When the Former Finance Minister Mrs Ngozi OKonjo Iweala now WTO president wrote “Fighting Corruption is dangerous” she was direct about the consequences that comes with fighting corruption. Adopting a similar title becomes necessary when the ultimate price is paid. May 22 2021 was a black day in the history of our country, when death raised its ugly head and struck at the heart of the Nigeria Military, killing the new chief of army staff Lieutenant General I Attahiru and a host of others. Of course, toeing the line of conspiracies would only steer sentiments and unnecessary emotions,however, there is need to unsentimentally take a look at the dangers involved in fighting insecurity.
Insecurity challenges facing Nigeria or any country of the world from time immemorial have always been products of individuals, who are motivated either by money, a cause or belief, be it terrorism or insurgency, kidnappings or banditry and even secessionist efforts. From relatively small yearnings and little actions, this groups of individual rapidly grow to becoming a menace to the society. Like a sword needs a whet stone so does insecurity needs funding. In between moving from a largely unknown and harmless group fighting a particular cause to becoming a big threat to security is the stage of massive funding, internally or externally, funds are the major push for any group fueling insecurity. The question of “why would” and “why won’t” anyone fund insecurity remains a philosophical debate in the sphere of scholarly opinion. Having established the importance of funding and the existence of a funding body be it internally or externally, we can now understand the vetted interest that comes with insecurity in Nigeria. According to the council on foreign relations, most southerners in Nigeria believes BokoHaram is sponsored by Northern big men, although speculative there are some facts that appeared to justify this claims, the Federal Court of Appeals in the United Arab Emirates, which sits in Abu Dhabi, sentenced six Nigerians for transferring $782,000 from Dubai to Boko Haram in Nigeria. Two were sentenced to life imprisonment, four to ten years—all for violation of UAE anti-terrorism laws. Two "Boko Haram agents" in Nigeria received the funds, according to media based on court proceedings. One was a "Nigerian government official" who also funneled "government money" to Boko haram according to the Nigerian media.More Claims have emerged that the Nigerian government officials were conniving with Boko Haram, the failure to the defeat the terror Group implies that it still enjoys funding and support.
The fight against insecurity has increased the government’s budget for defense and purchase of ammunition, this comes with widespread corruption and failure to purchase this ammunition by high ranked officials of the defence ministry and army officers, the immediate past service chiefs, especially the chief of army staff Buratai have been accused of owning properties above his means (Sahara Reporters). If we have army officers and government officials benefiting from the monies earmarked for the purchase of arms and ammunition, why would they want that to end.
The appointment of new Service chiefs,came with high hopes for an eventual victory in the fight against insecurity. This came after several months of calls to the Buhari Led administration for the overhaul of the Former service chiefs. The first address by Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru, the chief of army staff was of course inspiring for the already demoralized Nigeria troops. His invitation to the Nigerian Legislative committee few weeks later brought to notice the rot in the procurement of arms and ammunition for the troops. Lt General I Attahiru shook the hornets nest when he asked the committee to invite the immediate past officers and officials who were involved in the procurement of arms. Of course as a new head of the army he was committed to unraveling the corruption that existed in the procurement of arms and ammunitions. In less than five months of leadership, Boko haram leader Shekau was allegedly killed by another terrorist group Islamic State of West Africa province (ISWAP) this was confirmed by the HUM angle. The involvement of the Nigerian Military remains unclear in the chain of events that led to Shekau’s death. The efforts of the Nigerian troops of recent have doubled, from various short clips of engagement with different terror groups made available through the social media. Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru seems to be giving great motivation and direction to the Nigerian troops like he promised during his first address. Until tragedy struck on May22 when Nigeria’s Chief of Army staff Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and 10 other officers were killed Friday in a plane crash. Unverifiable reports continue to emerge on the social media of how suspicious the death is, coming days after Shekau was killed and the Nigerian army seems to be winning the war against insecurity. Is this Insecurity fighting back ? Is there more to his death? Is their a syndicate running the insecurity of the nation? The failure of the president to be available for their funeral also brings to fore several unanswered questions. Like it is said only time will tell what really transpired.
Oluwatosin E. Ogundeyi
- Head of Politics