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Multiple bomb attacks on Christmas day 2011 in Nigeria: call for action

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We, the concerned citizens of Nigeria, wish to draw the attention of the president of the federal republic of Nigeria, and the entire international community to tragic multiple bomb attacks in at least 4 cities of Nigeria on Christmas day, 25th December, 2011. Scores of people have been left dead, and the number of casualties keep growing. Hundreds of families are left in mourning, and the entire nation is left in deep shock. We observe that: 1. Bomb attacks by the terrorist group called Boko Haram have been carried out for a couple of years now, and this year the group has grown increasingly confident, carrying out their attacks with greater sophistication and precision, reaching all the way to sensitive targets in the federal capital territory, Abuja; 2. The Boko Haram group warned about two weeks ago that they will attack targets on Christmas day, and the security agencies have shown themselves incapable of dealing effectively with the situation, by means of intelligence gathering and adequate measures to prevent the spate of bombing attacks on innocent citizens 3. The federal government has done very little to show that it is seriously concerned about the Boko Haram threat, or that it indeed understands the gravity of the threat posed by Boko Haram to the integrity of the federal republic of Nigeria. Today, while foreign media outlets from Aljazeera to BBC and CNN were carrying the news, and thousands of Nigerians were overwhelmed with mourning and shock, the Nigeria national network, the NTA, was more concerned about showing the images of President Goodluck Jonathan dancing to singing rhythms in church. Thereater, what we have from the president and other spokespersons of the government were empty platitudes, repititions of tired phrases, devoid of the most basic sense of concern or care. In the light of the foregoing, we call for: 1. The immediate sack of the National Security Adviser and the Inspector General of Police, among other personnels, for the continued tragic failure in their primary responsibilities to protect lives and properties of the citizens of the federal republic of Nigeria. Their positions are totally untenable now, and getting rid of them will be only a little sign that the government at least understand the gravity of the problem. 2. Prompt arrest of those involved, directly and indirectly in the recent bomb plots, and quick inauguration of special courts for speedy trial of suspects. 3. The international community, especially the African Union, to assist in pressuring the government of Goodluck Jonathan to come to grips with the grave security situation and take concrete action to secure the lives of citizens, and bring speedy justice to the mindless elements who have continued with impunity to unleash fear and terror on the nation.  

4. A speedy inauguration of the sovereign national conference of ethnic nationalities, which has been much talked about for many years, but continually ignored by successive governments. The current security situation, which has continued to grow worse over the years, is a fundamental indication that this important issue can not be ignored or set aside for much longer, and it is preferred that different ethnic nationalities come to the round table to discuss the terms of their nation-being rather than take a recourse to the use of arms, with much bloodshed in the wake, to resolve the national question. The present reality is that the process is already hijacked by militant and terrorist groups in different parts of the country using only the instrument of brute violence to propagate their ideas. There is little time left for the government to retake control of the process by calling for a round table conference. The choice is between a peaceful conference led by rational people or guerilla warfare spearheaded by mindless rogues and terrorists.  Thank you.


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