By Ochereoma Nnanna
- On August 3, 2017, the United States Department of State con firmed the approval of the sale of 12 pieces of A-29 Super Tucano attack aircraft to Nigeria worth $593m.8.
This was sequel to a phone call between former US President, Donald Trump and his Nigerian counterpart, Muhammadu Buhari.
We were supposed to pay for the warplanes immediately, while the delivery would be two (or was it three) years later.
I am not aware that the delivery has taken place. There is no way that such a massive delivery would transpire without a massive media hoopla.
What it also means is that the delivery could be imminent, more so as Nigeria is now delicately poised at the brink of im plosion from multiple security threats.
When this deal was signed, well meaning Nigerians (including my self) were happy and angry at the same time.
We were happy that such a high calibre fleet of military ma chines was coming – at last! – from America to us.
The government of former President Barack Obama, the chief international sponsor of Bu hari’s ascent to power, had refused to sell arms to the President Good luck Jonathan regime.
They even exposed an attempt to buy from the black-market allegedly using Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor’s private jet to smug gle the forex.
But we were angry because it was going to take a whole two to three years to deliver! We were livid with patriotic anger at having to spend such a huge amount under a recession on equipment that had to wait for so long, while the defeated Is lamic terror networks of the Middle East were nesting down in our North East frontier as Boko Haram allies. Since that time, we have watched with dismay Boko Haram morphing into a monster of Brobdingnagian proportions.
Government had uni laterally taken $1 billion from our Excess Crude Account in August 2018 to fight security. Some weap ons were bought, but before we knew it, we started seeing them (especial ly armoured vehicles) in the posses sion of Boko Haram.
Boko Haram has landed in Niger State and is rap idly advancing towards Abuja. They are now also in Borno, Adamawa, Yobe and Bauchi.
The cattle rustling and kidnapping in the North West have now become another front of terror which we are unable to con tain.
So, what did government do with our $1billion? The probable answer is that (as long suspected), there are jihadist sympathisers and enhanc ers within Nigeria’s current ruling establishment.
What other answers could there be when, in addition to the aforementioned massive growth of the Boko Haram and bandit ter rorism, the armed militias fighting to seize the lands and farms of in digenous Nigerians have set up camps in all 17 states of Southern Nigeria.
Those defending their ancestral patrimonies from them are declared “terrorists”, proscribed and assault ed with Federal Government weap ons that should have been turned on these armed invaders. Imo and Akwa Ibom states have been bombed to kill people defending their ancestral heritage to make way for the invaders to subjugate the indigenous people.
These armed invaders. Imo and Akwa Ibom states have been bombed to kill people defending their ancestral heritage to make way for the invad ers to subjugate the indigenous peo ple.