The Defence and Foreign Affairs latest report published by the International Strategic Studies Association (ISSA) based in the United States of America, has stated that the deaths of a former Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Sabundu Badeh (retd.) and a former Chief of Administration of the Nigerian Army, Major General Idris Alkali, “were not a coincidence”.
ISSA is a Washington-based non-governmental organisation with a worldwide membership of professionals involved in national and international security and strategic policy.
President of ISSA, Gregory Copley, told ThisDay that their analyses were not released to the public but to governments that the organisation has affiliation with.
The report released over the weekend and obtained by the newspaper stated that corruption among top military chiefs appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari is the reason Nigeria is losing the war against Boko Haram terrorists.
It stated that at present, the Nigerian government had completely and comprehensively lost control of the engagement with Boko Haram and could show no instance when the government presently had tactical, theatre, strategic, or information dominance of any aspect of the conflict.
It reads in parts, “It is fair to say that the Nigerian intelligence community itself is no longer sure what groups even comprise ‘Boko Haram’, nor has it addressed the international logistical, ideological, and support aspects contributing to the ongoing viability of the groups.
“The conflict will almost certainly prove the undoing of the present government of President Muhammadu Buhari at the February 16, 2019, presidential elections.
“Despite this, the only significant engagement which the Nigerian military leadership — up to and including the National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen. (rtd.) Mohammed Babagana Monguno – seems to prioritise is the fight to stop the leakage of information about massive corruption, running into the equivalent of several billions of dollars, in the purchase by senior military officers of major military capital goods and military consumables, including the troops’ own food.
“The conduct of the war in the North is tied to the corruption in the military, and Buhari — ring-fenced by his own team — is unable to tackle the issue.
“His poor health does not help, but he had always (even as a military president, taking office on December 31, 1983) been indecisive and vindictive.
“This ongoing set of characteristics mean that the coming months will be dramatic, even more than the dying days of the preceding administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.
“It is significant that Buhari, who received the findings of the commission as much as a year ago, has refused to allow it to be made public and he, through National Security Adviser Monguno, has attempted to have the commission disband.
“However, it is believed that Monguno and Buhari are aware that copies of the report are beyond their reach and could be released unofficially if further attempts are made to assassinate commission members.
“The commission, investigating defense procurement from 2007 onwards, made significant strides which were initially accepted by the Buhari government, until the scope of the inquiry went beyond the period relating to the former government of Pres. Goodluck Jonathan, and began to show corruption patterns extending into officers still serving under President Buhari.”
The report stated that the death of a former Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal (retd.) Alex Sabundu Badeh (who became Chief of Defence Staff), and that of a former Chief of Administration of the Nigerian Army, Major General Idris Alkali, on September 3, 2018 were not a mere coincidence .
It said, “Given the upsurge in momentum by ‘the highest levels of government’ to stop the findings becoming public from the corruption commission on defense procurement, it is plausible that the attribution of a criminal ‘kidnapping-attempt-gone-wrong’ against the Air Chief Marshal was a convenient excuse to ensure that the victim — Badeh — could not divulge in court the pattern and details of corruption which has grown even more rampant in the current generation of defense leadership.
“On September 3, 2018, the retired Chief of Administration of the Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. Idris Alkali, was also killed, ostensibly by a gang of youthful protestors who set up a roadblock near Jos, the capital of Plateau State. His body was discovered on October 31, 2018. And his death was blamed on ‘an irate mob’, who were protesting in the Du-ra-Du community against the September 2, 2018, killing of 11 members of their own community.”
The report further stated, “No significant economic or political progress can be achieved in Nigeria until the issue of the Boko Haram insurgency is resolved. Other insurgencies are also expected to emerge, or re-emerge, particularly in the Niger Delta. And while other pending internal security issues are important, it is on the BH issue that the prestige, credibility, and reliability of Nigeria is assessed by the international community. Thus, all questions of the viability of Nigeria as a candidate for inward foreign direct investment (FDI) and international cooperation are dependent on a resolution of the BH issues.
“Domestically, resolution of the BH issue is a pre-requisite to enabling issues of intra-Nigerian regional equity imbalances to be addressed. Moreover, the credibility of the Federal Government as an arbiter of justice is assessed by the domestic electorate and the world community.”