Nigeria: People Demand Protection From The Police


August 12, 2012: The Boko Haram violence (which has left over 1,600 dead in the last three years) has caused a national uproar over the general lack of law and order throughout the country and the continuing government corruption that is at the core of all that is wrong in the country. Over 40 percent of the Boko Haram related deaths have occurred this year and there is growing popular anger all over the nation.

U.S. officials are urging Nigeria to reorganize its counter-terrorism effort and combine their intelligence collecting. Currently, several different intelligence agencies (for the army, the police and so on) operate independently and only occasionally pool information. The U.S. also urges the government to do more about corruption, especially in the north, where the pervasive corruption sustains support for Boko Haram. While Nigeria is inclined to accept the "intelligence fusion" idea (especially since the U.S. will provide equipment and advisors), cracking down on government corruption will cause morale problems in the civil service (especially the police and army). Nevertheless, a growing number of Nigerians are convinced that only a reduction in the corruption and criminal behavior in general will save the country from disintegration and chaos.

In southern Kogi state police have arrested at least twenty people in connection with recent shootings at a church, a mosque and a police checkpoint.  Those arrested include government employees and local politicians. Boko Haram has not claimed responsibility for these attacks. Boko Haram does not usually operate in this largely Christian area.

As expected, police in the north are being accused of brutality as they search for Boko Haram. The cops will try and beat information out of civilians on the spot and will often steal items while searching homes or vehicles. The police also have an attitude that they are above the law, which is usually true. Soldiers are not much better, but the police are the worst, especially after some of them have been killed.

August 11, 2012: In the north (Kano) police found a Boko Haram bomb workshop and seized twelve bombs, bomb making material, ammunition and some weapons. The police received a tip from one of the many Moslems up north who oppose the Islamic radicals.

August 9, 2012: In the northeastern city of Maiduguri police raided a Boko Haram safe house and seized several assault rifles, a machine-gun and much ammunition.

In southern Kogi state police have imposed a curfew in an attempt to halt Boko Haram violence.

August 7, 2012: In the south (Kogi State) gunmen killed three people in a mosque. This was believed to be a revenge attack for a recent attack on a church in the north. Nearby, an army patrol was attacked and two soldiers killed, along with two of the attackers.

August 6, 2012: In the south (Kogi State) gunmen attacked a church and killed 19 people.

Boko Haram released a video on the Internet where is claimed that someone was committing crimes (unspecified) in the name of the Islamic terror group. Boko Haram also said it would not negotiate with the government and called on the Christian president of the country to convert to Islam. President Johnson refused to convert and insisted that Boko Haram would be crushed. But the president is under growing political pressure because of the growing violence and failures in fighting corruption.

August 5, 2012: In the north (Yobe State) Boko Haram gunmen went to the home of a state official and killed him, and then went to the nearby home of a retired official as well. Police arrived and the gunmen fled the neighborhood. Elsewhere in Yobe, (Damaturu) a suicide car bomber attacked a checkpoint, killing six policemen, two civilians and himself.

August 4, 2012: Pirates attacked an oil company barge off the coast, killed the two sailors guarding it and kidnapping the four foreign (Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia and Thailand) workers on board.

August 3, 2012: In the north a Boko Haram suicide bomber attempted to murder a tribal leader (the Emir of Fika who was also the head of the Council of Leaders in Yobe State). Tribal leaders tend to be part of the establishment, even though most oppose the corrupt government bureaucracy, and are hostile to Boko Haram. Thus the Islamic radicals want these Islamic leaders dead or coerced into compliance. This attack, outside a mosque, and was foiled by the Emir's bodyguards. The bomber was killed and three people wounded.  

In the northeastern city of Maiduguri explosions and gunfire could be heard as police searched for Boko Haram and found some of them.


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