Nigeria Is Sick, Says Sultan Sa’ad, As The Libyan Presidential Council Expel Mercenaries

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By Stephen Ubanna

Those who think that Nigeria, the most populous  nation in the African Continent is alright may have to do a rethink. Abubakar Sa’ad , a retired Brigadier General and  Sultan of Sokoto, in north west Nigeria, appears to have hit the nail on the head when he said that  Nigerian is not alright.

 He had cited  the activities of the  Islamic Fundamentalist Group, BokoHaram,  Islamic State of The West African Province, ISWAP, a  2016, splinter Group of BokoHaram,  fighters in the north east and the Bandits in the north west states of Zamfara, Kaduna and Katsina , president Muhammadu  Buhari home state.

  At present, the bandits, which dominated the atatcks in the north  west statets of Zamfara and  Kaduna, particular,, appear to have spread their operations to Sokoto and Kebbi, the two other states in the north west geopolitical region  killing scores of people and rendering thousands of people homeless in the Communities  that were said to have been attacked.

 The activities of the  Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB with its armed wing, the Eastern Security Network,ESN, including  the armed herdsmen and farmers’ clashes in different parts of the country have given a further insight that the country is actually sick.

Sa’ad: Sultan of Sokoto

An aggrieved Sultan of Sokoto who had participated in several security meetings in the country and who could not hide his feelings  when he spoke during  the recent National Security Summit organized by  Femi Gbajabiamila led House of Representatives in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT,  had made it clear to those that cares listen  that ‘’Nigerians should not deceive themselves as things are not alright’’.

  He may have indicted the current Nigerian political Leaders including Buhari, a retired Army General, and the Nigerian President, when he said that   ‘’Nigeria is in very bad situation now’’, insisting that ‘’it is time for the Leaders  to execute action s rather than mere talks’’.

He had his reasons . Between 2017 and 2018, the Lawan Ahmad  led Senate  had organized a similar security summit but nothing came out of it. He had cited three other security meetings  that were held about one and half months ago  with the highest security echelons  and the Leadership of the country which was’’ all talks and no action’’. This may have informed why the Sultan has called for the implementation of the resolutions of the House of Representatives summit instead of allowing it to gather dust in the Presidency.  

But Lai Mohammed, minister of Information and culture, would not agree that Nigeria is in a bad security  situation under the present Administration.  He was said to have told  Adeola Adeniyi  Ajakaiye,   the Oluyin  of Yin- Ekti,  on Thursday, May 27, 2021,  that despite the  country’s current challenges, ‘’the cit is still in safe hands compared to the situation under the previous Leadership’’.

Appealing to Nigerians  ‘’not to succumb  to the apocalyptic  doomsday predictions  about the country  being in bad shape and  heading to disintegration , stating that ‘’ it will never come to pass’’.  He may have spoken the mind of the Katsina state born Nigerian President who had repeatedly promised ‘’to bequeath  a  better country  for the  present and future generations’’.

Indeed, he may have had at the back of his mind  that with the   appointment  of Farouk Yhaya, a Major General and Theatre  Commmander  of Operation Lafiya Dole,  now rebranded Operations Hadin Kai, to replace Ibrahim Attahiru, a Lt. General and former Chief  of Army Staff, COAS,, who died in a King Air 350, Beechcraft Aircraft  crash near Kaduna International  Airport, Kaduna state alongside  10 other senior officers on Friday, May 11, 2021 that, the battle to restore the country to normalcy would take a turn for the better.

 Major General Yahaya may not be new in confronting the insecurity situation in the country.   This is because he was been involved in battling the security Challenges in the north east, Banditry in the north west and the north central state of Niger, home of Ibrahim Babangida, a retired Army General and a former military President  and Abdulsalami Abubakar,  also a retired  Army General and  former Head of State .

He was said to have also been involved  in fighting the Secessionist  agitations  in the south east states of  Abia, Anambra, Eboyi, Enugu and Imo   as well as working with his men  to contain  the armed Fulani herdsmen  and farmers clash  across  the Middle Belt states of Benue and Plateau, particular,  and the south west states of Ogun, Oyo and Ondo.

But how the Army Major General, and COAS, would  be able to mobilise  his soldiers  to effectively contain the activities of  BokoHaram, and ISWAP fighters in the north east and the Bandits, in the  north west , who are working closely with the  Libyan rebels who have  a link with ISIS and who are  armed with the stolen weapons, fbyan the Libyan rebels  remain  to be seen.  The rumour making the rounds was that the Libya rebels had trained the  BokoHaram fighters in the north east geopolitical region of Nigeria and the Bandits operating in the north west.

  Barely 24 hours of Major General Yahaya assumption of office as the COAS, the Bandits operating in the north central state of Niger had given him a welcome party . They were said to have kidnapped 14 persons  in Garuka Cmmunity in Tafa Local government Area of the state.  Residents of the Community had blocked the Abuja-Kaduna road recently to protest the continued harassment of the Bandits and to draw the attention of Buhari and his security Chiefs, including Usman Alkali Baba, the acting Inspector General of Police to their plight.

This may have helped the people as the 14 persons that were abducted by the Bandits  at the Garuka Community  were said to have been rescued  by the FCT, Police Command,  in Collaboration  with the Department of State Security, DSS ,and local hunters in the Babangida home state.

 It was not surprising why the Nigerian President  had  had asked Mohammed Younis  Menfi, Chairman of Presidential Council  of Libya  who had attended  the Summit of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, LCBC, meeting in the  neighbouring West African country of Chad on Tuesday, May 25, 2021, to discuss the security  situation  in the  country  and its implications to the neighbouring countries including Nigeria. The Libya Leader had agreed that’’ a stable  or  unstable Libya   had implications for the countries  in the Sahel and Lake Chad Basin area , including Nigeria’’.

Younis: Chairman, Libyan Presidential Council

The LCBC, was said to have been   established by Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria in 1964, but was later increased to eight member countries.  This is because of the admission of the North African countries of Libya and Algeria, as well as well as the Central African Republic of Congo including Sudan,  because of their proximity to the Lake Chad Basin .

Buhari’s major  Concern for peace to return to Chad and Niger , which are Nigeria’s closest neighbouring Countries  in the West African sub-region and which have extensive borders with Libya, bear eloquent testimony to the fact  that’’ whatever affects the north African country would also affect Nigeria’’.This may informed why the Libya crisis quickly spread to Nigeria with the death of Moumar Quadafi, the former Libyan President.  Buhari, a retired Army General and the  Nigerian President  had told Menfi,  his Libyan Counterpart that ‘’if there is no peace in Libya, there is no way Nigeria may not know peace in the Sahel and Lake Chad regions.

He  may have gladdened the heart of the Nigerian President’s when he said that the crisis ridden Libya, ‘’is fast evolving  as a country as they now have one government active on ground’’.  The Libyan Leader was said to have  assured  Buharri that the country  had  started’’ expelling  the mercenaries  enlisted  by the various factions engaged  in the Libyan civil war  in order to have a  unified  instructions for the fighters’’.

 Buhari, was said to have also  had a similar  discussions with Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh,, the Libyan Prime Minister on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, on ways to bring stability in the Sahel and Lake Chad regions, which had  been wrecked by decades of insurgency. He was said to have made it clear to his Libyan Prime Minister  that the two LCBC, member  countries ‘’must Collaborate to strengthen stability in the Sahel and Lake Chad regions’’for peace to reign.

BokoHaram aND ISAP fighters In The North East Geopolitical Region

  But Babagana Zulum, a Professor and governor of Borno state, however,  would want the Federal government to engage the services  of mercenaries to  counter the BokoHaram and ISWAP , fighters in the sambisa forest and the Lake Chad Basin.

Recall that former President Goodluck Jonathan  had enlisted the services of the  South African Mercenaries  before the 2015, general elections,   to stop the Boko Haram fighters attacks in  the north eastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe  major towns and Cities. The 147 South African Mercenaries  and 163 specially trained  Nigerian soldiers were said to have formed  the 72 Mobile Strike  Force special unit which were said to have recovered   control  of the major territories that had been been captured by the    insurgents  in Borno state in the first few months of the Buhari Administration in 2015.

 The Value News learnt the issue of non-payment  of the Mercenaries by the Buhari Administration may have  forced the private military companies to leave the country in April 2016 to where their services are better needed, thus given room for ISWAP , which have link with ISIS of Syria and the Islamic State of Iraq, to emerge and which appear more deadly  because of its ambush on soldiers and attack on military bases in Borno and Yobe states.      

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