Latest information that the deadly global terrorist group, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), has found Nigeria a fertile ground for the training of its ‘battle-ready’ extremists is a terrible piece of information. According to reports by the United Kingdom-based Sun newspaper, ISIS Jihadists were sneaking fighters from Syria into Nigeria for training and possible attacks on Nigeria and some European countries. It was also reported that Boko Haram terrorists, who had since pledged allegiance to the ISIS, were already undergoing training from the deadly group, while some of the Boko Haram fighters have already been sent to the Middle East for training in an exchange programme.
Already, the Federal Government is not taking the information lightly. It has ordered extra security at its air and sea ports. The Jihadists had through a threat letter from Al-Abd al-Faquir Media, a pro-ISIS media organization, sent a letter of alert to appropriate organs of government. This is good development.
But the worrisome aspect is when one juxtaposes this piece of information with confirmed account of our political leaders and security top shots concerning the nation’s porous borders. Account of what transpired recently during elections in the country have shown that aliens have always had easy access to our voting processes, especially in the northern parts of the country. Account of journalists who had travelled to the far northern parts of the country, show that it is difficult to discern a Nigerian from an alien in such places. The cultural and religious affinity of people around such areas do not help matters.
It should be recalled that after the Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram pledged allegiance to ISIS, notwithstanding the factionalisation of the group, it protends serious threat to the fragile peace already being built by the government in communities ravaged by the Boko Haram. Compounding such with this very debilitating piece of information adds salt to injury.
The level of carnage and destruction in Iraq and Syria, brought about by ISIS is not one any country dreams to experience. ISIS kill in a most brutal manner, they destroy homes and semblance of human existence and install extremely stiff draconian ideologically-based rules in areas captured by them. The Syria and Iraqi governments have not known peace since ISIS started their onslaught in the Middle East.
Activities of Boko Haram since 2000, are enough headache that has consumed men and material resources. To add ISIS terrorists to the Boko Haram headache is a more frightening scenario altogether.
That is why the security agencies must op their ante in terms of intelligence gathering and ability to respond quickly to crisis situations. The level of killings in the country, particularly in the Middle Belt shows clearly that the information from the Al-Abd al-Faquir Media must be dissected with all the seriousness it deserves. It is not one to be waved aside or dismissed outrightly. If we juxtapose the information with the level of mindless killings witnessed recently in parts of the country, then one would not be mistaken to say that the leadership of the nation’s security apparatuses must readjust and be more serious with their assignments.
A situation where immigration officials claim that the vast circumference of the country makes it tough to properly checkmate illegal immigration, should no longer be tolerated. On its part, other security agencies, particularly the Police and the Department of State Security (DSS), must improve on their intelligence gathering propensities. They must also improve on the response rate to crises situations and strengthen their ability to prosecute apprehended felons.
A situation where prosecutors bungle their assignments should no longer be tolerated. It is recommended that before any arrest could be made, the arresting security agency must conduct due diligence and wrap up concrete evidence against suspects, before moving in to arrest alleged felons. They must also wrap up and block sources through which prosecution of suspects had become a tall order. It is becoming too embarrassing that law enforcement agencies find it almost extremely difficult to file charges against supposed suspects, and it is even more difficult successfully prosecuting such people.
With the boasts by ISIS to attack the country, The AUTHORITY strongly believes there is the urgent need for total overhaul of bother the investigation and prosecution arms of the various security agencies. Recruitment processes of these agencies are at the root of the problems being faced by the country in this regard. Recent rumour of money-for-promotion being bandied around security agencies are the worst form of corruption and goes to the very root of the matter. Where both the recruitment and rewarding systems of these agencies are flawed, the consequences are better imagined than experienced. There is therefore the need to act well and do what it right and there is no time for prevarications any loner.