by Perry Brimah
Nigeria is on the brink of total economic and security collapse as the leadership of the nation has all but lost total control and boycotted its responsibilities. State corruption is now presenting a final and ultimately irreversible blow to the viability of Nigeria; its economy and security apparatus. Over 18 billion dollars defense budget under the Ihejirika and now Minimah/Badeh regimes is mostly unaccounted for and with preoccupation with looting as against developing serious strategies, the Jonathan government finds itself unable and unwilling to tackle the Boko Haram cash-cow. As the Jonathan leadership plays games with the security of Nigeria, deciding to beg and bribe Boko Haram and publicizing a meaningless unilateral cessation of fire; Boko Haram continues to occupy large portions of the nation’s northeast and continues to capture territory. Latest to fall is Mubi in Adamawa State.
CNN analysts have substantiated ENDS’ earlier position that the so-called Ceasefire, better called a cessation of fire by the government as not more than a political ploy and a provision of opportunity for Boko Haram to regroup. Quoting David Cook on CNN, October 29th, 2014:
“It remains to be seen whether this truce will actually materialize, whether it is merely an election ploy for Nigeria’s embattled President, Goodluck Jonathan, and most crucially whether it will bring about the release of numerous captives taken by Boko Haram during the past year,” he wrote in an analysis for CNN. “While Boko Haram has suffered some reverses during the recent past, there is no indication that the group has suffered any mortal damage. The most plausible interpretation of the truce is that it is a bought one (probably in tandem with the Cameroonian release of captives), and that Boko Haram is merely using it (assuming that it holds to the truce at all) as a respite in order to regroup.” [See: http://edition.cnn.com/2014/10/28/world/africa/boko-haram-missing-explainer/index.html?hpt=hp_t5]
This is desperately treacherous and an extremely dangerous reality for the people of Nigeria. President Jonathan who recently obtained approval for a loan of a whopping sum of $1 billion to allegedly combat Boko Haram has now rather run from the war we were winning and turned the crises on its head , reversing the #VictoryForNigeria campaign to one of #VictoryForTerror. It follows a recurrent pathway for the past six years of this administration where Boko Haram is always protected and encouraged to regroup, rape and conscript our youth and continue is campaign of death to the residents of the northeast. Rather than fight terror, the president continues to court the very sponsors of the terror.
Why would the Nigerian president decide to sabotage the army and people of Nigeria in such a way? It is further seriously worrisome considering what offers the leadership is making to placate Boko Haram. How much money is being offered to the terrorists? What type of arms will the Jonathan government give the terrorists in this truce illusion? (are these the arms our private jets were sent to smuggle in?) How many of their brutal, murderous members does the Jonathan government intend to free to bargain the temporary “peace” period it desperately seeks ahead of the February 2015 Presidential elections?
Nigeria has recently been disgraced internationally with cash smuggling scams and alleged arms deals in South Africa with companies that have no license to sell weapons. Seized funds were only released after the Nigerian leadership publicly blackmailed the South African government. Our international credibility is at an all time low.
While Boko Haram crisis is spinning out of control, the economy of Nigeria is now officially in the red. The Minister of the economy can hardly deny this preventable collapse. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala has been making public statements in this respect every day, resisting to her utmost the temptation to spell out the actual severity of the crises. Global oil prices have tanked and with the constant looting of over half of the nation’s oil income by the current leadership and their Cabal cronies, and failed real developmental strategies, Nigeria is relying on depleted reserve cushions. The Minister this week declared that Nigeria needs $5 billion to survive.
Meanwhile the missing $20 over 18 months reviewed (estimated at up to 127 billion for all 6 years) which the Senate President David Mark described as not missing but “unaccounted for,” which of course has the same meaning; remains unaccounted for. The nation’s oil minister now hired as a finance director of President Jonathan’s re-election committee continues to plunder $4 million every day from the poorest Nigerian families, in the kerosene subsidy scam. That is over a billion dollars a year that she pockets.
The administration has plundered so much especially ahead of the elections in which billions of dollars would be used for “stomach infrastructure,” to buy the broke masses’ votes, that now the nation can no longer sustain itself. Internal debt is at an all time high as the Jonathan administration struggles to coast the sinking ship till after February 15th if it can get there before a full and total collapse. The 1 billion USD borrowed which by most expectations is not for the war on Boko Haram but was borrowed for use in the elections is the beginning of a borrowing streak that the current leadership is geared towards. Ngozi Iweala is prepping Nigeria for this.
February 14th and the hand over period may not be realistic. As more Nigerians die every day in the hands of unhindered terrorists, enjoying Jonathan’s unilateral cessation of fire, and more fellow countrymen die from suffocating poverty and lose all hope of prosperity, urgent local and international action to arrest this reckless leadership is requisite.
Nigeria is under siege. It is time for a resistance of the people, statesmen and global players.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.