In France, the mood is foul. Multiple shock attacks at separate locations in Paris, the country’s capital, had claimed hundreds of lives of citizens and noncitizens alike, people who were slain en masse, despite not being at war with anyone.
It all began with unpremeditated attacks on the Bataclan music hall in Paris where revellers were attending a rock concert. Terrorists brutally cut short the fun. Aside from detonating explosives that killed scores of people holed up in the hall, they also fired sporadic gunshots at those running for dear life, to ensure that no one escaped alive.
After the smouldering fire subsided, no fewer than 120 lives had been lost. Elsewhere in the Paris region, some 40 more people were killed in an apparent suicide bombing outside the country’s national stadium where French President François Hollande, the German Foreign Minister, and other dignitaries were watching an international friendly soccer match. At press time, however, the death toll in Paris terror attacks has increased to no fewer than 220 casualties.
While the world mourns with France as a country and the families of those killed in these shock attacks, the sordid events have again brought to the fore, the grim reality that the entire human race is sorely endangered. The world, in more solemn terms; is now openly imperilled by the rude awakening to the fact that, nobody knows the enemy next-door.
Unlike the conventional war system of open fights between or among nation states, hostility and brutality have now crossed that prosaic boundary, to shame us all that an individual, goaded by religious or ideological dissonance, can ruin a people, a nation or a race.
France, in swallowing this bitter pill of having to lose its prized countrymen, women and children to some shadowy characters, now shares some kind of common grief with fellow super-powers that include the United States, Britain and Russia.
While the US cannot forget in a hurry, how about 3,000 souls were lost to the September 11, 2001 hijacked-plane attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Britain will still shudder at the bombing of its tube train, which resulted in unimaginable casualties.
Only recently too, a Russian plane was brought down in Egypt apparently by terrorists, in what has sparked a diplomatic row between the two countries. Already, ISIS, an Islamist terrorist group, has claimed responsibility for both the Russian plane downing and the latest French attacks.
Suffice it to also recall that another deadly group, Al- Qaeda, led by Osama bin Laden, actually put the US in sorrow in the 9/11 tragedy. Under prevailing circumstances, Islamic states in the Middle East have mostly expressed their embarrassment at the mischievious use of an otherwise peaceful religion to settle scores by extremists at a time modern technology has reduced the entire world to a global community.
The implication of the various terror attacks across the world has thus explained to all that nowhere is safe. Here in Nigeria, the North-East and other areas in northern Nigeria have been rendered virtually desolate by the activities of Boko Haram, another terror group that has tasked the soul of the nation.
It is estimated that no fewer than 15,000 lives have been lost to the insurgents. World leaders, through the instrumentality of the United Nations, have been meeting frantically, in a determined move to prevent class suicide that stares the human race in the face, no thanks to these terror groups.
While increased security awareness, training and re-training of detectives have been proposed, a more enduring solution patently lies in reformed social values and religious re-orientation, which local authorities, aided by their governments, can achieve. Again, societal oppression through dictatorship and sundry acts of injustice could spike feelings of rebellion and irrepressible hate.
In the third world society where hunger, deprivation and hopelessness stalk mass populations, locals are usually willing tools for terrorists, who, after offering immediate succour to their recruits, soon indoctrinate them to maim and kill, and in extreme cases, wrought suicide attacks. They have been imparted with the belief that generous compensation awaits them in the here-after. In all, concerted effort is urgently required to face the terror challenge headlong, and make the world a beautiful place to live.
The implication of the various terror attacks across the world has thus explained to all that nowhere is safe.