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Israel will determine winner of Nigeria’s presidential election

When President Goodluck Jonathan presented to the National Assembly the 2014 budget proposal for Nigeria’s security architecture, it included a pitch for a “Wise Internet…

When President Goodluck Jonathan presented to the National Assembly the 2014 budget proposal for Nigeria’s security architecture, it included a pitch for a “Wise Internet Network Harvest Analyzer System, Open Source Internet Monitoring System and Personal Internet Surveillance System” put at an estimated cost of US$61.2m. It was not until Elbit Systems, a ranking firm in the Israeli military-industrial complex broke the news on its website that it had sealed a deal with the Jonathan administration for US$40m to monitor and control the internet and all other forms of telecommunications that Nigerians realized that “Big Brother” had already sneaked up on them.
The desire of the Nigerian state to intercept and crack down all internet activity under the guise of “routine security action” particularly against the background of Nigeria’s ranking of 112 out of 180 countries in the 2014 RWB (Reporters Without Borders) Press Freedom Index, and the call by top government functionaries on the need to clamp down on the extensive use of social media, slew of multiple of media house raids and seizure of newsprint by armed soldiers and other gun toting security henchmen all in the build up to the now postponed elections all point to a kind of re-election anxiety disorder, it also points to Watergate.
The chief reason of the Watergate break-in engineered by G. Gordon Liddy, a ranking member of CRP (Committee for the Re-election of President Nixon) on 17th June 1972 was to “gather political and financial intelligence on the Democrats”. In the peculiar Nigerian political space, Israel’s WiT (Wise Intelligence Technology) can with impunity break into any opposition party database, intercept phone calls, text messages, chat and emails. Nixon would later turn his sagging political fortunes around by winning the November 1972 elections by a landslide mainly due to the mother lode of intelligence CRP had gathered on the electoral strategy of the Democratic Party.
Was President Jonathan’s October 2014 visit to Israel with a reported 300-person delegation “a manner reminiscent of irritating flies around a horse”? A month earlier in September a prominent writer Jonny Paul of an influential Israeli blog, Arutz Sheva noted -“Nigeria-Israel relations are at an all time high and set to flourish further but with the 2015 general elections in Nigeria approaching, what would happen if President Jonathan’s PDP failed to get elected? Would a new president continue the goodwill? With so much at stake, there are nervous onlookers in both Abuja and Jerusalem”.
Israel will determine the outcome of Nigeria’s presidential elections through the prism of its own national interests by sharing electronic eavesdropping with its preferred candidate. Who then is this Manchurian Candidate?
According to John Kennedy Opara, a top shelf in Jonathan’s kitchen cabinet and Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission, a total of 31,570 Nigerians visited Israel for pilgrimage in 2010 and in 2011 the total catapulted to 50,620. He further enthused that a benchmark of 100,000 pilgrims would be in the nearest future achieved. Nigeria now ranks amongst the top 20 importers of Israeli products and services in the world. In 2012 Israel imported US$165m worth of Nigeria products and by 2013 when Jonathan became the first Nigerian leader to embark on a state visit to Israel the figure had mounted to US$276m with the Elbit Systems as the icing to cap Nigeria-Israeli relations. During his state visit Jonathan made a fisherman’s invocation to the President, Shimon Peres that his feelings towards Israel are marked by “deep interpersonal affection”. Jonathan would subsequently match action to his words when he quite recently got Nigeria to abstain from a crucial Palestinian state vote at the UN.
General Muhammadu Buhari equally has an Israeli ace up his sleeve. According to Gordon Thomas in his book entitled Gideon’s Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad, in early 1984 (when Goodluck Jonathan was still an undergraduate) the then Israeli Premier Yitzhak Shamir reached out to the Federal Military Government at a crucial junction of joint national interests when “Mossad’s Director Nahum Admoni travelled to Nigeria’s then capital, Lagos on a Canadian passport to meet with the new Head of State Buhari”. As Max Siollun, author of Soldiers of Fortune: Nigerian Politics from Buhari to Babangida (1983-1993) elsewhere put it “Nigeria’s relationship with Israel was complex. Nigeria supplied more than 50% of Israel’s crude oil in exchange for military hardware. From Israel’s perspective the continuation of oil flow from a country with a high Muslim population was strategically important”. Interestingly a majority of Israelis are not even Zionists; just 75% of them are Jews with 42% not even religious but secular and pragmatic. That a major exposé on the “apropos of our doubtful religiosity” here in Nigeria.
Another 4 years of the Jonathan with a backlash of adverse public opinion will see a massive reduction in the kind of spending that will not exactly benefit the Israeli religious tourism industry. The mainly government sponsored pilgrimage to Israel will however receive a boost under a President Buhari anxious to placate his Christian constituents. The Israeli built and initially run Obafemi Awolowo University with its number one ranking among Nigerian universities will no doubt find newer impetus in a South-West facilitated APC led federal government.  An overview of Buhari’s manifesto particularly in the area of its agricultural development proposals offers a more expanded potential for Israeli participation than what Jonathan has provided for them so far in the last 5 years.
To what extent can an internet and telecommu-nications surveillance project influence a presidential elec-tion in Nigeria? Despite the fact the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report (2011-12) states that there are only 284 internet users in Nigeria per 1000 people the Jonathan administration was however significantly outflanked by the extensive use of social media by civil society activists in mobilizing support for the well coordinated January 2012 fuel subsidy protests and the ongoing #BringBackOurGirls campaign with its massive global scrutiny that almost marred Nigeria’s hosting of the WEF in Abuja.
Yahaya-Joe wrote from Rock Road, Wusasa, Zaria<[email protected]>;

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