By Yahaya Abdullahi
The hue and cry over the presence of a small detachment of America’s Special Forces on a special and defined mission is largely misinformed and taken out of context. The comparison with Afghanistan and Iraq an error in judgment and unfair indeed. In both countries the Americans and their allies were an invading force with a mandate to forestall a threat to their homeland security. Whether such a mission that was costing 50 billion US dollars a day in Iraq alone was right or wrong is today an exercise in academics! A handful of American and British experts are here on a special mission to search and rescue the estimated two hundred and thirty one abducted school girls from the grip of psychopathic and ruthless insurgents at the invitation of the Federal Government. They are our guests who deserve a cheer and not castigation.
The scenario in American, British, French and Chinese experts should be viewed a rare luck and the inviting party which is the Federal Government of Nigeria should be supported. An anatomy of America’s, British, French and Chinese positions in Nigeria may go a long way in dousing the fire criticisms.
Britain was a colonial power and the founder of the Nigerian Nation. Her influence to date cannot be wished away by emotions. The noble role it played during the Biafran secession is still fresh in our memory and commendable.
The then United States Government was at a point during the war contemplating total support for the Biafrans if not for the timely intervention of Britain who prevailed upon the US not to do so! Britain has had a brush with terror she has her interests here just as Nigeria has her interests in Britain. She is therefore a stakeholder here. The status of Britain as a permanent member of the Security Council makes her a key player in international affairs since 1945.
The US is our largest trading partner, a terror victim, a member of the Security Council, a super power and a key player in the affairs of the world. Nations like humans are all a mixture of good and evil. No nation is either completely good or evil. If America chooses like in our case to project her good over her evil she deserves a cheer and a commendation for just that. Her mission is to guide with expertise and technology while the bulk of the fighting will be done by the Nigerian Military. America also has a stake here. Petro-dollars from America is the bulwark of the Nigerian economy. The French as at the time of the Late General Sani Abacha had the largest western investment in Nigeria. French companies and business stakes abound in Nigeria. The stakes are too high for the French to sit back and watch Nigeria going down the terror drain. France like the US and Britain is also a permanent member of the security council and a key player in the affairs of the world.
China is today emerging the best of Africa’s allies. Her Prime Minister was the only world leader to grace the World Economic Forum on Africa recently held in Abuja. He made an unprecedented pledge of a stupendous sum of Thirty Billion US precious dollars to support the donor-laden economies of African countries over the years. China as a nation that battles with terror threat of its own also promised intelligence and technical support to crush the evil in Sambisa. Whenever our dear allies are to our rescue and at our prompting, we should do well to rally round in an unflinching support to put an end to a five year insurgency which
extinguished the lives of about ten thousand Nigerians and a loss of billions of Naira in collateral. On our part both the Government and opposition must unite to face a common enemy whose strength and dare-devil exploits grow by the day. Trading accusations and counter accusations only helps the enemies of Nigeria to strengthen their resolve to destroy us.
In crisis, the government needs all the support it can muster from all Nigerians. To continue to castigate it will compound an already perplexing scenario of terror.
Members of the National Assembly could embark on a campaign of enlightenment for their constituents regarding the role being played by our allies in order to put to rest the misinformation making the rounds about their presence. Those who cry wolf over the presence of our allies should instead proffer an alternative to their expertise and technology on how to tackle an insurgency whose sound and fury is signifying a real threat to our National Security and peaceful co-existence.
Yahaya Abdullahi is reachable at P.O Box 907, Katsina.