Osyman Dias: Something is rotten in the state of Nigeria

The only way anything that is going on in Nigeria makes sense is if it is looked at purely through the prism of organised crime.

Something is inherently rotten in the state of Nigeria.

A country with no pretence of governance, rule of law, where the corrupt are so untouchable it is deemed better to inflict hardships on the nation than to touch them.

Let there be no mistake the issues in Nigeria currently do not in any way make any sense if you look at them through an ideological or religious prism. There is no genuine battle between left and right, traditional or conservative, North and South, East and West, Islam and Christianity. The only way anything that is going on in Nigeria makes sense is if it is looked at purely through the prism of organised crime. Nigerians are essentially the grass upon which the cabalistic elephants are fighting.

In the last elections we had several battles, Jonathan vs ‘the Northern consensus candidate’, / Buhari/ Ribadu etc.

In none of these battles was a single policy position used as the basis of argument. The Northern consensus candidate did not put forth a platform for the North, there was no mention of the North’s issues, problems or development needs, only that it’s our turn as per ‘the zoning’.

In President Jonathan’s case, he did not put forward a case for better governance—merely a sympathetic story so we should vote for him.

When the elections were concluded one section of the cabal had lost out. And in terms of losing out this did not mean stripped of their power or wealth or status or businesses. It simply meant their hands were a little bit further from the till than before, this led to the opening of the 2nd front in this war.

That there was a Salafist Islamic movement called Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati Wal-Jihad (Boko Haram), there is no doubt but in essence what we have is one element of the cabal attacking another element of the cabal through proxies. In essence putting sand in the other’s garri.

No attempts have been made to target political figures who would be ideal targets if you want to change a government, yet this massive state of insecurity has led to 20% of the national budget (N921.91 billion) being devoted to security the majority of which is devoted to purchases. Defence spending is subject to so many security and confidentially clauses that no one actually knows how much anything costs, who is being paid and by whom, the Col Mohammed Buba Marwa/ Raj Bhojwani case is evidence of this (Bhojwani is in prison in Jersey in the UK, Marwa was at the time Nigeria’s Ambassador to South Africa and a recent gubernatorial candidate).

In all this massive insecurity no one has questioned the utility of the CCTV in Abuja a city without constant electricity or efficient telecoms, or the utility of bomb detection kits (whatever they are). Or how much this equipment costs are they brand new or second hand? Of course our NSA and others are desperate to paint Boko Haram as the new Al Qaeda, with the helpful video released by the alleged spokesman so as to get military aid and diplomatic cover from the US and EU.

So we have the perfect storm, an intractable group that has attacked mainly the general public and low ranking security forces, a terrified and panicked public and a blank cheque to go on a spending spree for new equipment to solve an old problem.

In other words it’s a protection racket, one set of gangsters attacks the people and appropriates billions to protect the public from themselves.

The fuel subsidy issue is again a civil war between the cabal, those chopping and those not. But who suffers? The fuel importers are free to sell at whatever price they see fit (compensating them for the loss of the alleged ‘subsidy’), the government ‘saves’ the money it pays, but the Nigerian people face  110% increase in cost of living despite the $6 billion was paid out in subsidies for which no one has been arrested. It defies logic that a government would inflict this on a traumatised people subject to high unemployment and terror attacks but if your entire focus is on how to defeat your fellow gangsters then everything else becomes blurred.

So for all the fancy posturing and planning, like everything in Nigeria this insurgency is not what we see it to be. It suits both elements of the cabal to keep it going for as long as possible.

About the author: Osyman Dias is former British Army officer with service in Iraq and Afghanistan. Born and raised in Nigeria, he is an expert in international affairs, defence and geo politics. He writes from London and Enugu.

Editor’s note: Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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