Tuesday, 4 November 2014

A Possible Clue To Terrorism in Nigeria

TERRORISM by its very nature disrupts international peace and security through premeditated, political violence.
I shall now use the United States as a case study following the 11th September attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon which disrupted the global economy. The attacks spawned and facilitated widespread personal fear, panic and economic dislocation.

According to the United Nations Security Council, one of the objectives of terrorists was to create a state of global anarchy by means of influencing the conduct of governments vis-a-vis intimidation and coercion.

There are no efforts to integrate conflict and consensus paradigms of social process, which are rooted in the intuitive insight that in all human interaction, one can discover patterns of both collaboration and conflict.

The task for government is to discover when people will collaborate and when they will fight. In other words, the control and regulation of collaboration and conflict in the common interest posed a significant problem. Make no mistake, law is a major – indeed a massive – instrument of social control.

The relationship of law to the process of effective power is an entirely relevant datum. Critical, however, is the belief that the formal foundations of the process of checks and balances of effective power arc reflected in constitutive arrangements. The relevance of power over constitutionalism was accentuated.

Since 2010 when a bomb was detonated in Abuja, political tensions have heightened immeasurably throughout Nigeria. As the fear of terrorism becomes a part of life for many around the world, various nations have become implicated in these fears. Questions of the role of Islam in terrorist activities have featured on the lips of many people – those who profess other faiths. Particularly since 9/11, official United States discourse , for example, has tended to deploy simultaneously universal human rights rhetoric to justify actions outside the United States and an idea about U.S. sovereignty as uniquely (culturally) democratic or particular in its constitutional structure to deny the legitimacy of international scrutiny of the actions of the United States.

Economic liberalisation and subsequent inequality due to expanding globalisation motivates terrorists by providing them with sufficient preconditions for terrorism attacks. To name a few, faster and cheaper communications, accessibility to informational resources, elimination of trans-national borders, advanced transportation and transfer capacities in fact enable the spread of powerful technologies. At that, globalisation really worsens the threat of terrorism attacks – with particular reference to the United States.

Subsequently, no single state in Nigeria calling to mind the recent bombing at Apapa, a Lagos suburb has acquired immunity guarantee from either overseas or domestic bio-terror attacks. Nigerian security agencies certainly have a task here which is to permanently monitor densely populated and highly visible targets to prevent any attempt of possible terror attack . For instance, in recent years, anthrax hoaxes consisting of letters with powdered substances enclosed, and mailed to various facilities, endangered numerous US communities; this is what we are all living witnesses to and would , in any case , never forget in a hurry.

After September 9/11 attacks the security measures in the United States are tougher than ever. One of the first measures taken by USA was passing the USA Patriot Act on October 26, 2001, and later Homeland Security Act of 2002, in response to the terrorist attacks against the United States, which dramatically expanded the authority of American law enforcement for the stated purpose of fighting terrorism at home and abroad. It has also been used to detect and prosecute other alleged potential crimes, such as providing false information on terrorism. Nigeria must take her cue from this if the war on terror is anything to go by. In other words, we must fight terror beyond our territorial borders.

In the United States, the Homeland Security Act of 2002 is deemed unconstitutional, since it had imperiled a number of civil liberties, including: the rights to freedom of speech, religion, assembly and privacy; the rights to counsel and due process; and protection from unreasonable searches and seizures. But it has in deed become absolutely necessary to forestall future terrorist attacks. Sometimes rights could be infringed upon during emergencies. But we find President Jonathan’s government wanting in this. Urgent step must be taken to correct this, for a drastic problem , they say , requires a drastic solution, if we all need reminding. Nigeria will not be the first country on the globe that would be curtailing civil liberties in order to save lives and property.

Consequently, the war on terror widely supported by international community necessitated every country of the world to stay alert and develop anti-terror measures in close cooperation with its counterparts. Such measures cannot remain declarative for long as the threat is just around the corner. Therefore, firm multilateral actions are much needed to pursue and prevent the causes of global terrorism.

I shall conclude here by positing that economic liberalisation and subsequent inequality due to expanding globalisation motivate terrorists by providing them with sufficient preconditions for bioterrorism attacks. Apparently, bioterrorism presents global threat to all world countries, including domestic communities, households, and workplaces. Politicians, especially those in the main opposition parties, need to briddle their tongues and refrain from inciteful statements capable of heating up the polity.

• Darlington writes from Turin, Italy. (jamestmichael2003@yahoo.com)

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