We are tired of sad news


Sir: Fifty people blown up in Mubi town in what was described by the international media as the deadliest attack after the Madagali bombing of 2016 and in less than two weeks, another 17 people were killed in a multiple blasts at Biu. While efforts have shifted towards post conflict reconstruction, which led to the North East Development (Establishment) Act 2017, the signal is that there’s nothing ‘post’ about the conflict. UN Security Council Resolution 2347, the very first Resolution ever passed by the UN on Boko Haram activities urges the government and international partners to do more in aiding counter measures.

The area of terrorism financing has been ignored by the trend analysts in their newest permutations even when it’s obvious that international culprits out-number the local financiers. They said BVN has helped to curtail it to a reasonable level. However, let us believe that President Muhammadu Buhari’s mission in Jordan on the terrorism summit included bolstering more international cooperation in this area. International cooperation in intelligence gathering is also needed; it has been a war of the military while rendering insignificant the duties of the police and other relevant paramilitary agencies that should collaborate with the local populace and aid meaningful intelligence.

The breathless haste to transform the terror ravaged Northern region to Dubai, has caused efforts towards peace building to be quite minimal. Not even the NEDC Act has significant provision in this area. Effective peace building initiatives would naturally herald a phase of post conflict reconstruction and peaceful voluntary resettlement. The absence of this will breed catastrophe due to waste of resources, forced resettlement and indirect and secondary displacement. The traditional conflict indicators that would usher in post conflict reconstruction like secession of hostilities could mean a different thing in terrorism situation. This, the government has not been able to factor in. Different reports from the government and international community always end up in bogus figures quoting billions of dollars for what has been destroyed and how much it will cost to rebuild, with the developed countries giving periodic warnings to their citizens on the next possible attack and where it may likely take place. What of human lives being lost daily in rural communities? The cause of all these is not far from bad politics around the conflict narratives.

No doubt, we are really tired of sad news but the international media is not. It continues to allot 30 minutes coverage to a lone London bus driver that threatened the lives of many and ended up killing five and injuring 30 people of which two died later in the hospital. With a map of Nigeria and probably the affected area marked in red, a one-minute news of Biu bombing says it all.
Elias Offor.

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Elias Offor
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