By Ola’ Idowu
It goes without saying that Nigerians are groaning day and night under the wicked rule they are being subjected to either through Boko Haram terrorists that have declared a fake Islamic Caliphate in the North-eastern part of the country, or through a government that has abdicated its responsibility to the people and in every way possible shown the wickedness of its reign.
An Australian self-appointed crisis negotiator Stephen Davis who has worked with the Nigerian government on previous negotiations including that of the 2009 Amnesty declaration granted to Niger Delta militants indicted the former Borno state governor Ali Modu Sheriff and former Army chief Lt. General Azubuike Ihejirika (Rtd.) as Boko Haram sponsors.
Ali Sheriff, for his part, everyone knows, started the arming of the present day Boko Haram. From their days as street hustlers who sold petrol and diesel in gallons on the black markets of Maiduguri, to when he formed them into political thugs called ECOMOG and armed them for political enforcements.
However, he has never been free of accusations of supporting the group till date and a recent revelation by Nigerian intelligence services shows that he has been helping train Boko Haram terrorists in Abeche, Chad since 2011 as well as route their weapons through that country into Nigeria due to his relationship with the Chadian President Idris Derby.
This shows the credibility of Davis’s statement on Ali Sheriff but when such men reign in a country like Nigeria ultimately the people suffer.
Ihejirika was also accused of sponsoring Boko Haram. In defending himself he said in a sane country like the UK and US such accusations would be dismissed off-hand. On the contrary, in a sane country, its people like the former Chief of Defence staff (CDS) Admiral Ola Saa’d Ibrahim and and present CDS, Air Marshal Alex Badeh – who worked with him as Chief of Air staff – that should be speaking up for him if he really did a good job. It’s not his course-mates from NDA course 18 who did not work him in his three years as the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) who should be speaking on his behalf.
According to an exclusive report published by Leadership Newspaper Abuja in January 2014, when President Jonathan declared a state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa state, the CDS Admiral Ola Ibrahim (rtd.) was mandated to preside over its prosecution but Ihejirika insisted the army should take over since they constituted most of the JTF forces. The entire prosecution of the terror campaign under Ihejirika was unprofessionally carried out and this much can be seen in the disorganisation in the 7th division that led to mutiny of soldiers in that division who complained of inadequate weapons and welfare from their commanders. The cold war between the service chiefs led to Ihejirika’s sack in January 2014.
The question is if Ihejirika did such a good job while there as army chief how come the army has suffered such reversals in the hands of the terrorists within just eight months after his sack?
Apparently, there was no war on terrorism being prosecuted and the terrorists have been the ones dictating the pace and front-line of the battle in the last three years, when the reverse should be the case. If we have spent over $33 billion on Defence in the last five years alone and a large chunk of it under the tenure of Ihejirika as COAS how come BH are still able to declare a caliphate?
The amount we have spent on security is about 1.6% of our GDP equating us to the category of a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) country.
Only four NATO countries: US, UK, Greece and Estonia spend up to or more than 2% of their GDP on defence. NATO requires its members to spend 20% of their defence budget on investing in new and quality equipments. Lets say Ihejirika and the Defence HQ invests 15% of the defence budget on quality equipments and 5% goes to waste and corruption, at least we would have a fighting force of international standard that would have put the BH insurgency to bed. But when wicked men reign, the people would always suffer.
The wicked men who reign in Nigeria are the oneswho extradited the Nyanya bomb blast suspect Aminu Ogwuche from Sudan for his role in the bombing, and then after Davis made mention of him, they presented him to the press so he would deny his role in the bombing. What they forget was, there are Nigerians who don’t forget easily. The only reason Ogwuche was extradited to Nigeria from Sudan was because he had being investigated by the DSS and found guilty of his role in the blast, that was the only way the Sudanese were ever going to agree to extradite him.
Under international extradition laws you have to show proof to the extraditing country that a crime has being committed. The DSS through Interpol showed such proof to the Sudanese government and they arrested Ogwuche and extradited him to Nigeria, how come he hasn’t been tried in court and he is still being paraded to the press some months after and allowed to deny his role in the Abuja bombing?
It shows Oguwche is being used as some sort of bargaining chip by the wicked men who rule, he would be released when they strike a deal and the whole noise has died down and Nigerians have forgotten as usual at the risk of doing more harm to the same innocent people. When wicked men reign, the people groan in suffering.
Ola’ Idowu via email@example.com