attack anything, anywhere, and at any time. Therefore, there is a need for strong leadership at all levels to prepare the nation and reduce the vulnerability of Nigerians to terrorism. But what, in turn, has Nigerian government done in response to the risk of terrorism since October 1, 2010?

We have not seen our security agencies working as a team since October 1, 2010. The rivalry among our agencies is too obvious to the extent that Nigerians do not actually know who is in charge and who to listen to and even who to trust.  Working as a “Team” in order to continue to work cooperatively to ensure that all of the instruments of national power – including leadership, specialized technical expertise, research, and development investments – are brought to bear on the challenges the office of the president face in a coordinated and unified manner will go a long way to make all our security agencies to be effective and potent.

“Team that has clear goals and standards and effective structure and decision making will have higher task performance”. (Northouse 2007, p. 214). Adoption of organizational leadership that communicates internally and externally to maximize cooperation builds and leads effective teams while working effectively with partners and enables staff to achieve their full potential and fully supports staff development. Therefore, there is a need for “intelligence and operation fusion center” where activities would be coordinated. Empathizes and values input from others, Giving clear direction and focus, skilled in planning and arrives at right strategy to meet needs. Good media and public relations, manages resources efficiently and effectively; good organization skills with effective use of personnel and good operational knowledge and experience


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