The official visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Cameroun to discuss joint efforts to curb Boko Haram in the region has thrown up an indictment of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
A very credible Presidency source told Daily Sun that in the anti-terror war, Jonathan did not do much in forming a synergy with leaders of Nigeria’s neighbouring countries.
The source said during Buhari’s interaction with his Camerounian counterpart, Paul Biya, he disclosed that Jonathan isolated himself from the leaders of Cameroun, Chad and Niger. “The major complaint, according to Biya, is that Jonathan never or seldom, at best, picked his calls. He said most times he called, Jonathan neither picked nor returned his calls. And as a result, the integration of efforts that should have stopped Boko Haram’s foray and unchallenged run was lacking.”
Biya, according to our source, said he was sure that leaders of other neighbouring countries had the same experience, and therefore, questioned how Nigeria alone would have contained Boko Haram, knowing it is an international terror group with roots and connections in some other countries from where they get into Nigeria and carry out attacks.
“This solo handling of the problem did not enable the neighbours put in much to solve the problem until it got this bad,” he said.
The source also indicated that the Jonathan administration was lax and reluctant to bring under control people very close to that government who are flagrantly involved in crude oil theft and diversion.
According to the source, while Jonathan was in power, he was aware that certain persons close to him and coming under the guise of the protection of his government were involved in high scale oil theft.
Another source from the security outfit currently interrogating some key personalities of the past administration disclosed that one of them that was detained and later released told security agencies the Jonathan administration was quite privy to crude oil theft using some government agencies and individuals as fronts.
Daily Sun was told that the administration acted in compromise while the theft lasted and never did much in checking the agencies, individuals and security fronts used in the theft.
“There is no individual that would have access to the crude oil loading terminals, bring in a vessel and load the product and set sail to the high seas without being caught. We have several agencies of government from the petroleum corporation to the conventional security bodies like the Navy and other government bodies that patrol the territorial waters, even private security outfits.
“So it is practically impossible that someone would beat all these hurdles unaided and sail out with loads of crude oil. The government was aware of the people involved and when or where the crude oil was taken. The neighbouring countries we share common sea boundaries with also knew that the Nigerian government under Jonathan merely compromised in the theft,” our source said.
…Ex-CDS blames fifth columnists for slow progress
By Philip Nwosu
Former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh yesterday lamented the presence of some unpatriotic elements in the Armed Forces, explaining that their activities are impeding the anti-terror war.
Speaking at a pull-out parade organized to mark his disengagement from the military in Abuja, the former CDS said the Fifth Columnists in the military and other security agencies leaked operational plans and other sensitive information to the insurgents, thereby hampering the operations of the Armed Forces in the North-East.
He said: “The activities of Fifth Columnists in the military and other security agencies who leaked operational plans and other sensitive military information to terrorists, combined to make the fight against the insurgents particularly difficult.
“The activities of these unpatriotic members of the military not only blunted the effectiveness of the fight, but also led to the needless deaths of numerous officers and men who unwittingly fell into ambushes prepared by terrorists who had advance warnings of the approach of such troops,” he noted.
He said the decision by certain countries to deny Nigeria weapons to prosecute the war against insurgents also added to the challenges the military faced in anti-terror war. According to him, “the task of co-ordinating the military and other security agencies is perhaps the most complex and challenging assignment I have had in my over 38 years in service.
“For the first time, I was head of a military that lacked the relevant equipment and motivation to fight an enemy that was invisible and embedded with the local populace. Added to this, was the exploitation of a serious national security issue by a section of the press and the political class to gain political mileage.”
The former CDS said upon assumption of office, he envisioned a Defence Headquarters that would ensure effective co-ordination of the Armed Forces to meet the security aspirations of a united democratic Nigeria.
adding that “this became necessary in view of my desire to galvanise the entire Armed Forces in support of Operation Zaman Lafiya, which was, and still is mainly an Army operation.”
Marshal Badeh explained said the Defence Headquarters set out to combat insurgency with the excellent co-operation from the service chiefs and Heads of other security and Para-military organisations pointing out that these cooperation paid off as “we were able to record some notable successes.”
While listing his achievements as Chief of the Air Staff, Marshal Badeh lamented the dearth of pilots, adding that, “a major challenge we inherited in the area of human resource development, was the huge pilot generational gap that existed as a result of the lack of pilots among the members of five Nigerian Defence Academy courses some of whom were already Squadran Leaders and Wing Commanders.
“ Faced with this challenge, I projected into the future and found out to our dismay that the NAF was going to be faced with problems of deploying these categories of officers to key leadership positions which have been designated for pilots by establishment. In other to solve this problem, I approved the training of some of the officers who had been carefully screened and selected. As it is with such decisions, I faced lots of oppositions. However I remained undaunted and today, most of these officers have completed pilot training and are deployed to some of our flying units. “That singular determination to aggressively pursue the training of pilots has solved the problem of generational gap for pilots in the Nigerian Air Force,” he said.