Did you see or hear about Nigeria’s latest fighter drone that is currently combating kidnapping in Ekiti state?
Well, there is a video in circulation in which the Nigeria army demonstrates the fighter drone. The narrator says that the device, the size of a laptop, is actually a toy of about 45 dollars.
More seriously though:
On May 30,Nigeria’s very political chief of Army staff, Tukur Buratai, boasted that “Boko Haram is gone forever. It will never show its face again”. Why Mr Buratai was sure the carnage was over was beyond those watch events in the South East. Hardly did the glib chest thumping stop when soldiers began to die in Borno: Killed by Boko Haram. The bloodshed has not stopped.
Only yesterday, Thursday, reports say that 20 soldiers, including two commanders- a colonel and a captain-where killed in Yobe state. They were returning to base from a routine patrol when they ran into an ambush. Boko Haram was responsible. Other reports give the figures as 6 but agree that 2 senior officers were casualties.
The army is very averse to announcing casualties they suffer daily in the North East because it operates like an extension of Nigeria’s ruling party, the APC.
According to Premium Times, the “Army has not announced the development and its spokesman, Sagir Musa, did not return calls seeking comments on the incident”. It also says that it is not sure the authorities have notified the families and so, it will withhold the names of the dead soldiers. The military has suffered severe casualties in the past two months among which were two lieutenant colonels.
At the other side of the North, about 20 people were killed by “bandits” in Sokoto state. Reports say that the attack targeted Dan Tatsako village in Goronyo local government. They came at night and began to shoot.
Nigeria’s media say that beyond the dead, houses and other properties were destroyed by the bandits.
Survivors who fled the attack have sought temporary refuge in nearby communities within Goronyo and Isa Local Government areas of Sokoto state.
Mohammed Sadiq, spokesman for the force in Sokoto confirmed the incident but stopped short of giving casualty figures.
Why is the government so powerless,incompetent and helpless in protecting its citizens? Some say that it is a lack of political will. There have been too many compromises by this government. It engages in what I term selective security . How do you release “repentant” Boko Haram members? Put some in the army and the police? I think the move has backfired very badly; creating a monster that can no longer be controlled.
Even Katsina state government has lost confidence in Nigeria’s military. Now they want to negotiate with killers and offer them “amnesty “. Last week, Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of Nigeria’s feckless house representatives, visited commanders of bandits in Zamfara ( yes,the madness is that severe) to negotiate peace.
Bello Masari, governor of Katsina,said in a very defeated tone that:
“Part of what we discussed in the meeting is the effect of what is going on in Zamfara State. And how it affects Katsina State because, right now, Zamfara is in the process of making what they call dialogue which we did some years ago. We started it in Katsina but we realised that for it to be successful, it has to be done in Katsina, Sokoto, Kebbi and Kaduna states.
“So, without collective approach to the issue of amnesty in the North West, I don’t think it would work because, we are in a better position to say it because, we have previous experience.
“We are working with other state governors to make sure that we have a united and common approach to the issue of dialogue and amnesty so that peace will reign in the forest area in our states,” The northern governors are in a collective surrender but one that is loaded with problems. When you reward crimes, they don’t go away, they cool for some time until the money runs out as it always does. Then more crimes. Those who watch Nigeria can hardly blame Governor Masari. Mr Buhari has only paid lip service to every issue in Nigeria. From security, poverty, education health and the economy, Mr Buhari is woefully inadequate ,his reluctant responses very tepid.
Worse still, Mr Buratai issues press statements that are in fact dire warnings to Nigerians against criticizing the army. Mr Buratai threatens the citizens that he was appointed to protect and Nigeria’s impotent national assembly can’t do anything about it.
Two days ago, former president Goodluck Jonathan said that Nigeria won’t be able to go on any further with with this level of insecurity. Bluntly, he said that Nigeria should not kid itself about building an economy. “Dont tell me that your are building roads”, he said in Akure. “Who will use the roads when everybody is dead”?Why has a government which road to power in 2015 on the crest of fighting insecurity made the country one of the most dangerous places on earth? Gross incompetence? That will be a yes. Nepotism in the military? You bet. The best hands have been retired. Mr Buhari only works with those who are from his tribe and religion. Especially the military. And those are not necessarily qualified people. Twice Nigeria Airforce has bombed its own IDP camp in Rann. Nothing happened. Having overthrown a democracy himself, he fears that if the army is in the wrong hands, that is, in capable hands, he will be removed.
When you point to a better way, a more effective method, Mr Buhari calls you “unpatriotic” and thus, it would appear that the inability of the army to save lives stems from the need to save Mr Buhari’s government. How long this can continue, only time will tell. And how time flies!
Below is 6 typical bloody days in this month.
July 6: The Nigerian Air Force killed “several” (estimated at ten) ISWAP (Boko Haram) militants in Bakassi, Borno.
July 7: Gunmen killed six in Kankara, Katsina.
July 8: Nigerian troops killed one bandit in Birnin-Gwari, Kaduna.
July 9: Bandits killed five in Shiroro, Niger
.July 9: Three were killed, including one policeman, when Shiites and police clashed in Abuja.
July 9: Kidnappers abducted sixteen travelers in Ikwerre, Rivers.
July 9: Nigerian police killed three in Obio/Akpor, Rivers.
July 9: Gunmen killed four in Ardo-Kola, Taraba.
July 10: Kidnappers abducted the Adamawa permanent secretary in Yola North, Adamawa.
July 10: Sectarian violence led to two deaths in Vandeikya, Benue.
July 12: Suspected herdsmen kidnapped one and killed one in Odigbo, Ondo.