May 23, 2014
There are two groups in Nigeria: the 168 million disaffected masses, a majority of whom live under a dollar-a-day and are the victims of outrageous government and private partner corruption, and the ruling Oligarchy. The revolution of and on behalf of the Nigerian masses can no longer be ignored as it has recently assumed new dimensions, with the military junior officers joining in, and the international community also in no weak terms, raising the urgency of the compromised plight of the nation’s people in the hands of devastating, failed, corrupt leadership and regime facilitated terrorism.
For the second time in just a month, Nigeria’s 7th division soldiers drafted to combat Boko Haram in the northeast have revolted against their commanders. Mutiny is a very grievous military occurrence. The two instances of deliberate mutiny by Nigeria’s soldiers delivers a strong message—the junior officers are willing to be court-martialed, rather than continue to be sabotaged , humiliated and killed by the corruption and incompetence of the military top command and federal government.
The sabotage of the Nigerian army in operations, logistics and equipment has been brought to the fore, not only by the increased superior public displays of capacity and morale of the Boko Haram rag-tag army, but by visiting foreign military partners and reports from local and foreign media on instances of deliberate sabotage and the diversion of funds and frank underfunding of the nation’s army.
Nigeria, recently re-designated as Africa’s largest economy is unable to provide its soldiers involved in one of the most asymmetrical and deadly insurgencies in recent African history, the necessary hardware, tools for obtaining actionable intelligence and even food and accommodation to successfully engage the enemy. Reports have it that whereas, Boko Haram and a government sponsored Niger-Delta civilian army, run by an ex-militant (terrorist) Tompolo, have ordinary modern equipment like night vision goggles, Nigeria’s State army lacks these necessary tools. Soldiers have claimed that when sent to the war front, they are given just 60 bullets to engage a rapidly reloading enemy.
The replacement of the GOC of Maimalari barracks, Borno after the first instance of mutiny, with a new commander, failed to abate the real and serious crises in the army as the second mutiny event demonstrates. The army is ready for full change in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the dangerous plight of the nation’s millions has also been picked up by literally all global players. Global media, world leaders and top politicians have all unanimously raised great concern about the situation of systemic corruption under the present Nigerian regime. The Pentagon, the US military command and US senators across party lines have harshly condemned and criticized the level of corruption in Nigeria, blaming this for the state of failure of the nation’s security department in protecting the lives of its people. 40-80,000 have been killed since the current administration came into power and over 3 million have been displaced, making Nigeria Africa’s worst war devastated nation.
The President of Uganda, recently joined the list of disappointed commentators. Museveni rebuked Nigeria for having to invite the world to help protect his people. Of Nigeria’s failure, he said, “I have never called the United Nations to guard our security. Me, Yoweri Museveni to say that I have failed to protect my people and I call on the UN: I would rather hang myself. We prioritized national security by developing a strong Army, otherwise our Uganda would be like DRC, South Sudan, Somalia or Nigeria where militias have disappeared with school children. It would be a vote of no confidence in our country and citizens if we can’t guarantee our security? What kind of persons would we be?”
What will be the end of the revolution of Nigeria’s masses? Can things be patched and managed or will this bring total, radical change to Africa’s largest nation and economy, also home to Africa’s most impoverished?