USA’s SECURITY ALERT: TO HURT OR TO HEAL?
By Oki Samson, Trek Africa Newspaper
Security is a top interest for humanity. This is why the United States will issue a security alert to warn her Nigerian-based citizens to beware of Abuja, the nation’s federal capital.
But this idea is suspect. USA had, by this action, forced fear and terror down the throats of Nigerians rather than dissuade fear from her own citizens based in Nigeria.
Many times, USA behaves like a frienemy than a friend. God forbid, let’s assume that a terrorist attack indeed happened in Abuja, how many American businessmen, diplomats and so on would have quickly jetted out in those few days. But those few days were enough for many Nigerians to panic while some others quickly heaped blames and cast aspersions on themselves and the government.
Well equiped Nigerian Security Personnel
It seems USA’s gain from this entire saga is to rubbish Nigeria’s efforts at providing security for her citizenry, West African neighbors, and the international community.
If USA has obtained insecurity threats, by virtue of its superior military technology and machinery, aren’t there protocols for her to help Nigeria by providing Intelligence?
Shouldn’t USA communicate security information to Nigerian authorities? Couldn’t USA do better before going public with alert?
Well, if USA has the right to issue a security alert to her citizens, Nigeria has a responsibility to her citizens to promote public order and peace.
On the same day, 23rd October 2022 that USA’s security advisory first emerged, the Department of State Security (DSS) issued a press release through its National PRO, Peter Afunanya. National Association of Online Security News Publishers, NAOSNP gathered ‘The Department of State Services (DSS) has received several enquiries relating to the security advisory issued by the US Embassy in Abuja, today, 23/10/22. The public may recall that the Service had variously issued similar warnings in the past. While advising that necessary precautions are taken by all and sundry, the populace is enjoined to remain alert and assist security agencies with useful information regarding threats and suspicious criminal acts around them. Meanwhile, the Service calls for calm as it works with other law enforcement agencies and stakeholders to maintain peace and order in and beyond Abuja’.
Other efforts by security agencies have emerged since. The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor assured Nigerians while noting ‘we need more support from citizens’.
The Nigerian Army added ‘we are devoted in protecting the lives of Nigerians in Abuja and across Nigeria’.
The Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba hinted that USA should have shared Intel first with Nigeria as a strong diplomatic ally rather than send panic to the public.
To calm nerves, the National Security Council again held a meeting to address the same issue recently. There, the National Security Adviser to the President, Babagana Monguno noted that Nigeria is not lax on security issues as ‘we are trying as much as possible to work with our neighbors and foreign partners in a responsible way.’
The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor also proved by recent gallantry of the 221 Battalion troops in Niger state ‘which led to the neutralization of the attackers and their vehicles laden with IEDs and other items.’
Nigerians need to be patriotic and support the efforts of government to provide security. The gallantry of the armed forces at the frontlines is enough for Nigerians to file behind her government. Not every issue is an opportunity to play politics of animosity and lash out at government.
No nation can absorb Nigerians if security fails.
USA must do better in her relationship with bilateral partners like Nigeria. She needs to learn that when you do good by others, you are also doing good for yourself.
The international community, at large, needs to jointly tackle terrorism not fuel it intentionally or inadvertently by speeches, actions, and inactions.