In December of 2015 as disguised Boko Haram terrorists kept springing up and bombing unsuspecting victims to death across Maiduguri, we at ENDS released an important national security advisory piece on urgent ways to protect the lives of Nigerians in the north east.
In that article, captioned, “Boko Haram: Time For Nigeria To Invest In Explosives Detection,” we recommended several techniques to detect and avert bombers and emphasized the cheapness of some including insects and animals. Excerpt below:
“It is urgently required for Nigeria to invest in explosives-detection technology for Maiduguri and neighboring cities. We can’t keep just talking and praying. We need bomb sniffing dogs, bees, mice and other biological organisms deployed across Maiduguri. We need explosives trace compounds testing kits to be used by Civilian-JTF and military for operations. Once precursors for home-made explosives are detected on random suspects’ hands, they can be interrogated and lead to their bomb-manufacturing bases ahead of the next deadly carnage.
“While some of these things are expensive, we know many of the tools are quite cheap enough.”
At the time a family of 20 had just been wiped out and this was terribly painful for the entire nation.
Sadly the Nigerian government never seemed to take this advice to heart and nothing was done, but we thank God, the dogs showed themselves as reported in the news on April 2nd this year with a heroic dog notably losing its life saving wedding attendees from a suicide bomber.
At last, four days after the news of the heroic dog hit the headlines, Army chief Tukur Buratai whose headquarters had been relocated to the northeast though he never resided there much, finally deployed army dogs across the state.
In current news, dogs have again performed the needed miracle. According to a report in SaharaReporters media, university staff Abubakar Mohammed said, “They came in through the back door and were prepared to denote the bombs before they were sighted by the dogs which prevented them from unleashing another mayhem on the university community.”
Of course, while we rejoice over the late-stage deployment of dogs across the state, we wish to urge the Nigerian government and military to be proactive. There are several other recommendations from our organisation as published and I am certain from other well meaning individuals. The Nigerian army should treat the people of Maiduguri as though they are their own family, and invest in any and every means that can protect their lives without further delay.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah; @EveryNigerian