Normalcy Bias

I had earlier decided not to comment on the prevailing situations in the country. Preferring only to read and listen to what others are saying. In a quest for objectiveness, I listened to both sides and excused my bias for the common man to see the logic in the government’s reasoning.

Before you discard this as another fuel subsidy conspiracy, may I just crave your indulgence to read a little further? On the very first day of this year, pump price of fuel was hiked again for the umpteenth time in a decade, after an eight day strike that nearly crippled the nation’s economy, the government unilaterally reduced the price and dispatched soldiers to quell dissent that may arise in the land.

The more I think on it, I can’t but admire the president’s vigour and courage first at tackling an imaginary cabal in the oil sector – if they are real, who are they? – thus increasing the pump price of fuel by his resolve not to pay monies to imaginary persons who sell imaginary oil to the nation. Then he acted rather smartly by deploying soldiers to lagos to disengage and crush utterly any uprising by the people of the state.

I applaud the president on that political deftness. however, a nagging problem, that had been before the removal of fuel subsidy was even mooted has yet to be solved. Still, the president moved swiftly to solve an economic problem, rather than that which is on every ones lips… Boko Haram.

Their bombing on independence day just outside the Eagle Square in Abuja in 2010 saw the president shy away from using the national square for independence ceremonies in 2011 and Boko Haram noted that. Their bombing of the police force head quarters in Abuja went without incidence, then they took out the UN building just for fun.

On Christmas day 2011, well coordinated attacks saw three states get bombed. Targets were mainly churches and lots of worshippers lost their lives in the place of worship that day. Still no commendable action, just the forgettable remark ‘…terrorism is a burden we all have to live with…’ A lot was said then and now again will be…

My grouse now is this, our president acted swiftly when he noticed the cash in the government coffers was running low imposing a hike in fuel price and soldiers on the peaceful populace, yet he lacks the same gumption to tackle a problem that has dogged his presidency from inception. Little wonder then that he has seemed continuously clueless as to the antics of the sect that’s rattling the country.

Two days ago the SSS office in Kano was blown to bits along with several other places in the city. For good measure, twin explosions rocked Bayelsa as Boko Haram reduced the country to a segment of a James Bond flick. Now my questions start, the Police headquarters that was bombed last year, did they even gather any intelligence stating that they might be potential targets?

The SSS offices that got blown to bits, did it have any intelligence on the sect. The cohesion and timing of the bombings suggests that these people went through transport channels. With the number of illegal police checkpoints on the roads, how come they didn’t detect the bombs travelling south, or from wherever it originated? How come consistently, no solution has been found to this security problem?

I recall jokes about Jack Bauer coming to save Nigeria from the clutches of the sect and I’ve always wondered, don’t we have our own equivalents of Jack Bauer? Why is it that they can’t seem to anticipate the sect’s moves, quell and capture all its members before they do us all in?

Death toll has risen to above one hundred and fifty according to the papers, so it will be safe to assume, that the deaths the papers neglected to account for will boost that number beyond two hundred. Yet we live our lives as though nothing wrong has happened and every one continues to breathe.

This morning, I realized sadly, that I had put in place mental blocks to filter Boko Haram and their antics off to the government to deal with. But increasingly, like the unknown cabal, this sect seems to have a line on the government thus rendering it impotent in its battle against the sect.

So now that the government cannot quell this senseless destruction of lives (forget the properties) and parts of the nation where the bombings haven’t occurred continue to lead their lives as usual, it makes one wonder; with this systemic fear being ingrained into peoples minds, won’t the name of the country be changed from Nigeria to the Sovereign State of Boko Haram?

PS: What’s the president doing about this recent bombings and how are they working on bringing the perpetrators to book?


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