Defense News Nigeria accuses the Chadian government of playing games with Nigeria in the prosecution of war against Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists.
A thread on Twitter says Chadian authorities allow the terrorists to use their territory as a staging post against Nigeria and explains that Chad is behaving this way because of the oil find in Lake Chad.
Please read the thread from the Twitter account
I’ll like to touch on a very vexing issue. Boko Haram have been at the receiving end of the wrath of the Nigerian military. A nation that has been at war for a decade has grown tired and wants to crush this insurgency once and for all.
We’ve witnessed a rearmament and modernization programme unprecedented in scale. The recent acts of kidnappings and negative media propaganda only highlights the desperation of the jihadi group.
Last week air strikes were conducted on the fringes of the Lake Chad. It’s only a matter of time before the Nigerian military start doing what the Chadians have refused to do till this day – go after ISWAP camps in the Lac Province. This has to be a terrifying ordeal to our belligerent neighbours. They now see a resurgent Nigerian military with the capability to go it alone, they see the resolve of Abuja in the midst of all out attacks from Amnesty International, ICC, western media propaganda and cowardly kidnappings and know the Nigerian military will soon go after quasi ISWAP government from their staging bases in Chad’s Lac Province and there is little they can do to stop it because it is within the right of Nigeria to go after their base of Boko Haram staging bases.
In November the Nigerian government made a surprise announcement it will commence crude oil exploration in the Lake Chad Basin, setting off alarm bells in N’djamena. It should be noted that oil exploration was suspended after members of Boko Haram sect attacked a team of geological engineers from the University of Maiduguri who were engaged by NNPC to carry out a survey of the Lake Chad islands towards the commencement of oil exploration. The said territory has been a source of friction between Abuja and N’djamena.
Three times the NNPC tried to carry our surveys, three times they were met with armed resistance. Requests by Abuja for Chad to go after insurgents camps in Chadian territory fell on deaf ears. The security situation made it impossible to carry out explorations.
During April 2020 Maskirovska the Israeli Air Force, on the request of Chad mapped out the entire Lake Chad basin. Both natural and artificial island without notifying the Nigerian government. An undiplomatic and nefarious act.
But now they see Nigeria’s recent acquisitions, 90% of which are suited for conventional warfare. 3rd gen tanks, air defense systems, long range artillery, 4th gen jets, armed drones.. and know Nigeria will not hesitate to use them if it has to.
The fact that the announcement to resume oil exploration took place in Maiduguri with the military and chief executive officers in the oil sector sends a cryptic message. The area is now peaceful enough to commence the oil exploration.
On 6 January Nigeria’s Minister of Defence Maj Gen Bashir Salihi ordered the Nigerian army at various locations to embark on aggressive kinetic action against terrorists in the border area and beyond if necessary threatening national peace and security.
Twenty Four hours later the Chadian Ambassador paid a visit to State House and appealed for the Nigerian government to OPEN the Nigeria – Chad border.
He stated that now is the time and year for the two countries to stop cross border crimes fueling ISWAP. To quote him verbatim:
“It is time for a more decisive and aggressive effort in ending insurgency and terrorism. It is through synergy and sincerity of purpose that the asymmetric war against the insurgents can be won this year. Chad is ready and willing to cooperate with Nigeria to do the needful. On behalf of President Derby I am appealing for President Buhari to open the Nigeria border to foster closer economic and military operations”.
The Chadian Ambassador must think Nigerians are stupid. Neighbouring countries make this fatal mistake
Nigerian Presidents usually struggle with articulation and oratory, very soft spoken. Nigeria is also usually patient and will often exhaust all possible means of diplomacy. These countries erroneously see this as a sign of weakness, only to realise how wrong they have been.
In April the Chadian government waged a propaganda operation designed to embarrass the Nigerian government. They went after Boko Haram in their own territory, invited the French Magazine Le Point and for days condemned the Nigerian military.
“The whole world is asking why the Nigerian army, which is a big army is not in a position to stand up to untrained kids armed with Kalashnikovs.
“We are fighting alone in parts of Nigeria. Chad is alone in shouldering all the burden of the war”.
He saved the best insult for last.
“I have issued Nigeria an April 22 ultimatum to reoccupy territories Chadian troops seized so we can withdraw. We are not an army of occupation.”
They overstepped their boundaries and the Nigerian army rebutted the claims.
Now that Nigeria’s military resurgence is undeniable and Nigeria’s Defence Minister has declared 2021 the final offensive against ISWAP wherever they may be, we have Njdamena making diplomatic overtures asking for the borders to be reopened so that they can attempt to derail this planned offensive with massive influx of arms to insurgents?
I see no reason why the Nigerian government should even consider this request at such a crucial time.
The borders should remain closed. Not worth the risk