Yesterday a bomb exploded at the police headquarters in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria. Several hours afterwards, a bomb exploded in Damboa, Borno State, near the city of Maiduguri which is the stronghold of the rebel movement Boko Haram. Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the Abuja attack and appears to be responsible for the Damboa bombing as well. Here are a few quick thoughts on what these events mean:
- One motivation for the attack was the escalating rhetorical war between the police and Boko Haram. On Tuesday, Inspector General of Police Hafiz Ringim stated his intention to destroy Boko Haram. The Abuja attack, which may have been targeting Ringim’s convoy, could be a response to Ringim’s words. Vanguard writes: “Boko Haram, in a statement in Hausa, declared that dialogue with President Goodluck Jonathan had collapsed because of the statements by Ringim and Governor Kashim Shettima during the donation of the 10 personnel armoured carriers, APCs, by the Borno State Government to fight them.”
- The government’s responseis already pointing in the direction of more force. Vanguard again: “The Federal Government has directed the immediate establishment of a Special Joint Military Task Force specifically to tackle the Boko Haram crises in the North with Maiduguri in Borno State as headquarters of the task force. The task force to be headed by a Major General of the Armoured Corps would comprise the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Airforce, Nigeria Police and the Department State Security, SSS. Already Vanguard gathered that about 200 operatives of the SSS have arrived Maiduguri, 300 officers of the Nigeria Airforce, 300 officers of the Nigeria Navy and 500 soldiers of the Army have landed, with their Force Commander, ready to be deployed for action.”
Elizabeth Dickinson has more.