Massive corruption among top military chiefs appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari is the reason Nigeria is losing the war against Boko Haram, the Defense and Foreign Affairs has revealed in its Special Analysis released on December 28.
The Defense and Foreign Affairs reports are published by the International Strategic Studies Association (ISSA) based in the United States of America. ISSA is a Washington-based non-governmental organisation with a worldwide membership of professionals involved in national and international security and strategic policy.
The association, in 1998, took over publication of the Defense and Foreign Affairs publishing and information group, which began in 1972, providing strategic information and analysis to governments worldwide. It also incorporates the Global Information System (GIS), an encrypted on-line intelligence service for governments.
President of ISSA, Gregory Copley, told THISDAY yesterday night that their analyses were not released to the public but to governments the organisation had affiliation with. Investigation shows that not less than 160 countries have some form of affiliation to the organisation’s reports.
Asked specifically if the organisation had any affiliation with Nigeria, Coley, replied, “All I can say is that our report go to all countries we have some form of affiliation with. I will not comment on specific cases.”
The report obtained by THISDAY is damning and blames corruption among higher ups in the military high command for the faltering war against Boko Haram. Extracts from the analysis stated that at present, the Nigerian government had completely and comprehensively lost control of the engagement with Boko Haram and could show no instance when the government presently had tactical, theater, strategic, or information dominance of any aspect of the conflict.
According to the report, the insurgent groups grow stronger, and the government forces grow weaker and more beset by morale collapse.
It said, “It is fair to say that the Nigerian intelligence community itself is no longer sure what groups even comprise ‘Boko Haram’, nor has it addressed the international logistical, ideological, and support aspects contributing to the ongoing viability of the groups.”
The report stated that the leadership of the military, rather than concentrating on how to defeat the insurgents, were preoccupied with how to stop the leakage of information about massive corruption that had taken place on the pretext of fighting Boko Haram.
Excerpts from the report states as follows, “The conflict will almost certainly prove the undoing of the present government of President Muhammadu Buhari at the February 16, 2019, presidential elections.
“Despite this, the only significant engagement which the Nigerian military leadership — up to and including the National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen. (rtd.) Mohammed Babagana Monguno – seems to prioritise is the fight to stop the leakage of information about massive corruption, running into the equivalent of several billions of dollars, in the purchase by senior military officers of major military capital goods and military consumables, including the troops’ own food.
“The conduct of the war in the North is tied to the corruption in the military, and Buhari — ring-fenced by his own team — is unable to tackle the issue.
“His poor health does not help, but he had always (even as a military president, taking office on December 31, 1983) been indecisive and vindictive.
“This ongoing set of characteristics mean that the coming months will be dramatic, even more than the dying days of the preceding administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.
“It is significant that Buhari, who received the findings of the commission as much as a year ago, has refused to allow it to be made public and he, through National Security Adviser Monguno, has attempted to have the commission disband.
“However, it is believed that Monguno and Buhari are aware that copies of the report are beyond their reach and could be released unofficially if further attempts are made to assassinate commission members.
“The commission, investigating defense procurement from 2007 onwards, made significant strides which were initially accepted by the Buhari government, until the scope of the inquiry went beyond the period relating to the former government of Pres. Goodluck Jonathan, and began to show corruption patterns extending into officers still serving under President Buhari.”
The report stated that the death of a former Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal (rtd.) Alex Sabundu Badeh (who became Chief of Defence Staff), and that of a former Chief of Administration of the Nigerian Army, Major General Idris Alkali, on September 3, 2018 were not a mere coincidence .
It said, “Given the upsurge in momentum by ‘the highest levels of government’ to stop the findings becoming public from the corruption commission on defense procurement, it is plausible that the attribution of a criminal ‘kidnapping-attempt-gone-wrong’ against the Air Chief Marshal was a convenient excuse to ensure that the victim — Badeh — could not divulge in court the pattern and details of corruption which has grown even more rampant in the current generation of defense leadership.
“On September 3, 2018, the retired Chief of Administration of the Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. Idris Alkali, was also killed, ostensibly by a gang of youthful protestors who set up a roadblock near Jos, the capital of Plateau State. His body was discovered on October 31, 2018. And his death was blamed on ‘an irate mob’, who were protesting in the Du-ra-Du community against the September 2, 2018, killing of 11 members of their own community.”
The report further stated, “No significant economic or political progress can be achieved in Nigeria until the issue of the Boko Haram insurgency is resolved. Other insurgencies are also expected to emerge, or re-emerge, particularly in the Niger Delta. And while other pending internal security issues are important, it is on the BH issue that the prestige, credibility, and reliability of Nigeria is assessed by the international community. Thus, all questions of the viability of Nigeria as a candidate for inward foreign direct investment (FDI) and international cooperation are dependent on a resolution of the BH issues.
“Domestically, resolution of the BH issue is a pre-requisite to enabling issues of intra-Nigerian regional equity imbalances to be addressed. Moreover, the credibility of the Federal Government as an arbiter of justice is assessed by the domestic electorate and the world community.”
However, the Nigerian Armed Forces have consistently denied any allegation of corruption against the leadership. They have also stated and demonstrated the fact that they are capable of not only stopping the insurgents but rooting them out of the country.
Two days ago, army spokesman, Brig. General Sani Kukasheka Usman, said the nation’s military repelled an attack by the insurgents in Baga, Boro State. According to him, the insurgents on Wednesday, December 26 attacked the 7 Brigade of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), based in Baga, Borno State, about 7pm.
A statement issued by Usman read, “The troops along with their Nigerian Navy counterparts put up a very determined fight to repel the attack throughout the night, while Sector 3 Operation LAFIYA DOLE sent in reinforcement who are in hot pursuit of the terrorists.
“Similarly, a Search and Rescue team has been constituted.
“The Nigerian Air Force component has also been mobilised and are engaging the fleeing terrorists. Unfortunately, a naval personnel was killed in action. So far, no further details of casualties yet as efforts are ongoing to clear the terrorists hiding in Baga and environs.”