I read with concern and great interest the news of the assurance that Senate President David Mark gave to a delegation of the EU that Nigeria will come out of the present Boko Haram insurgency stronger and that our 2015 elections will be fairer because our institutions are better and Nigerians have become used to the processes of democracy. That really is how leaders should talk to strangers who can be of help on various issues in and outside the nation especially on the simple matter that we can still not find the over 200 missing Chibok girlseven as the ruling party, the PDP gave a blank cheque to the president to be its sole candidate in the 2015 elections. Just as it also endorsed its first time governors with automatic tickets for the governorship elections of 2015. Obviously to our distinguished Senate President, the ruling party, and the President of the Republic, insurgency and elections are mutually exclusive issues. Which means that they are independent of each other. Or that one can do without the other That really is where I beg to disagree – and saying how and why I do this, is the kernel of discussion today. I have no doubt in my mind that the Senate President, the ruling party and especially President Goodluck Jonathan must have a robust political strategy for containing the Boko Haram insurgency and conducting ahitch free, rigging free elections through INEC in 2015. I do not for now expect them or the PDP to divulge such a strategy so as not to give ammunition to the Opposition to attack or subvert it. But then I want to share with them some knowledge and theories on the principle of Strategic Management, beginning with a basic definition of a strategy. The definition says that a strategy is a plan, a pattern, a perspective, a position and a ploy and that a strategy is inseparable from its environment. It is to these five Ps of Strategy that I want the leadership of the ruling Party to address their great minds to see if they know what they are doing in steering our ship of state in the direction that says clearly that globalsecurity, our insurgency and the coming 2015 elections can exist in isolation of each other. On my part I will show here, with examples of events and global news, this last week, why I think they should not go in thisdirection as it is very dangerous. Given the state of our insurgency and the fact that the Boko Haram has reportedly seized Mubi where I served as a youth corp while the government was said to be negotiating the release of the over 200 abducted Chibok girls with expectation rising over their release this week, one could say that there was nothing cheerful about this insurgency and our management of it, at least on our own soil. But worse news came from abroad, from France to be precise, to show that global security is being threatened and the threat is really not far from hitting our shores very soon, if care is not taken. The news is that drones have been buzzing or circling the nuclear facilities, at least five of them, that provide 75% of the electricity that France uses. Drones are unmanned aircraft and the French government – owned EDF France at first thought that Greenpeace the anti nuclear, pro environment, global institution was responsible but Greenpeace has vehemently deniedthis claiming that it is transparent in all its activities and accusing the French authorities of negligence on the matter. The buzzing have been reported between October 5 and 20 but EDF said that the drones were of little sizes available commercially and have little security threat. The French government has nevertheless started inquiries on the sighting of thebuzzing.
Which really is commendable when you realise that drones are the effective weapons being used in Afghanistan and Pakistan against terrorist groups such as Taliban and Al Qada and are an integral part of the air strikes against Islamic State in Syria, Iraq and Kobani. I find the way Greenpeace has reacted fascinating, proactive and thoughtful. Greenpeace saw the security implications of the buzzing clearly and the possibility or potential of its being wrongly given a bad namein order to hang it, if something nasty happens later, givenits well known stance against the use of nuclear power to generate electricity anywhere in the world because of its harmful effect on the environment. In blaming EDF so clearly and pointedly, Greenpeace was also salvaging its imagethat it is not a terrorist organisation in its quest to preserve the environment globally. Anyway the French government has launched an inquiry into EDF negligence on the drone buzzing of the French nuclear facilities.
The implications of a blow up of French nuclear facilities which supply almost all its electricity and power is better imagined than stated here but are nevertheless of concern to us today. This enables us to look far and beyond the nuclear facility buzzing in France itself and to see role of France especially in the war against terrorism in Francophone Africa and the Sahel which the North East of Nigeria belongs andwhich is where the Boko Haram is creating caliphates with impunity. In a world in which a Malaysian aircraft carrying over 200 people can literally disappear from the skies and not be found till now, in spite all the modern technology available, the drone buzzing of the nuclear facilities in France should not be casually dismissed like the French power authorities did. Similarly the fact that the over 200 Chibok girls are still missing should make us ponder on any strangehappenings in our global environment.
This is especially pertinent and relevant, given France’s role in saving Mali from the Tuaregs and Islamist militants who invaded that nation and providing stability while ECOWAS leaders were not sure of what to do to save Mali at the time. It is also significant that France still maintains close ties with its former colonies of which three of them Niger, Chad and Cameroon share borders with our troubled North East. Indeed the news that the Chibok girls were to be freed this week centred on negotiations going on reportedly brokered by the President of Niger Republic in the capital, Niamey. It therefore goes without saying that France is a legitimateand potential target from the perspective of Boko Haram and their foreign partners and sponsors for an attack, indeed anyattack, especially one that can cripple its electricity supply and wipe its people off the face of the earth with nuclear bombast from hostile drones. When and if that happens to France,there is no doubt that it will put its extra territorial concern for Islamist terrorists at bay and put its house in order first as no one goes to sleep while its house is on fire. Which definitely will give Boko Haram a free rein to establish more caliphates in our North East to strengthen the saying that when the cat is not at home mice will play.
We have looked so far to France so that we can see our position on the ground at home very clearly over the management of the Boko Haram horror and the peaceful conduct of our coming elections. So far I have illustrated strategy as a plan, a pattern, a perspective and a position using France’sEDF, Greenpeace and France’s role on terrorism in Africa as convenient signposts. Now I want to use our leadership role in managing both Boko Haram and the 2015 elections as a ploy to give Nigerians peace of mind in making a success of both. To me the recipe is clear and that is to carry the fight toBoko Haram and finish it off before the elections. Aggression is needed in this regard both on the political terrain and the military front. All hands need to be on board including theopposition looking to wrest power from the ruling Party as a conducive environment is needed if the competition for power is to be on a level playing field. Definitely the government cannot do it alone.
I recommend therefore, the strategy of the Israelis in the 1967 Six Days War with the Arabs. According to Moshe Dayan the famous Israeli war strategist, attack was the best form of defence. According to Moshe Dayan – ‘We had aggression flowing in our veins and blood. The Israeli air force pre emptively attacked the Egyptian air planes on the ground and crippled them successfully to win the war in just six days.Why can we not do the same in Six days to Boko Haram? This is really what we need to do to really believe what the Senate President told the visiting EU delegation on our insurgency and elections. This is no wishful thinking . This is whatthe President and Commander in Chief should order his troops to do, to justify his not paying a kobo to get the form to contest for his party, while giving all of us a run for our money in terms of patience and security over the insurgency and the coming elections.