If there is one thing the Buhari administration is noted for, it is the policy to blame everything and everyone for its shortcomings and frank failures.
Perhaps the most stunning blame-game recently was when president Muhammadu Buhari placed the blame of a six-month delay in selecting his cabinet on the previous Jonathan government. That got Nigerians reeling in shock.
As Boko Haram perturbingly exhibits to the world with piling-up bodybags, that it is far from defeated, the Nigerian military has gradually began seeding a tale of ISIS being behind the continued victory of the rag-tag terrorist group.
My recent article quizzed a media message army chief Buratai gave in Maiduguri, in which he blamed Boko Haram’s “rebranding” from “Boko Haram” to “ISWAP” as the reason for its continued ability to sack military barracks’ and ravage towns.
In the article captioned “Buratai’s Obsession With Branding: The New Dangerous Fake News From The CoAS, By Perry Brimah” I pointed out that both “Boko Haram” and “ISWAP” were intelligence organization monikers and not the name the group called itself at any point in time. I also raised the question of what a name had to do with tactical capacity. “For taking bank loans or making voodoo spells?” I asked.
In a latest article bearing the hallmarks of state security propaganda, seeded into the nation’s mainstream dailies, Boko Haram’s March 2015 affiliation with ISIS was again blamed for the group’s successes.
The suspect article claimed that Boko Haram was somehow under pressure from ISIS to capture territory or be dumped by the Middle East ISIS headquarters.
The article quoted an apparently non- existent organisation, “Terror Monitoring Group (ITMG)” as having revealed this via a “survey.” Survey?
There was no location of the so-called “Terror Monitoring Group (ITMG)” organisation in the media propaganda message.
The “Fake news” release also surreptitiously claimed that ISIS’ demands on Boko Haram were somehow attached to Nigeria’s upcoming elections. Quoting from the Tribune of December 28th:
“The ISIS has threatened to expel Boko Haram from its fold for its inability to sustain the tempo in the ongoing war with the Nigeria Army…”
“Part of the reason for the pressure is to ensure that the northeast region is unsuitable for elections, and which would in a way disrupt the political process in Nigeria.”
It is quite puzzling what ISIS has to do with Nigeria’s elections.
ISIS itself has almost been driven out of existence thanks to a combined action by Russia’s Putin, Iran, Hezbollah, Syria’s Assad and a new anti-radical Islamist terror direction US new president Donald Trump. There is no question the group is most focused on its existence rather than excommunicating its strengths abroad and definitely not on Nigeria’s elections.
ISIS the Latest Culprit
In November of 2017 President Buhari blamed Libya for Boko Haram’s resilience. See “President blames Libya’s instability for Boko Haram menace”, in Pulse, 11/29/2017.
12 months later, in November of this year, Buhari blamed Boko Haram on the opposition as had been done to him when he contested for the presidency. See “Buhari blames Boko Haram insurgency on politics.” Vanguard, 11/20/2018
Even international human right organisations like Amnesty International and the United Nations have been victimized with the Nigerian military attempting to expel thee organisations as being involved in promoting Boko Haram.
Sponsored riots have carried placards accusing these organisations as being behind Boko Haram terror.
Boko Haram Gets Arms and Ammunition From Nigerian Army
While the Nigerian government and its security departments have not been shy in blaming everyone and everything for Boko Haram proving that it was anything but “technically defeated,” and claiming in the latest conspiratorial article that the group was receiving arms and ammunition from struggling and dying ISIS, the evidence points quite contrary and is very unsettling.
In a recent video outburst after Boko Haram was alleged to have massacred over 200 Nigerian soldiers at Metele, the soldiers lamented that Boko Haram seized so many deadly weapons in its recent raids including a prized “40 barrel” gun.
“PREMIUM TIMES checks reveal that 40-barrel officially known as BM-21, is one of the world’s deadliest war weapon.
“On wheels, it can launch up to 40 122mm rockets in 20 seconds, at ranges up to 20km. It is designed to deliver its deadly ammunition over an area rather than a point.”
The above quote can be read in PREMIUMTIMES article of 11/24/2018 titled “Nigerian soldiers fighting Boko Haram release video, lament obsolete weapons, accuse commanders of corruption.”
Successive successful raids of barracks upon barracks have left Boko Haram terrorists well armed courtesy of the Nigerian army which appears to set up military formations with large stockpiles of weaponry and little to no air support and capacity including simple things as food and salaries, to attack and less yet, to defend themselves and protect their ammo stash.
As each battalion falls, Boko Haram secures unlimited weaponry for future successful attacks on the Nigerian military and people of Borno.
Additionally, the Buhari government and military command has been accused of freeing all the deadly Boko Haram terror masterminds and battle commanders. News reports had it that soldiers who survived the Metele massacre lamented that the terrorists who attacked them had just been captured but released on “order from above.” This is quite disturbing.
Swap deals and an “unconstitutional” amnesty by the Buhari government, have released practically all deadly terrorists captured.
Secret trials by this government have even freed terrorists captured by the previous administration. The maximum sentences a judge in Abuja, Justice Nyako gave terrorists captured by the previous government, was 2 years. Time already spent.
Unlike what is stipulated in Nigeria’s anti-terror laws and as happens in Cameroon, Kenya and other similarly plagued countries, Nigeria refuses to sentence terrorists to death but rather pays and frees them, thus maintaining an eternal cycle of terror, terror-war and the juicy untagged cash budget for the “war against terror.”
Calls for the sack of Nigeria’s military chiefs accused of ineptitude and distraction of corruption, have fallen on deaf ears as Nigeria’s leadership focuses on its re-election and the loyalty of the military leadership for its personal security.
There comes a time when a nation’s leadership would be taking the most responsible decision by stepping down. This would have happened in any civilized country. Sadly this is not the case for Nigeria and the nations people are too docile to rise up in the interests of the lives of its desperate soldiers and civilians.
Written by Dr. Perry Brimah