Bomb blasts have taken the central stage as one of the main security challenges in modern Nigeria. The ill-culture of bomb blast started years ago and until recently, Nigerians have never had a rethink on the tone it will take in the future. In those days when there was any case of bomb blast in any of the Nigerian cities, it was generally linked to a military set-up. The simple understanding behind this thought is that, only the military personals have the training as well as the technical proficiency to plant and detonate explosives without leaving traces. In the recent, civilians have shown that they too have the profound ability to carry out criminal acts which, by nature, are similar to military operations. The amnesty given to troubled youths in the Niger-Delta as a means of initiating developmental programmes in the region, exposed a huge amount of arms of different kinds on the Nigerian soil which include rocket-launchers. This shows that, not only the military have access to arms but also civilians. The issue now becomes too complex to handle as citizens sometimes avoid going to public functions of questionable or controversial themes.
From 1999 (which Nigeria was ushered into the circle of democratic nations) to date, there have been series of bomb blasts at different times and locations in Nigeria. These include Abuja Independence Bomb blast, Jos Christmas Eve Bomb blasts, Bayelsa South-South post amnesty conference bomb blast, and the recent Suleja Bomb blast in the political rally of the Peoples Democratic Party in Niger state. All these can be categorized into three groups.
The first is Political Bomb Blasts- this involves the detonation of explosives to disrupt political activities like rallies, conferences of other political parties or opponents within a party. The recent Suleja bomb blast which took place during a political rally is an example of this kind. The second type is Religious Bomb Blasts. This one is closely linked with the religious intolerance among the practitioners of different religious sects or groups in Nigeria. The Jos Christmas Eve bombings which took place at different worship centres on 24th December, 2010, fall in this category. The third is more or less like a Conditional Bomb Blast. This one is mostly carried out due to failed interest in the demands of a particular group. They are mostly used as threats to force the government to meet certain unlawful demands for a group. For example, the bombings in the Niger-Delta demanding the release of Okah and other militants under SSS custody, fall in this category.
The incessant explosions in Nigerian cities have grievous implications on the security system of the nation as many people are fast loosing (or have already lost) confidence in the nation’s civil security system. The presidency has constituted a terrorist squad to work hand-in-hand with State’s Security Service (SSS) to arrest this before it goes in top-gear. However, there have not been reports on their operations to ensure that this ill-culture of bombing is soon to end.
At the moment, it can be assumed that terrorist act relating to bomb explosions are linked to two paramount sources: Politics and religion. The third one (Conditional bomb blasts) discussed above is however on a low tune. Since the nation is in the era of rebranding, swift actions should be taken by government to ensure a safe political and religious atmosphere for citizens. This will not only promotes the nation’s positive image but will also guarantee development for economic progress.