Conspiracy confirmed - By: . . | Dailytrust

Conspiracy confirmed

Over the past several years there have been verified reports about the involvement of sophisticated locally connected international syndicates in fuelling banditry, kidnapping and terrorism in northern Nigeria.

Many credible reports and eye witness accounts have, for instance, confirmed the operations of anonymous aircraft dropping sacks of weapons to terrorists in the forest. Likewise, some supposedly humanitarian and other non-governmental organisations (NGOs) were on different occasions found undermining the war against the terrorists under various disguises.

However, such reports have always been dismissed as conspiracy theories by the authorities and many public commentators.

By the way, while excessive tendency to look at developments and events in a conspiracy context does suggest a simplistic understanding of issues, outright dismissal of it even in the face of facts and circumstantial evidence suggests intellectual inferiority complex, which some folks including some otherwise intelligent observers betray, having fallen for the trendy narrative of denying the existence of conspiracy in the events of the modern world. Some of them also never hesitate to ridicule anyone alluding to it no matter the strength of his arguments.

Anyway, though the Nigerian authorities have always been aware of such subversive activities, they have not only been unable to tackle the situation but have also been reluctant to openly acknowledge its existence. Also, though there have been instances where some government agencies have complained over some suspicious activities by some of such NGOs, which were at some points even suspended, the issues would always be somehow “resolved” and the NGOs would always have their ways and carry on their activities.

However, even though realistically speaking, the Nigerian authorities cannot be completely excused, they are, to a large extent, admittedly helpless in the face of the hugely powerful interests profiting from the persistence of terrorism and banditry in the region. Besides, the authorities have limited diplomatic influence and competence to handle the intricate underlying politics of such security challenges.

This is in addition to the country’s very limited capabilities in terms of airspace monitoring and reconnaissance that keep it unable to detect such aircraft. After all, even sophisticated airspace monitoring systems get compromised by, say, spy or criminal syndicates’ aircraft. For instance, international drug-trafficking syndicates in Latin America manage on many occasions to beat the US airspace monitoring system, which is the world’s most advanced, by flying too low and below radar coverage altitude into the US airspace and deliver drug consignments into its territory undetected. Also, the US itself and many countries conduct similar operations in other countries for espionage or special operations purposes.

Therefore, without necessarily excusing Nigeria’s failure to keep its airspace under control, it isn’t surprising that it (airspace) is being compromised that way.

Now, the recent decision by the Nigerian authorities to declare Zamfara State as a no-fly- zone to tackle the subversive operations of aircraft supplying weapons to terrorists and the suspension of gold mining activities in the whole state is long overdue yet not enough.

It’s a significant development now that the Nigerian authorities have openly acknowledged that there is indeed a conspiracy frustrating the government’s efforts to end terrorist insurgency and banditry in Northern Nigeria. Also, though the syndicates behind the conspiracy are attracted by the massive gold resources in the area, other perhaps even more sinister motives cannot be ruled out.

The situation may also not be completely unconnected to a much more serious agenda(s) pursued by others elsewhere. The Nigerian authorities should follow through with further intelligence-based efforts to dig up and expose all interests pursued at the expense of the country’s stability, the parties behind it and other conflict profiteers undermining the efforts to bring an end to the situation.

That is relatively easier at the local level, for there are many individuals out there, some of whom quite influential in their respective communities, who are believed to be linked to insurgents and bandits. However, for fear for their lives and safety, local people hardly report them, while local and power elites simply turn a blind eye for other selfish considerations. For instance, as much as the Zamfara State Governor Bello Matawalle indicts some unnamed personalities for involvement in the abduction of the students of Government Girls’ Junior Secondary School, Jangebe, his unwillingness to expose them or at least share the intelligence with relevant authorities makes him equally guilty.

Exposing the external dimension of the conspiracy necessarily involves extensive and effective diplomatic engagements with not only regional countries but more importantly the major world players and major relevant international organisations. Besides, the country’s ability to secure enough commitment from those parties in this regard depends on the scope and effectiveness of its diplomacy.

Unfortunately, Nigeria’s diplomacy is at the moment too weak to achieve that; worse still, the authorities apparently haven’t even realised the imperative of that strategy in the context of the struggle to end the insurgency in the country, in the first place. After all, even at the regional level (West Africa), Nigeria’s diplomatic weight is too insignificant compared to the size of its population, the size of its economy and its economic potential among many other things.

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