By Abdulmumin Giwa
The United States of America through its Deputy Director, Office of West African Affairs, Bureau of African Affairs at the US Department of State, Mr Nathan Holt, stated in Washington that the agenda being pursued by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration were in line with its expectations.
The US took this position even as Nigerians are now facing the worse economic woes ever in the history of the country where not even the Nigeria’s president could be treated at home due to lack of essential healthcare delivery infrastructure.
More than an estimated 60% of Nigerians are now living below a dollar per day due to extreme poverty and hardships with more and more people losing their jobs daily. It is such that more and more people hardly have nourishing meal a day thereby forcing a lot of people into crime.
Even government workers in the country hardly get paid their monthly remunerations in some cases for over 10 months such that even on Workers Day angry workers had to publicly disgrace the labor minister.
The economy had deteriorated in a way that the level of inflation had risen by over 150% on retail prices of all essential commodities that include food and medicine among others.
More so, the Buhari regime operates with impunity and disregard to law and order in which it blatantly disregards and disrespects competent court judgments and orders and jails innocent individuals without charges for unconstitutionally ordained periods of time.
Although the government claims to be fighting corruption, in which the battle is clearly selective and politicized, some government agents are accused of engaging in corrupt practices that have to do with acquisition of foreign currency, mistreatment of internal refugees, spending of hundreds of millions on grass cutting projects in IDP camps, funding of terrorists in the name of ransom and on and on.
Definitely the US government cannot claim not being aware of all these discrepancies and even more with the Nigerian government, but there are obvious reasons why it declares having the same agenda with the Buhari regime.
Firstly, it is clear that the US brought in Buhari as Nigeria’s president and stooge to serve its global interest of fighting what it sees as Iranian influence in Africa. Even former President Jonathan had declared that the US led him out of office not for which he could have become the president again. All he needed to do was to bribe some elements, rig the elections and then manage post-elections crises and that’s all. But because of the US interest he had to give up his ambition for Buhari, the US choice.
Why the US preferred Buhari to Jonathan was that he was more suitable for their planed clampdown on Iranian influence in Africa. They have noticed a vibrant Movement in Nigeria that enhances the Iranian influence in the West African region led by Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and are not comfortable with it. They see the fastest growing and formidable mass movement of the people as a threat to their interest in the largest and oil richest black nation in the world which is possibly falling to Iranian control and influence. It is an asset they would not want to lose to an enemy.
More so, the Movement is against most of its international policies as it is a leading opposing force in Africa condemning the illegal occupation of the Palestinian lands by Israel. In addition to this the Movement is also against its officially accepted form of Islam, Wahhabism which it is using in blackmailing the Islamic system and instituting phobia against Muslims.
The Americans in this regard have made several efforts to ensure that the leader of the Movement is killed, his members dispersed and the Movement outlawed. This plot has been on since around 2004, 2005, 2006. To this effect the US had used its influences in the past regimes in Nigeria to ensure a drastic action against the Islamic Movement in Nigeria and its leadership.
There was a plan for a bloody massacre during the President Yaradua’s regime that was preempted by the IMN leader. The plot at that time was to bomb the residence of the IMN leader through air raids and clampdown on the members.
After that there were also several attempts to assassinate the IMN leader during some of which white-skinned men were notice attempting to kill the IMN leader.
A major test operation was carried out on the IMN by a specially created squad of the Nigerian Army led by one Colonel Oku in Zaria. Nobody was sure who he was answerable to but certainly not to the Generals above him. This same squad descended on the Pro-Palestinian rally of 2014 staged by the IMN in Zaria. 34 IMN members were murdered by the squad in cold blood including three undergraduate sons of the IMN leader. Some of the three sons of Sheikh Zakzaky were abducted alive and tortured to death by the soldiers.
The operation was meant to kill the IMN leader’s sons who were specially identified and abducted by the soldiers during the operation, taken to the military barracks, tortured to death and dumped in the hospital.
This operation in a way attracted public sympathy to the IMN leader and also swayed public opinion to the Movement in which several politicians and public figures especially in the Northern part of Nigeria condoled the IMN leader. The northern APC politicians used the massacre to blackmail their PDP counterpart. The US was able to realize that President Jonathan, a non-Muslim from southern part of the country would not be the best person to lead the operation against the IMN as this would give the entire operation a different meaning from what they want. It would also generate sympathy to the IMN, something they must avoid by all means.
For this the US opted for Buhari, a Muslim from the north and widely revered by the majority Sunni Muslims who was clearly supported and selected by them and this was clear from the visits of the then American Secretary of States John Kerry to Nigeria.
Their understanding is that with the reverence he enjoys from the north, with the Sunnis in majority, with the Saudi influence over state financed clerics, they could stage a brutal massacre on the IMN and get away with it. They will successfully kill the IMN leader, disperse his followers and outlaw the Movement thereby destroying any possible Iranian influence in the country. Unfortunately, the plot was executed and sustained for a period of time but has finally failed. This act of state terrorism has only ended up bringing down the government.
In executing the evil plot, they formed an alliance against the IMN made up of America, Israel and Saudi Arabia. Each one of them was playing a role in ensuring the IMN and its leadership are ousted. They supported each other in the operation using influence on intelligence, technical support and finance. The Saudis funded widespread sectarian sentiments using the Saudi sponsored clerics especially those belonging to Izala. Within Nigeria also American stooges among the traditional rulers were also induced into the project as well as some elements within the political class especially the Kaduna state Governor Nasir El-Rufai who saw an opportunity of becoming elevated by the imperialist masters. Also the military unit of the operation was fed with made-up intelligence reports for the operation.
This led to a terrorist form of attack on the IMN by the Nigerian Army under a false pretext of road blockage. Over 1000 people were killed in cold blood in a killing spree that lasted over 48 hours. Women, children and the aged were murdered by the army who were chanting anti-Shia slogans as if they were Wahhabi terrorists. They burned people alive, cut women’s breasts with bayonets, punched their private parts with sharp objects, stole donation moneys in millions, destroyed and marched on copies of Quran and buried their victims in mass graves some of who were buried alive.
All these crimes have independently been confirmed by reputable and internationally recognized human rights organizations that have produced reports and called on the Nigerian government to come cclean on the Zaria Massacre.
Certainly it is now becoming clearer that the US agenda tallies with that of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime. That is even why it is not putting pressure on the government on the continued illegal detention of the IMN leader even as the American Ambassador to Nigeria described Sheikh Zakzaky as not violent. Several rallies and demonstrations have been staged in various cities of the world calling for immediate and unconditional release of the IMN leader but the Americans are pretending not to be hearing anything about it. Here they are today praising Buhari’s agenda, which agenda in particular?