Saturday, 1 October 2011

Will Nigeria's 51st Independence Day Celebrations be marred by Security Fears?

This year as Nigeria celebrates its 51 years of independence the spotlight has been snatched from the celebrations themselves following a declaration by the Nigerian Government that this year's celebrations will be low-keyed.

Focus has now shifted to the real reasons why the Nigerian Government decided to declare this year's ceremonies, low-keyed.

Although the Nigerian Government has vehemently denied that their decision was in anyway influenced by security threats facing the nation, no one believes them. 

Speculation is rife about the real reasons for declaring this year's celebration should be low-keyed. One theory favoured by national daily newspapers in Nigeria is the security threat faced from fundamentalist groups.

Nigeria - Bomb Blast Scene

In a move to clear the air and allay any fears, Nigeria's Information Minister Labaran Maku, dismissed any suggestions made by Nigerian daily newspapers that low-keyed celebrations were prompted by security fears. 

He stated that the real reasons are the corpus amounts of money they spent on May 29th (Democracy Day) and the golden jubilee Independence Anniversary last year.

But was anybody listening to Labaran? Not surprisingly no; as only 24 hrs. before the events, security forces flooded Abuja, the Federal Capital of Nigeria. 

Nigeria Police Force (NPF) deployed helicopters to patrol air space over the Federal Capital Territory while maintaining a round-the-clock patrol of the city by the Army, Navy, Air force and Mobile Police.

The Nigerian Government went as far as ordering security forces to clear roads in and around Abuja of all broken down vehicles, just the kind targets that might act as magnets for suicide bombers.

Nigeria faces real security threats from groups like the Boko Haram sect and Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta, MEND. Who have demonstrated through acts of terrorism that they must be taken seriously.

Whatever the real reasons are for declaring the ceremonies low-keyed;
If you live in Nigeria will you be celebrating Independence Day this year?
Are you too scared to venture outside on the day?

(Or if you are reading this after the events did you celebrate Independence Day 2011, Were you too scared to venture outside?)

Your opinion is very highly valued. Please leave your feedback or comment. I am always pleased to read your views and will reply personally.

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