What does the face of terror look like? How can you tell who a terrorist is by merely looking at people’s faces? These are some of the questions that have troubled me in recent times. Like I said in my last article, Abuja used to be a be a peaceful city; we used to think that whatever evil was happening in other places could not happen here. But no more. Suddenly it has become our reality. The man on the street has become your enemy, a possible suspect as a perpetuator of this evil. Such simple things like going to the market have become risky ventures; you don’t know where the next explosion will come from.
And the same is true of other cities as this evil spreads its ugly tentacles across our nation. Twin explosions rocked the beautiful city of Jos a few days ago and the casualties included people from neighbouring places. It’s getting closer home and we can no longer be complacent. One of the terrorists arrested for the last Nyanya bombings confessed to living in Wuye finance quarters. Wuye is one if the most peaceful neighbourhoods in the city. It is home to one of Abuja’s biggest churches and it is an upscale neighbour hood with a 3-bedroom flat going for an average of 1.5million naira per annum. You would not normally expect that persons of such questionable character would live there but alas, that is our present reality!
So what can we do? We can be more vigilant and be more mindful of our environment. We do not have to be suspicious of everybody but we do need to be much more conscious of the goings on around us. Avoiding the market or other public places is not the answer; terror, as the name implies, thrives on fear. Giving in to fear is handing the victory to the faceless enemy.
Something else we can do is to see this threat for what it truly is, an assault on us as a nation. It is a grand plan to tear us apart and remove the core of what makes us one. Incidentally, a break up of Nigeria is not a feasible solution either. The pains of separation are not worth the gains, if any.
We can also begin to fight the enemy by not fighting the government. They may not be doing everything right but the constant criticism and condemnation can’t be the solution either. Let’s focus on what to do to get it right as a people, as a nation. I truly belief with all my heart that Nigeria is worth fighting for. It is not perfect in anyway but isn’t it up to us to make it what we want to see? Shalom