HOW TO FIGHT TERRORISM

It is no longer news that terrorism is now an, if not the main, issue in African politics today. The terrorist did their very worst on 2 April, 2015. The Garrissa University terror attacks in Kenya by the notorious al-Shabab terrorist group which left 148 innocent students dead should at least be enough to convince even the most ridiculous doubting Thomas of the reality of the threat pose by these groups on our existence as a continent. The question then is how to fight it!

There have been various suggestions on how to deal with this disturbing trend. One central aspects in all the suggestions is the role of the Military. The perhaps only point of disagreement is methods or mode of its (Military’s) involvement.

Before we go on, we need to make some important clarifications. We have no issue against using the military to tackle terrorism can at best provide mixed results. This is from the fact that the military operates on conventional principles in prosecuting convention wars. National Armies are expected to observe certain laws in war such as treaties governing “Prisoners of War” and the likes. Professional Armies are by law prevented from training under aged as soldiers. Extraterritoriality often extended to friendly or allied militaries, particularly for the purposes of allowing that military to simply pass through some territories during war. All these do or may not apply to unconventional groups like guerrillas or terrorists. It is therefore illogical to fight unconventional elements using conventional means!

It is time for a more pragmatic approach to tackling this issue. The recent successes recorded by local hunters, in Nigerian towns of Mubi, Michika, and Madagali, and the efforts of the local group called Civilian Joint Task Force(JTF) in rolling back the notorious Boko Haram in Nigeria provides a vital clue to kick start the process. The success recorded by these efforts proves that the military may lack the thorough analyses as a result of poor institutional and system processes to really root out this menace.
To curb the menace of terrorists, there is need for a trans-border approach. We say these because terrorists are groups without territories of their own. This is where the African Union(AU) and other sub-regional blocs come in.

Like I argued in my earlier article, AFRICA: THE CHALLENGE OF TERRORISM, the AU needs to do more than just depend on army recruits from member states. It must itself have its own standing High Command for its own specific operations and enforcements of its sanctions. The Union which has a rich history of armed struggle against colonialism, having through it powerful Liberation Committee, trained guerrilla groups against colonial and apartheid regimes, must rise up to its new challenge without much ado. The Union must ignite its historic spirit of struggle, and face this monster of terrorism.

It is on this note that I recommend an Anti-Terror Department (ATD) or any other suitable name under the direct supervision of the African Union(AU) for the specific purpose of combating terrorism. The ATD must be well-funded by member states, voluntary donations from individuals and organisations whose objectives are incidental with those of the African Union. It must have a secretariat of its own, and an effective means of propaganda. You heard us right “Propaganda” in the fight against terror.

We are equally recommending the ATD be trained under the guidance of professional soldiers in the art of conventional warfare. The ATD must be granted the full powers of extraterritoriality throughout the continent. This condition is not negotiable.

In some cases some governments for foreign policy reasons or any other politically-motivated reasons sponsor or harbour terrorist groups. This is where the efficacy of the propaganda machinery of the ATD will be put to test. The AU must do all within its powers: political, economic, social or any other to put pressure on such government by cutting of its arms supplies.

Volunteers for operations for the ATD must be regularly paid from funds available at its disposal. They must all be of African descent. Their camping base must be in strategic places in North, Central East and Southern Africa for effective operations.
The Garrissa University attacks should be seen as early warnings by the AU for further attacks whose next port of call is highly unpredictable.

We are aware some may take our recommendations as too simplistic. We agree. But a quick reminder here is that the United States led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation(NATO) have for more than a decade been in Afghanistan fighting Al-Queada and the Talibans the only mistake has been fighting terror using conventional methods!

BUHARI: THE SECOND COMING

Turning and turning in the widening gyre,
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere,
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of compassionate intensity.

(W.B. Yeats The Second Coming)

William B. Yeats’ poem shows the Nigerian situation in 1983 before General Muhammadu Buhari and his colleagues struck on 31st December, 1983. False historians are now at work. Femi Fani-Kayode(FFK), doing the job he was paid to do as President Jonathan’s Campaign spokesman he tweeted on his official twitter account on New Year eve that General Muhammadu t Buhari, the All Progressive Congress(APC) candidate “truncated democracy and took away our peace on this day 30 years ago.”

I agree fully with FFK that since Buhari came the forces of reaction have murdered sleep. They have known no peace. In parenthesis, FFK’s job, like the Ministry of Truth in George Orwell’s 1984 involves large scale propaganda. You hear things like FREEDOM IS SLAVERY; IGNORANCE IS STRENGHT; WAR IS PEACE; 16 GREATER THAN 19; CORRUPTION IS VIRTUE, VIRTUE IS VICE.

Don’t be surprised, they justify these before their gullible followers. This dirty job also includes malicious distortions of hitherto plain historical facts,(and in some cases falsifying them) in the process confounding the pseudo-intelligent, confusing the gullible, compounding the problems for the ignorant and permanently weakening the consciousness of the unconscious. This is FFK’s job; no one should blame him as he is well paid for it. My own job on the other hand is to put the records straight, fill in where FFK missed it, and clarify the points where FFK appears confused so that confuse people like him may understand.

In 1983, like now, thing have all but fell apart. Orders were no longer in Order. The government had corruption stamped in gold. In fact corruption became a virtue with irredeemable features, as it is now. The economy was, like now, battered with high rate of inflation, unemployment, huge debt profile, reckless devaluation of the naira, mismanagement and wastes and ill-thought austerity measures as a result of fall in oil prices the lists are endless. There were ethno-religious crises everywhere Madakeke/Ife, Kano, Kaduna, Maiduguri, Bauchi and so on and the Shagari government was helpless and hapless. The final straw that broke the camel’s back was the massive rigging of the 1983 general elections in favour of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) leading to breakdown of law and order in the country. Clearly things were falling apart, the centre could not hold. These were the “democracy” and “peace” FFK and his colleagues enjoyed so much (they won’t let go of) that he now boldly tell us that Buhari put (and still intend to put) an end to in 1983. It was a crime for Buhari to have ended their party. The party is on now, (as it was then) they are now crying like babies when he is even yet to assume power. Do you now see how WAR IS PEACE?

Any curious observer will quickly strike the similarities between what was happening during Shagari and what is happening now. The second coming of Buhari (which is now at hand) is seriously discomforting them. They are working round the clock to avert it.
The intervention of General Buhari in 1983 effected immediate changes to the country’s then multiphase challenges. The Administration’s responses were immediate manifesting in the following:

The Buhari Administration recovered all ill-gotten wealth from politicians and other public officials, no matter how highly placed and irrespective of tribe, religion or political affiliations through special investigative tribunals. The Administration’s spirited anti-corruption campaigns went far beyond the experiences of Nigerians when a detachment of the Nigeria secret service went to London( where ex-Minister of Transport under Shagari was then living before the coup) to literally “abduct” Dikko back home to face trial. This mission was largely unsuccessful but the intent was well noted and admired. I wish to note that in fighting the monster of corruption, innocent people might sometimes suffer. Just as removing a tumor from the body sometimes affect healthy cells to save the entire body!

The Administration restored order and discipline in public life clearing the country of the stranglehold of corruption, impunity, indiscipline, immoralities and other social ills with the formation of the War Against Indiscipline(WAI) which till date is still a landmark. WAI Brigades were set up in schools to instil discipline, order, patriotism and other national values among our young ones.
Concerned by the growing rates of social vices, the Buhari Administration promulgated Decrees carrying long jail terms and death penalties for crimes ranging from economic sabotage, drug and currency trafficking, examination malpractices and the likes to serve as deterrents to potential criminals. Under these decrees, which may be applied retroactively, many were executed, and in many cases sentences to death. These executions were boldly carried out. Enforcing discipline where indiscipline prevails requires bold, detribalised, decisive, and “though” leadership.

In November, 1980 Mallam Muhammadu Maitatsine led an extreme Islamic sect in an operation to wipe out other Muslims and non-Muslims. This group was extremely intolerant, and the Shagari government watched helplessly as this group killed Nigerians in broad day light in Kano, Kaduna, and Maiduguri. The Buhari Administration wasted no time in flushing the sect out, and all its remnants in 1984 and normalcy was restored. This is the primary responsibility of the state. There is no excuse for failure!

When W.B.Yeats in his poem The Second Coming wrote: “Surely some revelations is at hand/ Surely the Second Coming is at hand./ Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert.” We have to understand that our present situation in Nigeria is in worse case than it was in ’83 these were the “revelations…at hand” that reactionary forces are afraid of and will do anything to supress. The General “Troubles…sight” as they see him coming to take away the feeding bottles from their mouths. Was this is why they raised 21 billion naira for elections? They will gladly pay you $2000 per tweet just to discredit the General. The sacred time was slow but finally it came. They knew they could run but not hide. They could postpone the inevitable, but could never avoid it. They were only postponing the evil days from February 14 to March 28. Alas! The Second Coming.

I will not end this piece without saluting the courage put up by numerous Buhari’s Volunteers on social media too much to name. Despite the financial inducement in this period of economic hardship you stood your ground. When others were roasting their mothers you kept yours. For these wonderful people, I share this beautiful P.B.Shelley’s lines

To suffer woes which Hope thinks infinite;
To forgive wrongs darker than death or night;
To defy power which seem omnipotent;
To love and bear; to hope till Hope creates
From its own wreck the things it contemplates;
Neither to change, nor falter, nor repent;
This like thy glory, Titan, is to be good, great, and joyous
beautiful and free;
This is alone Life, Joy, Empire and Victory.
(Percy Baysshe Shelly, Prometheus Unbound, 1820)

I thank you for you did not falter, fear or brake. You kept the spirit high; sustained the momentum; fought like true soldiers of fortune and faith; and in the end Victory! Buhari’s Second Coming we know brings hope and victory.
May we all find profound Peace.

“Amandla! Awethu!!”

My Predictions about 2015 Nigerian Elections

I predicted sometimes last year before the scuttled Adamawa by election that Nuhu Ribadu, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governorship candidate in Adamawa State, will appreciate a second position if he contested the Gubernatorial election. Trust my
ever loyal PDP friends they gave me several knocks. Now I walk taller, Ribadu actually came third in the just concluded election. I didn’t just spend one year in the Land of Beauty for nothing!

Again my PDP friends got their steam after I erroneously give victory to Kayode Fayemi in Ekiti. I had to keep quiet and watch because I know very little about Ekiti(visiting only on three occasions). My data disappointed me thoroughly. I didn’t factor in “rigging”. I learn my lessons the hard way.

When it was time for Osun Gubernatorial election in August last year, my PDP friends told me to keep quiet which I characteristically did. I told those who cared to listen that Rauf Aregbesola the All Progressives Congress(APC) candidate and incumbent governor of the state, will win the election. I predicted Iyiola Omisore the PDP candidate to win in Ife areas. Lo! I turned out to be the case. The rest, as the British say, is history.

It was the turn of the presidential election. I wrote severally on my blog / why GMB’s handlers
have done a better job than the PDP. I also wrote on this page several reasons President Jonathan will lose the Presidential election.

My PDP friends relied only on one thing-power of incumbency. This is a myth I dispelled in my article WHO WILL SAVE THIS SHIP and
HEAVEN WILL NOT FALL. You can read both on my blog / or on my facebook wall.

Even after the election shifted from February 14 to March 28, 2015. I ran my research data seven times more, lo, General Muhammadu Buhari (GMB) still won!

The only advantage I insist, the postponement confer was the monetary inducement of voters in the South West of Nigeria considering the decisive role of money. Save for this, GMB wins, rigging or no rigging!

The results for the presidential election was released on 31 March, once more I was vindicated.

Lagos is a state I have lived in all my life. The most ridiculous PDP optimists came up with several reasons why PDP will win in Lagos. I simply told a group of friends at my office that
the political risk data at my disposal is quite unclear and so unreliable. I told them that I expect a keen contest but Akinwunmi Ambode the APC Governorship candidate will win. This was after the infamous Oba of Lagos’ threat against non-indigenes of the state which caused much uproar. I did not say more other than the fact that PDP has several unexplained factors that work against it in Lagos!

Those were how far my analyses of the Nigerian elections went. I still love my PDP friends, though I have been severally accused
of partisanship, particularly for the APC. To this I laughed it off. I only analyse based on data at my disposal not on emotions!

THE LORD OF LIES

Early 2012, President Jonathan came out publicly to say (except he said this under duress) that the dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram served in his cabinet. After making this careless statement many thought it was one of those” unpresidential” remarks which the President is known to make. But to those who know, this statement was a major clue to deciphering the real sponsors of insecurity in Nigeria.

In Nigeria, a Governor at any time (t) has not less than N500 million for “security vote” let alone the President. This was the major premise of my argument that the major beneficiary of insecurity particularly with the Boko Haram will ultimately be Mr. President. So was my thought at that time.

Shallow minded elements amongst us did their usual best to divert attentions from the real issues. The smart ones amongst us were far too intelligent for them to fall cheaply for primordial lies. Herein come lays Lord of Lies!

My intuition was confirmed later in 2012 when General Adrew Azazi (rtd) the then National Security Adviser(NSA) told us what the Lord of Lies does not want to hear: Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) was behind the veil of Boko Haram!

After the General made this statement, we knew it was only living on borrowed time on his job. As predicted he got sacked as NSA and later died under controversial circumstances in a plane crash. May God help us!

It does not take the intelligence of Albert Einstein to see the perfect connections. Let’s not forget, Mr President knows the BH served in his cabinet. The BH members in the President kitchen cabinet “advised” him to sack General Azazi as NSA for revealing them. Suddenly these same Boko Haram “arranged” for a plane crash for the General for saying what the Lord of Lies did not want him to say. Yet the Lord of Lies wants us to believe he is fighting Boko Haram hence shifting the blame on his opponents!

Another thing in 2012 still caught my attention. Senator Ali Ndume, representing Southern Bornu on the platform of All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) in the Senate was paraded by the Department of State Security (DSS) as the sponsor of BH. Since the Senator joined the PDP no one has heard anything about his case anymore. He is now home and dry. The Lord of Lies is still looking for the sponsors of BH!
I need not dwell much on Senator Ali Modu Sherriff’s case. It has been well discussed and documented. The PDP spokesman Mr Olisa Mettuh accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) in early 2014 of harbouring the primary sponsor of BH hence the party was behind BH. Since Modu Sherriff joined the PDP the tune has since changed. The Lord of Lies!

Recently the Nigerian Army requested the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to shift the February 14 elections by six weeks to enable it confront the terrorists. A dramatic event happened in Gombe when the sect attacked the state: An air raid of fliers warning the residents to stay away from the elections hence they be attacked (written in Hausa) became visible. The question is: Who is distributing these fliers? At what point dis Boko Haram began to concern itself with elections? Something tells me that the compromised Nigerian Army or the Jonathan’s cabinet faction of Boko Haram was at work to scare people away from voting. These are my best explanations for now.

With the desperation clearly written on the face of the Lord of Lies just to “win” elections, no one can readily determine how far he can go. Under him all institutions, including the Military has been politicized.

The Lord of Lies wants us to believe he is innocent, when in fact he is guilty. He takes personal credit for what is good but shifts the blame on others when things go bad. He once told us that the Military under his command did not” consult” him of their unpreparedness yet he claims he gets “security reports” every hour!
I will end this piece with the instructions of Amilcar Cabral to his comrades during the Guinea-Bissau revolution: “Tell no lies, claim no easy victories, tell it to the people the way it is.” This is an instruction the Lord of Lies must key into.

Africa: The New Challenge of Terrorism

The recent terrorist attacks on Garissa University, Kenya on 2 April, 2015 which resulted in the dead of 148 students by a group, al-Shabab, calls for worry on the part of African leaders, under the African Union system. The African leaders must device a new way of looking at the monster of terrorism in the 21st century.

With pomp and a collective sense of fulfillment, African nationalists gathered in the historic city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 25 May, 1963 to witness the birth of the African regional bloc, the Organization of African Unity (OAU). Amidst the euphoria, the immediate mandate of the new Organization was clear- decolonization. It was with this mandate that the OAU, now African Union (AU) looked at the issues on the continent.

In other to achieve its immediate objective, any means to see this done will do just well as far as the OAU was concerned. One important organ of the OAU at this period was the Liberation Committee whose headquarters was in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. This explains why several guerrilla movements like the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), Mau Mau Movement (Kenya), South West African Peoples Organization (SWAPO) in Namibia, Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO) and the likes all trained under the guidance of the Liberation Committee.

It is no longer a secret that most, if not all countries that gained independence in the 70s, 80s and 90s did so with the force of arms. With this, it was very difficult for the OAU to precisely define “Terrorism”. If it did, there is no way its definition will not include acts perpetrated by groups like the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa, for instance. The ANC itself was granted an observer status in the Organization. The same ANC was defined as a dangerous terror group by the Apartheid regime in South Africa. This was the OAU dilemma.

All countries in Africa are now politically independent, so the perspective of the African leaders must change. There are no more colonial masters to deal with at least. The changing of name from Organization of African Unity (OAU) to African Union (AU) in the beginning of the century does not mean change in philosophy. The change in name will only be meaningful if African leaders themselves change their way of looking at the present challenge confronting the continent- Terrorism.

Before we go further, let us digress a little. During the Cold War, Africa was a battle ground for Shylock European and Western powers for “spheres of influence”. Crises in Congo DR, Angola, Algeria, Sudan and the likes all have Cold War undertones. The question then is: “Why should Africans be made to suffer from what is not theirs?”
This is not to say that Africa does not issues of its own. At least groups like Boko Haram (Nigeria), al-Shabab (Somalia), Lord’s Resistance Army (Uganda) have African roots, but we can take a bet they will not have been so sophisticated if not for their affiliations with the notorious Islamic State of Iran and al-Sham(ISIS) and the Al-Quaeda Islamic Magreb (AQIM), two groups which intends to turn Africa into a battle ground for their rivalry. This is perhaps the case with Boko Haram and al-Shabab with the former recently pledging allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) fighters and the latter to Al-Queada. The rivalry between the IS and al-Queada has been well documented so it needs no recounting here. It is our take that the Garissa attacks is just a show of relevance by al-Shabab to wade off the growing influence(with the recent allegiance oath by Boko Haram to the ISIS) of the Islamic State on the continent which al-Queada once boasted of! This is our logical explanation for the attacks. We therefore call on African leaders to act fast: Africa cannot be a battle ground for another “Cold War” between ISIS and Al-Queada!

If not for the reckless indecision of some African leaders, groups like the Boko Haram will not have attained their present notorious dimensions. Failed state institutions in Somalia can best explain the rise of al-Shabab. It is at this point that the AU must seek a new mandate by coming in fully to save the continent. It is happening in Kenya today, we do not know the next port of call. If Africa cannot tame these groups with roots in Africa how then can we deal with foreign groups like ISIS and AQIM? The Yoruba proverb says: “The thief at home is the one which brings the thief from outside.”

With the same vigor the OAU now AU fought colonialism, it must deploy a spirited fight against the monster of terrorism. It is time the AU establish its own High Command, with volunteers from member nations in its bid to conquer the monster. The Command must have special operation force, or an Anti-Terrorism Department (ATD), with its own separate secretariat and staff. The ATD must be given the powers of “Unrestrained Entry” in any African country where there is early warning of impending terrorist attacks.

Also the ATD must establish bases in all member states of the African Union as parts of its operation. We are aware of the old question of “territorial integrity” or “Sovereignty” that some might raise. Since terrorists respect no territory or sovereignty, so must every counter-terrorist effort. It is just like fighting cancer, to save the body the cancerous cell or tumor must be removed to every of its slightest trace. So must terror and every trace of it must be expunged from our domains. It takes more than conventional approach to fight terrorism. It is an emergency with no “normal” connotation!
In addition to the noted challenges of AU system, there are other challenges the African leaders face ranging from lack of institutions, processes, and proper conflict analyses’ mechanisms in member states. A good example is Nigeria where the fight against the notorious Boko Haram has been clouded by political opportunism, sycophancy, and clear institutional weaknesses/decay. The fact that the poorer Chadian, Niger and Cameroonian Armies had a successful onslaught against the group relative to a fairly richer Nigeria confirms serious institutional decays in the Nigerian defence system ridiculing the Nigerian so-called fight against Boko Haram!

It is on this note that African leaders must wake up from their self-induced slumber to the new challenge of terrorism. The Garissa University terrorist attacks must be the very last!

ISIS: The Challenges of Global Terrorism in Post-Cold War

In an amazing display of bravery, an unnamed Tunisian street hawker set himself ablaze (some say it was out of frustration) in a sunny afternoon. This singular heroic act was soon led to series of riots which ultimately brought down the Ahmed Ben Alli’s regime and things will never be the same again. As the world watched the “Arab Spring” extends to Yemen, Egypt, Syria, Libya and many other Arabian territories arms freely flew into the hands of “freedom fighters” and pro-US regimes’ foot soldiers which will later become deciding issues in world peace and security. Ever since the world left us to find solutions to our problems they left us alone and went silent!

Keen observers of international affairs will probably know that not much has changed in the United States’ foreign policy thinking since the end of the Cold War era in 1990. The role of Washington in the so called Arab Spring shows that the White House still views international relations strictly from Cold War lenses. The role of the “World Powers” in Syria specifically calls to question the supposed end of the Cold War. Ever since communist China and former “Soviet” Russia supported the Asa’ad’s Damascus Government, Washington found a way to oppose the same regime hence supporting the “freedom fighters”. Not minding the fact that US supported the Hosni Mubarrack’s over three decades old regime, US led NATO forces brought down the seeming popular anti-Western 42 year old dictatorial Libyan regime led by Muammar Gaddafi. Suffice to say, both countries have known no peace ever since!

There is a school of thought that Washington’s reluctance to intervene in the Syrian crises because the country has no Crude Oil (an important geo-political resource) unlike its colleagues in the Middle East. There is still another school that says had the Obama administration intervene at the early stages of the Syrian crises, it might not have exploded or in the worst case human casualties would have been very minimal. The two views cannot be wrong, if Washington has dropped its Cold War lenses and viewed the issues from more realistic standpoints.

The decision of the US and its allies of initial “non-interference” have proven costly. The new dimension of global terrorism and insecurity accounts for this rather unfortunate decision. The disturbing nature that international terrorists now take which has now led to the agitation for Islamic States of Iraq and Syria(ISIS), the Islamic States of Iran and the Levant(ISIL) and other Islamic States(for short) affiliates and their nefarious activities in the region explains the conspiracy of world leaders as these groups rein terror on us all.

The Washington government supplies arms to its “Freedom fighters” in Syria, Libya, and in other places to fight governments they do not support as part of their foreign policy objectives, forgetting that the so-called “freedom fighters” soon turn “terrorists” soon after they are left alone. This was exactly the case with Western trained Osama bin Laden and the likes. The same “Freedom Fighters” they armed are now the new Islamic State(IS) fighters that have been killing our people with impunity and the world is silent!

Even if we concede that the US is protecting its economic and political interests in the Middle East (Oil and Israel), doing it at the expense of monumental loss of human lives is uncharitable, considering the fact that the US was a major causative factor in the imbroglio. The fact that Washington singularly account for more than any other for the escalation of the ISIS crises, US it is that must take the lead in bringing an end into all these needless killings. The world cannot continue to remain silent as innocent lives are being lost.

As a matter of recommendation, State Department’s strategists must get of this Cold War mentality. The world is in the 21st century and the Great Wars went with the 20th century. The fact that either Russia or China supports or oppose an issue does not automatically mean the US must take an opposite action on the same issue. This will only make international relations filled with tensions suspicions, distrusts, and hatred. Human lives are at stake.

This is not the whole world, not only the United States, must stand firm against the ugly trend of ISIS. This is not the time to remain silent. Our people are dying on daily basis for daring to profess their faith. We must not be passive. We must not be silent. If you are silent now while these atrocities go on then you are part of the world that was silent while we died. We died for what we know nothing about. We died because of the profession of our religious beliefs. And as ISIS operated; burning and killing children, murdering “infidels” and maiming innocent and harmless citizens and the world went silent. It all started in Tunisia!