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Abuja Residents Seek Hijab Ban

Following last weekend’s twin bomb attacks that claimed several lives at Kuje and Nyanya suburbs of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), residents of Kuje area council have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to placing a full ban on the wearing of hijab (Islamic veil).

A visit to Kuje community, by The UNION, revealed that the area has become very calm but barricaded by security personnel, while people have returned to their normal businesses.

However, some residents who spoke with The UNION said the reason it had become difficult to ensure security is because most young ladies used for suicide attacks wore long hijab like others.

According to him, since it seems that terrorists now use young girls in suicide missions, and they all wear the long hijab, it would be difficult to identify any one that is a threat to the people.

“I believe that the only way to successfully fight this insurgency, apart from the military checkpoints and other stop and check operations, the government should put a ban on the wearing of the long hijab that is worn by most Muslim ladies.

“Like in Kuje, before the bomb blast, I used to see young ladies wearing long hijab, but I did not believe that young girls will be used for bomb blast in Kuje. The government should tackle this insecurity from the unexpected levels, which is banning hijab in Nigeria pending the end of insurgency,” he said.

Another resident, Ms. Esther Jacob, a trader whose shop was close to the scene of the bomb attack in Kuje, also argued that if hijab was not banned, it would be difficult for the people to assist government in the fight against insurgency.

“If a young lady is wearing a vest of explosives inside a long hijab, there are no way you will be able to know. But, if the person is wearing simple clothes, it will be easy for you to notice and call the attention of security agencies. “The government should know that this is no longer a religious affair, but the affairs of everybody.

If this insurgency should be tackled effectively, it should start from the smallest aspect, irrespective of religious affiliation. Like checking the clothes people are wearing and bags people are carrying. With this, there will be peace and security in Nigeria,” she said.

Most other residents spoken to said the veil now offers cover to girls used as suicide bombers to move freely. A trader who did not want his name in print told The Union that “Nigeria should borrow a leaf from Chad and ban the use of hijab in public places.

They can wear it indoors but not on the streets because all the little girls they use in bombing public places hide the bombs under their veils”. It will be recalled that Chadian President, Idriss Deby, last June, banned the wearing of the face veil in public places as a measure to check activities of terrorists.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has been enjoined to overhaul the Directorate of State Services (DSS) to enable the services to meet the peculiar security demand of the moment and the future of Nigeria. Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) made the demand in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, who said the intelligence gatherings of the DSS was pathetic as it could not analyze suspicious tweets predicting last Fridays attack.

According to the PDP: “We urge President Buhari, as a matter of urgency, to take a critical look at the situation in the DSS, overhaul its management, administration and operations to ensure that the required leadership and spirit needed to operate optimally exists in the agency. The PDP which stressed that it’s call on the President was not politically motivated but situated in the public interest.

“The situation with the DSS has become so pathetic that it could not even effectively analyze reported suspicious tweets “predicting the attacks” as a cue to forestall last Friday’s attack in Abuja and other parts of the country. “We wish to note that our position is beyond politics. Security is a matter that concerns all Nigerians irrespective of political, religious and ethnic affiliation and must be taken seriously in the general interest of our dear nation.

“This nation belongs to all of us and we, as citizens and critical stakeholders must join hands, irrespective of our political differences, to ensure that we give the Federal Government the required support in the fight against terrorism in our country” The Peoples Democratic Party further stated that it was with deep sadness and concern that it notes the resurgence of terrorism and renewed attacks on the Federal Capital Territory, with last Friday’s bombings in Nyanya and Kuje satellite towns of the territory.

Moreso that the Abuja coordinated attacks came just as the nation was already celebrating the success of our security forces in their efforts to rout terrorists, indicates either a fact of dereliction of duty or sabotage against the anti-terrorism fight.

The party said it remained steadfast in “our commitment to support each and every policy adopted by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari aimed at ending terrorism,” especially knowing the importance of secured environment in achieving peaceful co-existence, an imperative for development.

And whereas we are aware that a bomb is an ill-wind that blows no good to anybody in the community, scaring away potential investors, we are therefore duty bound to draw attention to certain grave factors, possibly leading to the unfortunate resurgence, which, if unchecked could worsen the ugly situation.

Our checks reveal that poor intelligence gathering by the Department of State Services (DSS) and other relevant intelligence group is largely, if not directly responsible for the resurgence of terrorists, who have earlier been pushed to the precipices in the Sambisa forest in Borno state, to the extent that they have slipped back into other cities, including the nation’s capital.

From all indications, the DSS under the watch of the current Director- General, Alhaji Lawal Daura does not seem to be in full grip of the intelligence situation.

This is apparently traceable to the avoidable distractions occasioned by the flagrant use of the agency for political assignments since the emergence of the new Director- General, in addition to the apparent administrative disharmony within the service, all resulting in the erosion of professionalism, harmony and loyalty among personnel.


– Kingsley Madaki & Patrick Osadebamwen, Abuja

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