The 16/6 Blast: More Questions than Answers

2011-06-17
THISDAY Newspaper- Eddy Odivwri

The bomb blast at the Police Headquarters, has, more than anything else, exposed the vulnerability of the Nigerian public to the hunting
malaise of bombings, a new wave of the growing terrorist act in the country. If the Nigeria Police headquarters can become vulnerable to terrorist attacks, then the populace is at best at the mercy of the latest marauders in town.

But the attack itself, shocking as it is, throws up several questions. The theory of Trailing the IG — one of the explanations to the attack is that the attacker on whom the bomb eventually exploded, had trailed the Inspector General’s convoy from the city, right into the premises of the Police Headquarters. So the question is: how can an IG who often moves in a convoy of at least five vehicles be trailed by assailants without the security or back-up vehicles noticing or raising the alarm?

Crashing into the Convoy — How could such an unknown and unidentified driver not only drive so closely to the IG’s convoy, but also be
allowed to gatecrash without being demobilised by the platoon of arms-bearing members of the convoy? What happened to the skill of defensive driving as should be found among drivers of such VIPs? NSA’s Claim — Last Monday, an advertorial that ran in The Guardian
Newspaper, which was a reaction to an editorial comment of THISDAY on security issues in the country, had while protesting the assertion
that “the intelligence gathering ability of the national security services of the country has collapsed”, claimed that, “on June 3,2011,an attempt by a Police officer to bomb the 7th floor of the police headquarters was uncovered and thwarted.”

So if 13 days ago, such an attempt was made, should it not have triggered greater surveillance and alertness within the force, especially at the vortex of the nation’s security organ? Identity Details — Until the advertorial, the news of a suicide bomber in the Police Force had not been publicised.

So what is the identity of the said police officer? What are the highpoints of the statement obtained from him? And even now, what are the registration details of the car used for the bomb attack? No Security Detectors at the Police HQ? —Because the background story of what really happened is yet scant, it is difficult to understand how the Police Headquarters will not have gadgets and equipment that can be used to detect dangerous weapons like guns, bombs etc.

If there are no detectors, why? If there are, how come this bomber was not detected? No Rapid Response Squad? — Preliminary reports have said about 73 cars were razed in the bomb-induced inferno. 73 cars! Does the Police Headquarters not have any fire fighting engine? That 73 cars got burnt only shows that the response level to disaster is slow, even at the Police Headquarters.

Suicide Bombers now in Town? This is perhaps the most worrisome matter arising in this incident. Yes, bomb blasts are gradually becoming part of our story line as a country, but not suicide bombers. That a man will accept to die, just to wreak maximum havoc on the rest of
humanity reminds us of the orgy of violence in places some countries.

 

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