On April 14, at a crowded bus station in Nyanya on the outskirts of Abuja, Nigeria,two bombs went off, setting off further explosions as the fuel tanks of nearby vehicles ignited. 88 people were killed and more than 200 were injured. Adding to the horror: a second bomb placed in a parked car went off on May 1, only fifty meters from the last one, putting at least 41 more people in the hospital.
DRI Nigeria‘s Philip Keshiro, CEO of Disaster Recovery Technologies Limited, provided his insights into these tragedies and the role business continuity could have in mitigating potential attacks in the future.
The recent Nyanya bomb blast is another tragedy with no answer, and most of the responses I’ve seen in the media are not the solution. Issues of security and emergencies should be handled from the bottom up, not the top down. A top-down approach breeds passivity, lack of coordination, and makes mockery of our nation.
The difference between security personnel abroad and in Nigeria:
- On-the-spot data gathering capability
- Training to focus first on human life
- Training to read and analyze the situation, and
- Awareness of new technology and trends.
A business continuity plan would have helped mitigate the Nyanya Park disaster. A risk assessment will have shown — through imagination, foresight, and prior incidents — that the park is vulnerable.
Suggested control measures:
- Separate passenger drive-in from the bus parks — let the passengers walk with their load or with trolleys
- Have in place CCTV to capture movement of passengers and ongoing activities within
- Restructure the market, if possible
The effect: should there be an incident or a bomb blast, the police, SSS and other agencies will have some form of intelligence to work with. Without this, we are a laughing stock in the comity of advanced nations.
Security agencies must have a stronger drive to understand business continuity planning, and how to use it to reduce such incidents of mass killing to the barest minimum. The words we hear, such as “Citizens should go about their normal duty as the government or police…” are not inspiring or soothing. They are reactive, not proactive.
Reacting only after each blast is wickedness, mental laziness, a lack of ability to work, and lack of love for human life.