I am an experienced Social Media practitioner with a strong passion for connecting with customers of brands. As part of a team, I presently work on the social media account of a leading European auto company. On this job, I have brought my vast experiences in journalism, marketing, search engine optimisation and branding to play.
By Mo. Babajide-Alabi
Welcome to the year 2017. It is never too late to wish my readers a Happy New Year, therefore I rejoice with every one reading this who has made it this far in the new year.
2016 is gone by. Today is the third day of 2017, and in many climes the first official working day of the year. Not to mind though that some people working in the essential services had to journey to their respective offices yesterday, New Year’s Day and even Christmas Day. While, understandably, some of them will have a time and a half pay (or more), this I believe was not the motivation for them. The bottom line is the attitude of sacrifice they all had.
To me these people are the heroes of the seasons. What would have happened if there were no Ambulance staff on duty in Istanbul (Turkey) on New Year’s Day? What if all Istanbul doctors and nurses had chosen that day to walk out of their jobs? Aftermath of the New Year’s Day attack in Istanbul, I watched (on TV) as medics ran up and down to save lives. We cannot imagine how high the number of casualties of that senseless killing would have been without these special people that worked while we were on holidays.
Let’s think about other special people who rendered essential duties during the holidays. The Taxi Drivers, the care workers, the shelter volunteers and many more. What about the numerous journalists, reporters that were actively on duty on these days? What a black hole of news it would have been if they decided to lie on their sofas during the holidays?
These men and women, all over the world were at their duty stations. In the spirit of the season, I raise my hat to these legions of dedicated workers who made Christmas and New Year holidays enjoyable and safe for us all.
How can I forget security agents and officers all over the world, who with the renewed threats of terrorists, especially the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), ensured we could take off our socks and dug into the celebrations? They ensured our visits to the pubs or concerts in company of our loved ones and family members were safe. These men and women need our commendations and prayers.
These security officers put their lives on the lines – in London, New York, Melbourne and many other cities of the world. They were on patrol, on intelligence, with heavy bullet proof vests as their Christmas dresses, making sure all the celebrations in these cities were carried out safely. A Sky News report said in London alone, there were about 3000 police officers on patrol. We can imagine how many police officers or security agents, worldwide, that could not celebrate with their loved ones just to make sure you and I were safe while we enjoyed ourselves.
It is unfortunate that the Istanbul (Turkey) attack by the “soldier of ISIS” did take place, but let us imagine how many threats were foiled or suppressed by security officers all over the world. And no one can blame the security forces in Turkey for failing to prevent this attack. Reports revealed that policemen outside the Reina clubhouse were shot dead by the attacker before going inside.
There is no doubt that the forces of evil are threatening the peace of the world. 2016 was particularly a testy time for security apparatuses all over the world. There was serious concern globally that despite the best efforts and collective will to defeat terror, the world is still shaken daily by news reports of attacks and killings.
No one has succeeded in analysing the minds of these terrorists. But one thing is sure, they are bunch of killjoys. Or how do you explain the Istanbul killer who decided to inflict maximum damage when people were celebrating the passage into a new year? It is sickening and unexplainable. Earlier this morning the Turkish media released a “selfie” video of the attacker (as shown on SkyNews) on the day of the attack in what seemed like a reconnaissance of the area before the attack.
The motive of the Berlin Christmas Market terrorist, among many other, was also unexplainable, more than sheer hatred for humanity. There is no other way to explain this than the fact these men and women of terror are nothing but beasts.
In far away Nigeria, there was the good news (for once) that the terrifying Boko Haram has been subdued by the armed forces of the country. Although, far behind the scheduled defeat (as announced in election campaigns in 2015) it is still a thing of joy for all Nigerians, especially the families of the Chibok school girls.
After so many years in captivity of Boko Haram, they were freed by the Nigerian armed forces. Watching these kids reunited with their parents on CNN was every emotional, as most of them could not hold back the tears of events that had turned them from childhood to adulthood, with some cradling their babies.
The kidnap of these school girls caused a lot of anxieties all over the world. To some sceptics, it was a political gimmick by the opposition to dislodge the sitting government of Goodluck Jonathan. It sounded unreal. But as events would later reveal, these girls, who were preparing for their GCSE examinations at that time, were unwilling inhabitants of Sambisa Forest for years. The Sambisa Forest was the strong hold of the terrorist Islamist group Boko Haram.
The symbolic end was enacted when Nigeria’s President Muhammad Buhari received the flag of the terrorist group recently. However, not to be outdone, the leader of the terrorist group, Abubakar Shekau released a video claiming the defeat of the group was a joke and a fiction of the imagination of the Nigerian leaders. The world is watching and the wondering if Shekau can still hold this affiliate of the ISIS intact in the North-Eastern part of Nigeria.
This year, there should be more determination and efforts on the parts of world leaders to bring to an end these terrorists attacks. The “coyness” of the so-called ISIS is becoming notorious and disturbing. It is sad that, it seems, no matter how much the world tries, ISIS continues to be evasive.
This may sound heartless, from an immigrant writer like me, but I support the experts who believe the open immigration policy of the European Union allows the festering of terrorism in the region. While the historical aim of this policy was to encourage unimpeded economic activities in the continent, there is urgent need for review now. This is evident by the increasing use of this open border by terrorist groups, especially ISIS, to attack Europe.
This is not helped by the numerous forced refugee immigrations into the European continent in the past years. It is unfortunate that while many of these EU leaders have the best of human rights intentions, recent terrorists attacks have shown that disillusioned and frustrated individuals among these refugees are being targeted by terrorists groups such as ISIS.
Ninety percent of attacks carried out in Europe in 2015/16 were directly or indirectly linked to immigrants. This revelation is sad indeed, because it has put these leaders in a bad state with their citizens. The bookies are unfortunately not predicting the present EU leaders as favourites to win the next general elections in their various countries. The citizens think their leaders have lost the immigration plots, thereby jeopardising the security of their countries.
Let us hope 2017 will bring more resolutions and the victory of good over evil. The world waits.