Taraba and the tentacles of terror

Kenechukwu Obiezu

Kenechukwu Obiezu

The cyclone of terror sweeping through Nigeria with chilling alacrity appears to have no intention of stopping anytime soon. In fact, if anything, it is evolving, showing a ruthless drive to devastate places it is yet to reach.

As Nigeria`s security continues to come apart at the seams, there is no doubt that there are some parts of the country that have been hit harder than others. When in about 2009 Boko Haram launched its onslaught of terror on Nigeria, Borno State was its launch pad. It was from one of Nigeria`s most iconic states that the terrorists began to wage war against the Nigerian state. For them, success has swiftly and certainly meant expansion, and indeed  they  have succeeded in spreading their tentacles

Like a giant odious octopus, terror is gradually fastening its tentacles into Taraba State, Nature gift to Nigeria. The chilling attacks which swept up  Manga in Takum Local Government Area in November 2021 leaving at least eleven people including a traditional ruler dead and many others displaced  were followed by two explosions in April 2022 which left scores dead and displaced.

On May 10, 2022, again terrorists fell upon Tati village in Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State. In the attacks, no fewer than 40 persons were killed   including six soldiers of the 93 battalion while the whereabouts of the commanding officer remained unknown. Explosions also rocked the headquarters of 6 Brigade of the Nigerian Army in Jalingo on the same date although no life was lost.

As the war against terror has raged in Nigeria, the Nigerian military has continued to cup tremendous losses. Every other day, when soldiers go out to confront terrorist as they operate in different parts of the country, many of them pay the supreme price, leaving their heartbroken families stranded in the treacherous terrain that the country has become. The toll that this continues to take on  the men of the Nigerian military and their morale cannot properly be quantified.

It has become all too obvious that Taraba State which used to know very little by way of terrorist attacks is gradually becoming the epicenter of terrorist activities in Nigeria.The signs are ominous indeed.

When Boko Haram began to operate in Nigeria much to the horror of Nigerians who had not seen anything like it, its operations were limited to Borno. It has since spread to Yobe State as well as other states close to Borno State. Its splinter group, ISWAP has proven similarly devastating.

Boko Haram has been a kind of a forerunner for terrorism in Nigeria. With its activities showing the soft underbelly of the Nigerian state, other terrorist groups in the country have since had a field day, killing innumerable people and razing entire villages to the ground. These terrorist groups have shown no signs of slowing down.

Insecurity has no doubt become the greatest challenge confronting Nigeria as a country today. As the good people of Taraba State are gradually but painfully finding out, insecurity poses a different and infinitely more difficult kind of challenge than the hunger that relentlessly gnaws at stomachs.

No  effort must be spared in ensuring that  Taraba State is not turned into the theatre of terror in Nigeria so that Nature`s Gift to the Nation does not become terror`s gift to the nation.

Kene Obiezu,

keneobiezu@gmail.com.

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