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Tuesday 27 October 2015

Beware of Another Civil war, US report warns Nigeria beams up satellite on illegal northern arms importation.

Beware of Another Civil war, US report warns Nigeria beams up satellite on illegal northern arms importation.

A new security report entitled "Nigerian Unity in the Balance" authored for the United States Army War College has, again, warned Nigerian leaders to beware of another civil war or an outright break-up following what it called ongoing divisive trends in the country. The report comes in the shadow of recent discoveries and interception of arms and ammunition in some parts of northern Nigeria.

 This development has raised fears and alarm in security and southern political circles as to the goals of the forces behind the smuggling of arms. While similar arm discoveries had happened in some southern states in recent past, the frequency of such discoveries in the North in recent days has reportedly increased the level of intelligence shadowing and surveillance in the area.

The US Army report released in June this year by the Strategic Studies Institute of War College was written by two former American servicemen, Gerald McLaughlin and Clarence J. Bouchat. McLaughlin is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College while Bouchat is also an adjunct professor at the U.S. Army War College (USAWC).

The 103-page report, whose foreword was written by the Director, Strategic Studies, Institute and U.S. Army War College Press, Professor Douglas Lovelace, observed that divisive forces were waxing stronger than uniting forces in Nigeria, warning that unless this was reversed, Nigeria`s existence could be jeopardised. According to the report, “Parochial interests created by religious, cultural, ethnic, economic, regional, and political secessionist tendencies are endemic in Nigeria. Under such stresses, Nigerian unity may fail.

“Should Nigeria’s leaders mismanage the political economy and reinforce centrifugal forces in Nigeria, the breaks to create autonomous regions or independent countries would likely occur along its previously identified fault lines,” the report warned. “Having already experienced one brutal civil war, Nigeria is at risk for a recurrence of conflict or dissolution, especially since some of the underpinning motivations of the war remain unresolved," the report observed, detailing many fault lines speeding up disintegrative tendencies in the country.

“Indeed, East Timor, Eritrea, Croatia, and Somaliland indicate that the weakest point of failing states is along colonial borders. Of more interest for Nigerian unity is that this may also occur between regions separately administered by a common colonial power, as occurred between Malaysia and Singapore, and North and South Sudan, where differences proved irreconcilable after the departure of British administration. At least, some of the resulting regions and states of a possible Nigerian devolution may divide along such internal lines”, the report projected.

While conceding that Nigeria’s fate is primarily in the hands of Nigerians, the report noted that such could be positively affected by actions of the US, adding that “Nigeria’s future is in balance and the United States should help tip the scales.” The report particularly warned that religious differences were taking the centre-stage in the emerging conflict situation in the country, disputing repeated reports that economic reasons were to blame for the insurgency and other conflicts in the country.

The Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) is part of the U.S. Army War College and is the strategic-level study agent for issues related to national security and military strategy with emphasis on geostrategic analysis.

Meanwhile, as insurgency remains a major headache in the Northeastern part of the country, with the growing cases of arms stockpile in the North-West states giving security analysts sleepless nights, especially as clues with regards to the motives of the masterminds remaining yet unclear. As of the time of filing this report, security agencies are reportedly focusing on both local and external sources in their bid to unravel the sudden surge in the trafficking menace.

Sunday Tribune was told that the initial suspicion indicate that the importation of arms was due to transnational islamist terrorists arming local jihadists, as well as using Nigeria as a transit route in the Sahel arms and related smuggling trade. This line of thought appeared to be the main preoccupation of the security agencies for sometime until in the last one month when political motivation reportedly entered the review process.

While analysts are yet to find direct linkage between political actors and the arm storage and smuggling, there are fears that threats from key leaders suggest a zone preparing for war depending on the outcome of the 2015 race. An insider told Sunday Tribune that the intensity of arms stockpiles correlates with the heightening of tension and mounting attacks on the presidency by political opposition and political dissenters within the ruling party.

It will be recalled that the arms cache found in Kano is still a mystery despite the ongoing prosecution of the Lebanese involved in the entire saga. The security agencies are also at a loss over what alleged Hezbollah Shiite agents will be doing with the Sunni-led Boko Haramists on the arms stockpile. Boko Haram is said to belong to the Sunni school of Islam, attributing a link between them and the Lebanese under trial over the arms cache is now proving very difficult among intelligence analysts in the country. Though it is being suggested that the Shiite group could have its own separate mission in the country.

The Kano arms discovery, therefore, is reported to have given rise to many theories, one of such is the possibility of  a non-religious involvement, with political undertone being the chief reason. This theory is believed to have gained ground after the Zamfara State government got embroiled in an arms importation controversy, claiming it wanted to arm vigilante groups  in the state. The way and manner the state government imported the arms allegedly without police approval has since become a subject of investigation which is said to be attracting attention of many within the security circles.

A security official confessed under the condition of anonymity that importation of arms without prior approval is a violation of the law. Said he: “for a state government to have done that, it is a matter to be taken seriously.”

Though the Zamfara State government has since justified its action on the  need to combat criminal gangs operating freely in the state, keen watchers of the 2015 drama, however, point out that arming vigilantes in the countdown to 2015 sent mixed signals. Many people believe that once Zamafara succeeds in its move, other state governments would follow suit, leading to proliferation of arms in the country and a potentially explosive electoral year in 2015.

While the controversy over Zamfara arms importation is still boiling, a tanker filled with  assorted arms and ammunition was impounded on the Kebbi-Zamafara axis with the source of the importation still unknown.  With hundreds of such tankers in remote parts of northwestern Nigeria, fears are spreading that there may be a deliberate program to acquire arms by some unknown elements in the northern parts of the country ahead of 2015 elections.

Four days after the tanker was impounded, another arms cache was discovered in the sleepy state of Jigawa with exchange of fire between security agencies and those described as Boko Haram operatives. Security analysts, however, faulted the reference to Boko Haram, as Jigawa has never witnessed any Boko Haram attack since the insurgency started. Others claimed the exchange of fire did not explain the owner of the arms or who masterminded their stockpile in the state.

Another source told Sunday Tribune of the fear being nursed in that sector, saying “the situation is scary. We cannot say for sure that all these arms are imported by islamists. We cannot prove that. We can also not prove that politicians are behind the caches of arms for electoral purposes. All what we know for sure is that there is an arms build-up in the core North,” a security official, said.

While the real motive behind the huge arms stockpile is still under investigation by security agencies, the statement credited to the Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Mike Oghiadohme, warning against civil war is cited by other analysts to argue that the presidency already has more facts over security situation in the country and, particularly, about arms build-up in northern part of the country than it is letting out. Oghiadohme had called attention to the tragedy of the last civil war, warning that leaders and elders should beware of actions and utterances capable of plunging the nation into another conflict.

The arms build-up situation has become an open issue within the Nigerian military, which is battling insurgency in the North-East. Though the military is not ruling out political opportunism, it however suspects the Islamists to be behind the arms build-up, while the wider intelligence community are fingering political forces as being neck-deep in the menace.

Sagir Musa,spokesman of the Joint Task Force in Borno, while confirming the arms proliferation gave greater insight into the problem facing the North and the country as a whole in a recent statement on the issue.

Said he: “Nigeria’s borders are massive with hundreds of footpaths crisscrossing to neighboring countries of Cameroon, Chad and Niger with links to Mali, Libya and Sudan. From conservative estimates by locals, there are well over 250 footpaths from Damaturu/Maiduguri axis that link or lead direct to Cameroon, Chad or Niger. These paths, which are mostly unknown to security agencies, are unmanned, unprotected and have continued to serve as conveyor belts for arms and ammunition trafficking into Nigeria.

“It is disheartening and unfortunate that the “merchants of death” have since devised methods to beat security agencies at the borders, chief among them, through the footpaths. These methods include the use of camels, donkeys and cows to traffic arms, ammunition and drugs such as cocaine into Nigeria. The fact that the weapons are small, light and collapsible makes it easy to be concealed and moved on camels and donkeys’ backs in a specially crafted skin or thatched bags mainly meant for the illegal “expedition” undetected. Similarly, some cows and grains merchants in the North-East sub-region of the country device means of hiding cache of arms and ammunition in empty fuel tankers, vehicle engines and bags of grains.

“The “grains” are transported in large number via trucks, trailers, lorries and old model pickup vans and Jeeps with little attention given to them by security agents. The use of Jega-type of tricycles (KEKE-NAPEP) as well as camels, donkeys, and cows (moving in flocks) to deceive, hide and conveniently traffic arms in some parts of the North are ways hitherto unknown, not well known”, Musa noted.

He explained further that “the Libyan and Malian rebels are desperate to exchange arms for money to Boko Haram terrorists, their financiers and collaborators as the sect has since been affiliated to Al-Qaida in the Maghreb. This has added to the overwhelming challenge of the influx of illegal aliens, arms, ammunition and sophisticated IED materials into the country and an efficient and effective fight against terrorism,” Musa had stated.

Sunday Tribune was, however, told that the political angle is already taking the center stage of discreet investigation into the discoveries. Already, it was gathered that investigation into the Kano arms caches has been extended to foreign soil, while the security agencies are said to be mounting pressure to ensure that Zamfara vigilantes are not armed with weapons.

As the arms influx expands, the questions on the lips of keen security analysts are many. Who is preparing for war? Is the North becoming a Somalia? And is the South too secretly building up its own arms, and/or has not been undetected? Could the flexing of muscles by politicians be a subtle declaration of war over 2015?

Only a thorough investigation by the security agencies can provide the necessary answers.

Sources include Sunday Tribune



  2. We shall destroy them with their own weapons.

  3. It is no longer news that Nigeria is falling apart. But I should expect the US and other world leaders to compel Nigeria to conduct a referendum which will allowed people to go their separate ways peacefully. Must the whole world wait until those arms are put in use?

  4. The North is planning for war while the South is making empty noise. All the retired army officers have been assembled by Arewa Consultative Forum and the Team is drawing serious war strategies in case of war. One they are working on the case that Yorubas may fight at their side. The second one is in case the yoruba go their owe way, Because of the second all Hause/ Fulani speaking communities in West Africa have been alerted and working to perfect total war plan know as "operation Finish and meet Allah in Heaven". Also another arm of the forum are to meeting with the Islamic Fundamentalists that will fight on behalf of the far north. A leading Northern retire army general is coordinating this plans. From January 2016 Northerners will gradually withdrawing their investment from SOUTH EAST AND SOUTH SOUTH. Buhari will crush the oil sector that it will be unattractive to foreign investors who will bargain to assist the south in the time of war. ALL southerners watch and prepare.

    1. 'Finish and meet Allah in heaven'. It depends on if you are able to finish. You thought you finished Biafra, today, Biafra still hunts you.

  5. If war broke out again in Nigeria, it will end Nigeria the one thing i'm sure that will happen is that the North will loose, if they think that we will not import arms they are wasting their time.


  7. The only thing the North and Buhari knows is only war and nothing else. How can they be war hungry instead of allowing those who want to go to go. Biafra will never colonize anyone as we have free spirit that anyone can achieve is given the opportunity but the Hausas are not like that. They want one to be a slave and never rise at all. This guns they are acquiring will be used to devour them as we are not waring people, but since Buhari is going round the world begging for guns, he will be consumed by that gun.

  8. You have too much time in your hands folks. THERE WILL BE NO Biafra THROUGH WAR, PERIOD. Please, get a life.

  9. The time for compromise and referendum has gone all what we want is the freedom of Biafra . The Amalgamation of Nigeria has ended since 2014 which gives us the right to go home as an independent nation as according to the 'modus oparandum' of the amalgamation statute in the year 1914 by the then British colonial masters.
    We fought the worst devastating civil war in the history of humanity and more than 3.5 millions of Biafrans were slaughtered and the Nigerian Government forgot it under the carpet even the genocides committed was not brought to justice. The Biafrans were taken for granted, before the civil war, during the civil war and after the civil war.
    After the civil war, a Biafran was given 20pounds to make their living even if they have millions of pounds in bank accounts so to say their money was confiscated, their houses all over Nigeria was taken as abandoned properties, churches belonging to Biafrans were destroyed in the north. Biafran lands in bakassi was given away to Cameronians as a after civil war accord between Nigeria and Cameroon, Nigeria blocked and stopped the importation of all Biafran foods like stockfish etc Biafran money from petroleum was used for free educations in both the northern states and western states of Nigeria. The Biafran money were used in building LAGOS IN THE WEST AND ABUJA IN THE NORTH thereby abandoning the Biafra land, the economic nerve of Nigeria No rehabilitations build in the Biafran land but Nigeria is building mega rehabilitative places for the Boko Haram victims.
    It is high time the Biafrans must go home as the centre cannot hold and to your tents oh Israel.

  10. No weapon fashioned against Biafra will prosper. Our God will do our battle for us but we shall not go to sleep.

  11. What! But why they did so? Why churches are being destroyed or harmed? Do they need any church loan to recover losses or for redevelopment or for reconstruction? Then please let them know about Griffin's Church loans.It's always fair to it's customers and leaves better off.

  12. This had to be one of the hardest things God had to do. He turned his back on his only begotten son. nigerian church


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