LONG before the Boko Haram crisis reached the present crescendo, a former American Marine combatant, believed to be an accredited diplomat, managing one of the world’s largest private intelligence organisations, Gordon Duff; writing in an American publication, Veterans Today, had weaved a plot of how western powers, some Francophone West African countries, and some powerful Nigerians were involved in an insidious conspiracy to undermine Nigeria.
Not many took that publication serious until it was reposted last year, but recent curious happenings are proving that if Duff was not right on some scores, he definitely was in many aspects. Today, it is public knowledge that the Americans who activated their weapons of psychological warfare through the international media and their local allies, just to have a foothold in the search for the missing 200 Chibok girls, have suggested that Nigeria moves her weapons of war from the battle field against the terrorist Boko Haram group, to a training ground in Jaji, Kaduna State.
Happily, the Nigerians have called the bluff of the meddlesome Americans, and even sent them packing by backing out of a training arrangement for Nigerian soldiers, because, though the Nigerian government officials did not say so, the commitment of the Americans to Nigeria to flush away the terrorists had become doubtful. Before this time, the Yankees had refused to sell to the Nigerian government needed weapons to fight Boko Haram. As if that was not enough, the US government stopped other countries from selling to Nigeria, because of , wait for it, the human rights records of the Nigerians. What a laugh! There are so many other countries the Americans wine and dine with that make Nigeria a saint in the matter of human rights abuses.
Meantime, there is popular talk of a western lackey in the name of Amnesty International planning to release damning reports of the country’s human rights atrocities just before the February elections, all designed to further give the country a bad name in order to hang it in the diplomatic world. Interestingly, the main opposition political party in the country is enjoying the bad press and name the present government is getting because it hopes to garner political capital from it. The All Progressives Congress (APC) has in its fold a prominent Nigerian who is ever willing to do the bidding of the Americans, because they caught him in a web of criminal activities that are drug and scam-related.
While all of these play out, the French got their fingers burnt in a terribly embarrassing situation of weapons of war on their way to Chad, a West African Francophone country, getting stuck right on Nigerian soil, because a Russian Antonov plane carrying them was forced to land in the northern Nigerian city of Kano. The French are in a frenzy to explain what the weapons were meant for, just as a senior member of Nigeria’s executive cabinet confirmed what most Nigerians had feared: that France had its hands and legs in the terrorist problem plaguing Nigeria.
The Nigerian minister of National Planning, Dr. Abubakar Sulaiman, blamed the continued onslaught of Boko Haram terrorists on Nigeria on alleged animosity the country shares with Francophone West African countries. Suleiman said, “First, the issue of terrorism is global, regional and sub-regional. Second, the terrorism we have in Nigeria has internal and external dimensions to it. Some of the terrorists are not just Nigerians; they are not operating from Nigeria; they are operating from Nigerian borders and they have some back up from neighbouring countries.
“When you look at Nigeria’s history, we have been consistent in the kind of animosity we share with the Francophone West African countries. Nigeria should revisit, for instance, its francophone policy. We should look at the French policy on Nigeria. We should look at the position of France to Nigeria security. We should look at what has been, over the years, the strategy in the area of politics. What have been the relation, attitude, orientation, conduct and posture of France to Nigeria? Again, we need to go back to what had been the attitude of France and French government to the Boko Haram issue in our effort to fight terrorism.”
But in reaction to the less than convincing explanation by France that its army owned the choppers and other equipment stuck in Kano, the Nigerian intelligence services caused to be released comments that it was not in a hurry to release the plane. The French had suggested that the plane was to be released. An unnamed top security official, through the intelligence services recent regular channel of communication, an agency known as PR Nigeria, said
“Nigeria has no reason to release the aircraft and its cargo until investigation is concluded.”
PR Nigeria further quoted the official to have said, “In view of the evidence of active collaboration with Boko Haram terrorists by some French speaking neighbouring countries, it has become pertinent for Nigeria to be conscious and be more careful in these matters.” The agency said while Nigerian officials have agreed to release crew members of the aircraft to the Russian Embassy in Abuja, the plane would remain detained because “the explanations so far given by the French Embassy concerning the source and destination of the cargo were less than convincing.”
With the mounting evidence of the involvement of western powers and conniving West African neighbours, there is no doubt that only the resilience of this die-hard black nation can save her from the mish-mash of conspiracies playing out in Abuja, Washington, Paris, and N’djamena.
Mr. Abubakar Galadima, a commentator on national issues, wrote from Bauchi, Bauchi State.