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BOKO HARAM INSURGENCE: CAN OUR NEIGHBOURING COUNTRIES BE TRUSTED

BOKO HARAM INSURGENCE: CAN OUR NEIGHBOURING COUNTRIES BE TRUSTED

Since July 2009 till date, Boko Haram sect has been blamed for the death of more than 5000 Nigerians.  This Islamic terrorist group performs with so much ease in the Northern Nigeria.  Initially, their activities were concentrated in Borno precisely, but now it is sporadic, spreading to other states in the North East like; Adamawa, Yobe, and Gombe and other Northern parts as witnessed in Kano incidence.  The ease with which they operate becomes a thing of concern even to the neighbouring countries.  That might be the reason some neigbouring countries show concern or interest to assist; whether the concern is genuine or not, cannot be ascertained now.  That is why we ask ourselves whether these our neigbours  should be trusted in what they call assistance.  Looking at the help from countries like Chad, Niger, Cameroun, United State of America, to mention but a  few, their motives could be very obvious even though time has not come to apportion blames or point accusing fingers.  May be some of these fake interests, to help prompted the negotiation plans Nigeria made involving neighboring countries; Chad and Cameroon.

The minister of defense, Gen. Aliyu Gwarzo in a speech in Abuja tried to prove the military’s readiness/willingness and the strong support from neigbouring countries said “While some Nigerians maintained that negotiation with the militant was still necessary, the military is preparing for battle with militant group; acquiring arms and fixing their boats and their fighter jets. He also declared that the army made the training and re-training of military personnel her top priority considering the security threats in Nigeria.   He also made it known that seventeen countries have signed to help Nigeria increase security.  The top in the list are: Chad, Niger, Cameroun, Lebanon and others.  Even though then, in the eyes of some of the top politicians and the Northern leaders, negotiation was the solution, but we the elites know that no reasonable man negotiates with the Boko Haram.   Worse still not negotiating with them in the land of a  neigbouring  country that has not our interest at  heart.  We might be in need of foreign assistance but President Goodluck Jonathan should do that with much caution because this kind of insurgence is not Nigeria -like.  That is why Wole Olaoye,  a political analyst with Nigeria’s leadership Newspaper said that foreign assistance could allow Nigerians to benefit from lessons learned abroad. This kind of clandestine insurgency is new to Nigeria.  He suggests that while the government looks at security approaches and at the  possibility of negotiation, they should also be looking at  new solutions and a greater reliance on technology. Like many Nigerians he makes a point  of saying, that  foreign assistance will not be welcomed if it threatens national sovereignty.  In Olaoye’s opinion foreign assistance should be secondary.   He said, “I think that internal technology should be deployed here and it will help if those who were already on top of the situation in terms of technology offer advice/assistance.  But if the cooperation with these neigbouring countries is up to an extent where Nigeria will now play second fiddle to anybody, that is not acceptable.

Many neigbouiring countries show interest to help Nigeria out of insurgency but how many are without ulterior motive.  Chad poises like it is championing the motion against the Boko Haram insurgents but in the mind of many Nigerians there is doubt.  That is why there have been accusations or accusing  fingers  pointing at some of these neigbouring countries like Chad and USA. Naijalately wrote in “Chad denies funding Boko Haram,” that the Chadian ambassador to Nigeria Mr. Isah Braimali exonerated his country of  funding or arming the Boko Haram insurgents.  He made the statement when members of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) protested to the Chadian embassy in Abuja with placades asking the Chadian government to explain its role in the insurgency in the North East and demands a response to a media report that a close political ally of the Chadian President had been arrested by the Cameroonian gendarmes with lethal arms meant for Boko Haram.   The arrest of this President Idriss Deby’s close ally with arms for the insurgents is just one out of the pointers that Chad might not be snow white free from the doubts in our minds.  Secondly,  the ceasefire talks that were held in no other country but   Chad which involved  the Chadian President, Idriss Deby and Senior Officials from Cameroon is a  big failure because not up to  24 hours after the ceasefire talk the insurgents beefed up the number of the people they massacred.

When the ceasefire and release of the Chibok girls was announced, Nigerians had the hope that this would have marked a possible end to the five years insurgency that has untimely taken the lives of many Nigerians.  To our surprise, after the failed ceasefire, president Goodluck visited this same Chadian President for a reason not disclosed.  Thirdly, on Nov 5, 2014 Nigerian troops prosecuting the Boko Haram insurgents in the North east of this country. Nigeria, said it discovered the Boko Haram armoury near Lake Chad.  With these and more reasons, one can judge whether our neigbouring countries are genuinely helping out.

Fourthly, on the 6th of November 2014, a Russian heavy weight air plane with inscription AH -124 -100 was intercepted at the Mallam Aminu Kano airport. The plane which was heading to Chad was heavily loaded with AK 47s, bullet proof vests, and a helicopter.  The Nigerian military was able to intercept the plane because the pilot said they decided to Land at Aminu Kano airport because the plane was having a little fault.  The Premium Times report has it that this is the third time since 2009 the Russian air plane has been arrested in Nigeria Airport but after investigations, the planes were released.  Who knows, this third one may be released by the federal government, even after it was alleged that the main suspect of Boko Haram sponsor Ali Modu Sheriff, the former Borno governor came to the airport and pleaded with the officials to release the plane with the claim that there was a verbal order from Abuja ordering the release.  The officials after taking him to inspect the content of the plane told him that verbal directive is not enough to make them release the plane.

That is why Ojo Jackson a political analyst is of the belief that these insurgents are not Nigerians.  He believed that a true Nigerian has respect for life whether from the North or from the South.  He also maintained that life of committing suicide is not in the culture of Nigerians.  To him all these suicide bombers may be foreigners or kidnaped Nigerians that are forced to do the suicide bombing.  In Kano recently, a female suicide bomber was arrested and she confessed that there are still about 50 female suicide bombers scattered all over Kano to kill people in strategic places might they be the Chibok girls we have been expecting to come back. The sect recently kidnaped more than 20 other girls in Borno on the  6th of December 2014.  Again, a Nigerian Muslim will not try bombing a place like Kano Central Mosque.  We are not comfortable with the neigbouring countries’ help.

After the Kano tragic incident, the Lebanese government has in Abuja expressed her readiness to partner with Nigeria in curbing insurgency and terrorism in the country.  The Lebanese foreign affair Chief Mr. Gebran Basil told newsmen that their government was willing to exchange notes and share experiences with Nigeria in the area of military intelligence. In expressing their government condolence, he condemned the recent Kano attack where about 120 worshipers were killed and 135 injured in the Kano Central Mosque.  Do you believe in this promise of partnership?  A country like US’ stand is very clear; her support is not there not even in the area of arm provision to our military.

Even the scheduled military training in US to fight Boko Haram has been cancelled by the federal government because of the US non support, which country do we trust?

In the part of the cancelled military training by the Federal government, they said that the reason is logistics problem.   The coordinator of the National Information Centre, Mr. Mike Omen speaking on behalf of the Federal Government stated that  the training was not cancelled but the condition placed down by the United states (U.S.) government was not healthy for the security  of lives and properties of Nigerian’s citizen particularly those in the  Northern East region.  The condition according to the FG includes withdrawing of the military equipment from the battle field, so that the American could use them to train the Nigerian soldiers.   Mr. Omeri during this routine briefing on security situation in Abuja said that the federal Government will not expose its citizens at the mercy of insurgents because it wants to train its soldiers.

To me,  not any  of the countries  should be trusted.  Nigeria should find an internal war strategy like the Biafrans did during the Nigeria-Biafra war to crush these Boko Haram insurgents because our problem may be from the external.

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