Given the un-abating of terrorist activities in Nigeria which is taking an intolerable human toll in recent time inspite of the unrelenting efforts of the security agents, there is need to adopt new proactive security measures aimed at nipping terrorist activities in the bud.
First, terrorist activities take place in places and are carried out by persons. Therefore only two most important elements are involved, namely; persons and places. These two elements are also most important guide in identifying targets and culprits. Places stretch from states to local governments and down to wards and streets. In these places are situated business premises, school premises, recreational centres, farmlands, empty arable lands, forests, streams, creeks, mountains, valleys,caves, etc. If in these places we can have 'an eye and an ear' to comb them and see and hear for us before hand what is omnious of evil occurence, we may be able to forestall such evil occurences. This is exactly what intelligence means.
Our 'eyes and ears' may not necessarily be card carrying security agents but adequate are persons with training in the rudiments of the art of spying especially as having to do with knowing how not to blow up their cover and be identified, understanding what is suspicious and how to transmit information. And they must be persons with close affinity with places they watch.
Secondly and with regard to persons, and if my theory that terrorists do not attack their bases is true but have targets other than their bases then every individual in any place should be apprehensive of the presence of persons who are not basically members of those places. Here again, there is need for a concerned 'eye and ear' to notice such presence and remit information on all what such persons say or do. To be sure that nothing said or done escapes the grasp of our 'eyes and ears' is again what intelligence means. No one is worth the name intelligence officer if every deadly criminal or terrorist plans escape their grasp.
As for the churches and since they have become a target of terrorist attacks. Churches should no longer pride in large unverifiable membership which include those with nefarious motives. In the interest of security, churches with large membership should group themselves into tiny cells with cell leaders who must be able to identify its members. Much of christain activiities should for a change take place within these groups. But if there be need to come together, each cell group should be led into the larger congregation by its leaders. This arrangement can be fine tuned to avert choas and also take care of new converts and genuine visitors. The churches should no longer leave their surroundings unwatched while church activities are going on. It is instructive that churches learn security from Prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah chapter 4, especially in verse 17 in their bid at securing the lives of worshippers of God. The success of the terrorists over the churches would be to make believers avoid church meetings.
Business premises should fine tune their access control measures. For those that can afford it and are prone to terrorist attacks, bomb detecting devices should be installed some distance before their gates. Bonafide business publics should have security coded stickers on their vehicles and identity cards on themselves for easy identification.
State governors, police commisioners in charge of states and state security service directors should henceforth be held responsible for any security breach and any successful terrorist activities in their states. Strict measures such as denying such a governor a security vote for any month a successful terrorist activity took place in his state and to compulsorily retire the affected police and SSS bosses is necessary in order to make them become proactive in the fight against terrorism.
The bottomline is that government should intensify its intelligence gathering network. As it is now, going by the very many successful terrorist attacks in Nigeria, it appears comatoesed or entirely unavailable. To remind us, intelligence in its simpliest meaning is to see, hear, sence and think and make informed decisions that can help avert any untoward result. We do not have intelligence if terrorist groups plan through, pull through their logistics and finally destroy lives and property without our knowing before hand.