- 3 commissioners suspended for improper dressing in Ebonyi
- CBN issues two new merchant bank licences
- Ekiti PDP accuses ACN of attacking members
- Daniel eulogises HID Awolowo at 97
- Jonathan hails Koroma's re-election
- Collapsed man: Edo dep gov threatens Airhiavbere
- Communal clash: Police arrest gang leader, 12 others in Nasarawa
- Corruption: There ‘ll be no sacred cow - Jonathan
- Amosun’s wife tasks students on reading culture
- Flooding: Dangote committee sets N50bn target
- Adamawa LG election conducted peacefully
- 1999 Constitution: Women group calls for amendment to gender-biased provisions
Mutallab: A year after
A year ago (December 25, 2009), a promising young man Mutallab Farouk from a privileged Nigerian family shook the world with his dastardly but failed attempt to detonate a parceled bomb aboard a Deltan-NorthWest Airlines flight 235 billed to land in Detroit in the US on Xmas day when most Christians all over the world celebrated the birth of Christ.
With that singular sinful act, coming from a country only known for internal religious unrest, much dust was raised across the world because of the seeming ignominious nature of the act to the Western world. Expectedly, the hash reaction of American government which made a diplomatic row out of the situation, fanned the ember of suspicion which later developed into global insinuation.
In spite of the damaging nature of the act, Nigeria, by most people’s calculation could not be tagged a terrorist country—a fact made clear by the fact that there was no evidence, at the time of the incident, linking Farouk’s act to any group or individual in Nigeria.
With American reaction however, Nigeria became a cynosure of every eyes, the already battered image of the country became worse for it while America which was still battling the global scourge of terrorism, placed the country amongst those on the dreaded terrorist list, leaving the country in a position of defence. To worsen the situation, on April 27 last year, a chilling video of Farouk training at Al Qaeda camp was posted on abcnews.go.com. The video included a warning recitation from the Koran, which read; “God said those who punish you must be punished.” The training, according to the report, was done in Yemen, a volatile Islamic country.
The video elicited a debate with the thematic concern, deliberately, as it were, centered on the growing years of the then 23-year-old Farouk most of which, facts revealed, were spent outside the shores of Nigeria. The defence then was, that the brainwashing which metamorphosed into hatred which Micron says “is toxic waste in the river of life” was not done in Nigeria exonerated the country from the terrorist accusation.
As the war to remove Nigeria from the terrorist list rages on, mother-luck however, smiled on Nigeria when it came to notice that the father of the culprit, Alhaji Umar Mutallab had earlier on officially visited the US Embassy in Abuja to inform the US of the suspicious secret activities of his son which he complained tilted towards terrorism. Although, America did not give in to the report, that it admitted that the report was made, gave Nigeria some moments of respite. It gave it a stronger line of argument making the issue more of a personal misdemeanor than state crime which is more grievous and which attracts serious global condemnation. It portrays America as a careless country which most times builds the monsters that often turn round to haunt same country. With that, America slightly suffered from temporary isolation as the world began to reason that the God’s own country was suffering from the sins imposed on itself. It is most times easy for instance for many countries of the world to trace the evil roots of some of the world acclaimed terrorists to America and allusion is often made to the country’s seeming misadventure to Iraq.
With Obama, the Afro-American president, it was easy in the heat of that moment for most countries especially from the black continent to insinuate America’s quick response to Nigeria’s distress call over the terrorist listing. Amongst things they perhaps considered then as major factors were Nigeria’s position in Africa and its economic value to the west. More to it was the impressive stance of the Federal government on issues relating to terrorist attack in any part of the world. Although, some religious motivated skirmishes have on several occasions given the country out as a country sentimentally sensitive to religious matter, that itself, by the country’s estimate, was still not enough to give the country a terrorist tag.
However, with the sinister incident now being replicated in form of internal terrorism in Nigeria at almost the same time with that of Abdulmuttallab—on the eve of Xmas, there seems open another round of controversy over our status as a terrorist free nation. It not only placed doubt on our ability to perfectly handle our internal affairs in a terrorist infested world, but also beclouds the nation’s seeming commitment to the rebranding project of the former Minister of Information, Professor Dora Akunyili which was designed to redeem the country’s battered image, using the parameter of personal reformation through rigorous moral campaign via the media.
Just a few days ago, and unfortunately though, a replica of a dastardly act of brigandage that occurred in Abuja at the venue of the nations independence celebration repeated itself in Jos, Plateau state when bomb detonated killed well over 84 people with several others injured. Although, it was not clear the real target of the brigands, the timing and the claim of responsibility by some muslim fundamentalists makes it thought provoking. Claiming responsibility for the act, the group, Jama’atu AhlusSunnah Lidda’AwatiWal Jihad, said, “be informed that verily the attacks in Suldaniyya [Jos] and Borno on the eve of Christmas were carried out by us, to start avenging the atrocities committed against Muslims in those areas, and the country in general”. The tone of the unrepentant statement, apart from alluding to more of such danger ahead, shows a high level of religious intolerance while the response by some of the international communities in form of an alert to their citizens to be security conscious and be wary of the happenings in the troubled areas shows a disapproval of whatever security system the Federal government claimed to have put in place. It tells much about the possibility of a failed desire to completely change the western world’s perception about the country being susceptible to terrorists’ manipulations.Share