In the fight against terrorism and insurgency the federal government under the leadership of the newly appointed minister of the federal capital territory broadcasted online and real time a memo informing the general public especially those who go to either of the following places; the mosque, church or market (which happens to be, let me see; more than 99% of Abuja's citizens) to be careful. In summary the conversation would be like “be careful because the bokoharam is on to you” “who exactly?” “I don’t know, maybe you! just know that they might look like beautiful ladies giving aids.” This was supposed to help the public. But I believe it did more harm.

The fight against terrorism and insurgency is not just about saving people from an untimely death physically but also mentally. It’s not just saving the country from being blown to ruins but also saving the spirit of this nation. That is if I can get you to think that you are not safe, get you to always look over your shoulders, I really don’t have to attack you; you would attack yourselves. Your social life would shut down, your revenue, your creativity and sometimes your spirituality. This is the major reason the terrorist broadcast their message through the social media to spread fear and panic. With this memo, the cause terrorism is being helped rather than curbed. The essence of terrorist groups owning up to their atrocities and putting out threats like these, is to gain 'relevance' and get their name to strike awe in people.

As a parent asking your children for money to do anything has to be your last resort. So also as leaders involving the public like this should be the last resort. New York was threatened in the wake of the Paris attack, they denied the threat but doubled their security over night, today its alleged that they keep a 24 hour watch on the members of the  suspected ISIS faithful living in their country; 500 more officers were needed to achieve this. Even if we don’t have the numbers like the American’s, then work with the leaders and if you cant then, approach the citizens differently, work with the radio and television stations tell people something like “congratulations for making it to December, I believe we would all be in January but please be careful, be vigilant, we can defeat terrorism together, God bless Nigeria” and then repeat it as much as you can in the media, until it sinks in, just like Senator Ben Bruce common sense campaign.

This was an un-intentional mistake. But, remember the road to hell is laced up with good intentions. Mistakes are mistakes, they are not you. We believe in you. We believe in Nigeria.


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By the way I am just a bystander 

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