23 Feb 2020

Whenever There Is A Prolonged Conflict In Africa, Some People Are Benefiting From It - Col. Barlow

Buhari's 'repentant' members of boko haram
Boko haram is waxing stronger. The insurgents are killing northern Nigerians daily. They are rampaging and sacking northern Nigeria’s villages. Mr Shekau (leader of boko haram) has threatened to attack president Buhari if he visits Maiduguri again.

Nigerian military, including other security services, are helpless and hapless fighting boko haram. Virtually every Nigerian has advised Mr Buhari to change his military chiefs, at least, to introduce fresh ideas to the fight against boko haram.

The secretary to the federal government issued a statement that the military chiefs will not be changed for now. If that’s the case, why is Mr Buhari refusing to change the military chiefs who, by law, should have been retired by now?

Well, looking at the hierarchy of the Nigerian army, perhaps, the reason could be that of succession. For instance, the highest-ranking officer for the position of Chief of Army staff is Gen. Adeosun, a Yoruba man.

Changing the military chiefs would entrust a strategic military position like the chief of army staff in the hands of a Yoruba man. Buhari will never appoint a non-Fulani in that position.

Instead, Buhari will retire all the southern Generals in the military hierarchy and appoint a Fulani as another chief of army staff. But that may bring instability in the army and maybe, that’s why Buhari is sticking with the current Fulani army chief.

The appointment of a non-Fulani man as the chief of army staff would, probably, end the insurgency. For example, shortly before the 2015 general elections, former president Jonathan engaged the services of South African mercenaries, headed by Colonel Eeben Barlow.

These mercenaries were able to reclaim some of the territories occupied by boko haram within a short time. Buhari complained bitterly then that Jonathan was killing northerners while militants from Niger delta were being pampered.

And as soon as Buhari was sworn in as the president of Nigeria, he terminated the contract of the South African mercenaries. Obviously, because the mercenaries were killing boko haram terrorists (Buhari’s people).

Therefore, Buhari will rather retain the current army chief who will not kill members of boko haram than appoint a new army chief who would do the opposite. And that’s why we only hear that boko haram terrorists were killed but we don’t see any dead body.

I believe the standing order to the military chiefs is to capture members of boko haram than to kill them. Then the captured boko haram terrorists are labelled ‘repentant’ and released to return to Sambisa forest to continue the war against Nigerian soldiers.

Colonel Barlow gave an interview where he stated that all the gains his men made against boko haram in 2015, unfortunately, has been reversed. He also stated, whenever there is a prolonged conflict in Africa, some people are benefiting from it.

So, who is benefiting from a prolonged war against boko haram? And for what motive?

The answer is not impossible to decipher. Just consider the ideology of president Buhari’s appointees, including those supposedly fighting the insurgents.

· President Buhari “will not stop the agitation for the total implementation of sharia in the country”.

· The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Mohammad wants to change the constitution of Nigeria to accommodate ‘more aspects of sharia law’.

· Boko haram wants Nigeria to become a caliphate.

Besides, Buhari’s national security adviser accused Buhari’s chief of staff (Abba Kyari) of frustrating the war against boko haram. If Abba Kyari, who is the de-facto president of Nigeria, is meddling with the war against the insurgents, president Buhari must be aware of it.

Boko haram terrorists are killing people in the Northeast, Bandits are killing and maiming people in the Northwest while Fulani (herdsmen) terrorists are killing the minorities of north-central. Meanwhile, all the Nigeria’s security organisations are headed by northerners (Muslims). And they still cannot end the war against boko haram.

Since president Buhari doesn’t want anybody to kill his people (insurgents) while his people are killing others, the war against insurgents will never end for as long as Mr Buhari is the president of Nigeria.