The attack on and abduction of military officers at the Nigerian Defense Academy (NDA) are at once unprecedented, humiliating, and dispiriting, but they are not in the least shocking because they merely represent a predictable pattern of Nigeria’s tragically progressive declination into the low-water marks of extreme precariousness in the last six years.

I perfectly understand the mass sensation of powerlessness and hopelessness that a vast number of Nigerians feel about the attack. For one, it dramatises the impotence of the military in the face of domestic nihilistic and terroristic violence.

For another, it removes any ounce of illusion that Nigeria’s premier military university is training a corps of officers to defend the nation.

An institution that is putatively equipped to fight and contain external aggression but which failed to repel an abduction of its members by domestic terrorists on its own premises can’t protect the nation. It’s like bearding the lion in his den and living to tell the story.

That’s not a lion to dread and trust to protect the animal kingdom. That not even one kidnapper was shot and demobilised throughout their operation is indicative of the emasculation of not just the military but the whole country.

People who say the next stop for the terrorists is to invade Aso Rock fail to realise that Aso Rock has already been breached, making its non-invasion by terrorists only a question of choice, perhaps because the chief occupant of the Villa isn’t distinguishable from them.

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