The Complicity of the West in Nigeria’s Security Challenges

by Ahmed Dodo

The recent statement by former American envoy to Nigeria John Campbell that it is unlikely for Nigeria to get technical and financial support from the U.S. in its desperate effort to checkmate the prevalent insecurity situation in the country was to many Nigerians a final proof to the suspicions long-held about the reluctance of the west to effectively assist the country in its war against terrorism, banditry, and kidnapping currently ravaging Africa’s most populous nation.

Campbell echoed a deflated logic that the U.S. laws strictly prohibit the American government from providing technical expertise to security forces accused of human rights violations, an illogical premise most western governments are timidly using as an excuse over the years, unconcerned as hundreds of Nigerian civilians are killed weekly.

The puzzling suspicious way the west has refused to assist Nigeria to win its war against terrorism deems from the fact that the American government since President Obama have failed to acknowledge the importance and contribution of Nigeria to the stabilization of the African region and the world at large. The snobbish attitude of Obama’s administration towards the country in his African tour and foreign policy, followed by his predecessors, gave confidence to other western nations to fold their hands and withhold the much needed technical assistance to the country in It’s critical moment.

While the U.S. might not have openly coerced the other western nations from assisting Nigeria, its foreign policy, and body language over the years lack the coordinating prowess of being the self-acclaimed number one democratic nation in the world.

The stand of the American government and its lack of seriousness towards ending insecurity in Nigeria is a whack on its status as a nation that stands for world peace.  The inability of the US congress to propel a visible progressive action plan towards building a secure foreign policy with African nations like Nigeria since the Kennedy era has been one of the negative cogs that have withheld peace and impelled consistent conflicts in the continent.

U.S. Policy outlook and superior perception no doubt encouraged Britain and other western nations to snub any assistance request by the Nigerian government towards ending its terrifying insecurity challenges. It is part of the reasons why the British government recently flagrantly conceived the prejudiced idea to grant asylum to members of one of the destructive proscribed secessionist groups in Nigeria- IPOB.

The action of the British government clearly outline its stands on the unity of the Nigerian nation and its overwhelming security challenges. This inequitable move has further expunged any trust the Nigerian nation has for the UK government and rubbished its recent step to secure the commitment of the G7 action plan to help save millions of lives from famine and humanitarian crises with a £276 million donation for the devastated northeast part of Nigeria.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent appeal to the United States and the international community to support Nigeria and the sub-region in tackling growing security challenges to avoid spillovers has in no way stimulated the west to look into this proposal holistically  even though most African leaders and their people have long been suspicious of the U.S. African Command (AFRICOM)  which the Nigerian president appealed to the American Secretary of State  Anthony Blinken to relocate from Stuttgart, Germany to Africa in a virtual meeting.

Many experts touted the idea and suggested that the west help could come in form of intelligence support from the US, UK, and other advanced western nations, but this perception is also shrouded in mystery as the west has deliberately refused to assist the country with its Intelligence Alliance through its famous 5eyes, 9eyes, and 14eyes intelligence-sharing network despite its diplomatic relationship and economic gains in the country over the decades.

The verity that the west bears a share of responsibility for the insecurity and subsequent killings going on in Nigeria is glaring from their recent relaxed immigration policy to the country’s frustrated teeming youths, this with the offer of juicy scholarships and mouthwatering work wages, all in their effort to shore up their economy with energetic workforce thus flagrantly encouraging brain drain and capital flight from the overwhelmed African nation.

While the west has continued to gain from the intellectual and the physical prowess of Nigerians in Diaspora, the logical thought of reciprocating their contribution to the betterment of the west through technical and intelligence supports to their besieged nation to effectively confront its insecurity challenges has rather been politicized and intentionally delayed.

A good example is the specious conditions imposed by the United States when the Nigerian government wanted to purchase 12 –A-29 Super Tucano fighter planes. These conditions include the 2020 late transfer date for the aircraft, the bigoted suggestion that Nigerian technicians will not be trained by U.S. staff, be part of maintenance crews, neither can they study the production of the planes. These prejudiced conditions were a result of concerns about the alleged human rights abuses by the Nigerian military; rather, experts see the conditions as a smokescreen to deny the sale of the planes to the Nigerian authourity. The sale of the planes is still enmeshed in controversies and Nigerians are still waiting for their planes more than four years after.

Canada which has been at the forefront of encouraging youthful Nigerians to migrate over has not deemed it appropriate to deploy its intelligence to assist the Nigerian government in taming its insecurity challenges, neither has France kept its promise to assist Nigeria tackle insecurity in the Lake Chad basin. The recent lips promise by President Emmanuel Macron to the Nigerian president at a bilateral meeting in France has not changed the deadly onslaught of ISWAP and Boko Haram terrorists from the Lake Chad axis against the Nigerian military and the traumatized civilian population.

The British government meek responses to the insecurity problem and killings going on in one of its former colonies and its blunt refusal to make available its rich intelligence resources and vast technical expertise to tame the evil forces ravaging the oil-rich nation that has benefitted it for long is one of the utmost betrayals in bilateral relationship and foreign policy diplomacy.

The complicity of the western media led by U.S. corporate media has helped infused some of the deadly attacks in Nigeria and contributed to the current insecurity challenges. A clear case was how Twitter used its platform to instigate the destructive #EndSARS protests and its partisan support to secessionists in the country. The U.S. government has through its media long promoted the fuzzy idea that Nigeria is a failed state and predicted the breakup of the country within a time frame.

Kidnappers, terrorists, and bandits are still having a field day across Nigeria, daily maiming, killing, and kidnapping schoolchildren for ransom while the west as rightly echoed by John Campbell is still withholding their needed supports. Their action and policy rather appeared to be like vultures patiently waiting to scramble for the recolonization of the country and its people.

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