In the numerous years, I have been a researcher; I haven’t come across a disjointed research work as the one released by the International Strategic Studies Association, ISSA on how corruption amongst the top brass of the military is fuelling Boko Haram war. The report was more of conjectures than facts. Its conclusions were also legendarily defective. And to put succinctly, it was indeed an abysmal job, both in plot and execution.
I recall I took the pain to peruse the report for fresh insights into the Boko Haram insurgency given the fact that I have written extensively on the phenomena and gaining more insight into it would not have been a bad idea. But I was disappointed so much so that I had to pen this article to raise concerns on why the relevant authorities in Nigeria should not allow organizations or individuals to make a mess of the psychology of Nigerians.
As mentioned earlier, the ISSA report falls short of a quality research work and also capable of misleading members of the unsuspecting public. I think the report was released ostensibly to cause disaffection among Nigerians in the build-up to the general elections. And what I found curious was the attempt by the writers to paint the Muhammadu Buhari administration in a bad light by making a string of accusation on the death of Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh and Major General Alkali. They also touched on former NSA Sambo Dasuki. It was such a weak plot in my opinion.
I stand to be corrected; there is more than meets the eyes in that report released by the ISSA. There is every reason to believe it was a hatchet work by those that are desirous of seeing to the disintegration of Nigeria. Just as I have mentioned in numerous forums, the Boko Haram dynamics has transcended the borders of Nigeria. The level of external support it garners is mind-boggling. And one of such external support is in the deployment of propaganda.
The ISSA report can thus be classified as propaganda for Boko Haram. I drew this conclusion because, in the opening paragraphs, it stated thus “The present situation is that the Nigerian Government has completely and comprehensively lost control of the engagement with Boko Haram and can show no instance when the Government presently has tactical, theatre, strategic, or information dominance of any aspect of the conflict. Moreover, the insurgent groups grow stronger, and the Government forces grow weaker and more beset by morale collapse.”
I could not come to terms with such and wondered how the ISSA could be privy to such information. Some questions needed answers in my mind. Questions such as do they have an office in Nigeria? Do they have researchers on the ground in North East Nigeria? How qualified are these researchers if any? And how long did it take for the ISSA to put the report together? Needless I add that the report which was released on 28th December 2018, quoted an incident that happened the previous days. Yes, it was that bad a report.
This is a disaster Nigeria must avoid in its totality. Nigeria as a fact must rise against such agents of destabilization. If this is not the case, I wonder what else should be the case when organizations hide under the umbrella of for the good of humanity to perpetuate evil.
I think some of these organizations that pride themselves as international organizations have outlived their usefulness. They have also lost focus and made itself available to agents of destructions in return for monetary gains.
The ISSA is a disaster Nigeria must avoid as there is no iota of truth in what was published as a report. The insinuations, the half-truths, the hastiness, the lack of coherence, the poor execution of the plot, the missing links, and the plenty question marks all point to the fact there is an ulterior motive. The ISSA is no any different for the likes of Amnesty International that has continued to spread falsehood in Nigeria especially about the Boko Haram war. As it stands, it seems the easiest way for some of these organizations to get funding for their activities, is when they create a narrative on Boko Haram that negates the gains recorded by the Muhammadu Buhari administration since it came on board in 2015.
To make matters worse, the report by ISSA didn’t have footnotes or references. What it had were quotes lifted from some newspapers. And this is supposed to be a report by an international organisation. Is this what Nigerians should take seriously? Doesn’t it further state the obvious that it might be one of those hatchet jobs? Whichever way we look at it, the truth remains that the report was very uncharitable and of poor taste meant to discredit the present administration as well as the hierarchy of the Nigeria military, and also in a way dampen the morale of the troops fighting Boko Haram terrorist in North East Nigeria.
As it stands, it behoves on all well-meaning Nigerians to resist such groups from destabilizing our country. Members of the fifth estate of the realm must also play a part by refusing to do the bidding of these organization by promoting their propaganda against Nigeria. And not just that, they should also go the extra mile by exposing some of the half-truths contained in the report. Nigeria is home, and there is nowhere else to go, and as such we must remain and salvage it together.
By Richards Murphy
Murphy wrote this piece from Calabar.