By Anthony Kolawole*
The Trump administration recently approved the sale of strategic arms to Nigeria in support of the fight against terrorism
The conjured and demonic opinions of skeptics on the unabated degeneration of Nigeria under a Buhari Presidency is the least of my nightmares. I am the more comfortable with myself because only falsehood struggles to be concealed, but truth breaks the most secured of jails to quench he thirst of man with its effervescent aura.
But every day and across the globe, relations with Nigeria, comments about Nigeria and the engagement of her people by other nationals render these theorists of doom prostrate. Nigeria is unstoppably regenerating under President Muhammedu Buhari. Its war on terrorism is a resounding success and the administration’s no nonsense posture on fighting the monster of corruption in all spheres of public life attracts world-wide acclaim.
And it is evident in a hitherto obstinate America under President Donald Trump also identifying with Nigeria on its drive to reinvent itself on all fronts. This has expressed in the approval the United State Government has granted Nigeria to sale 12 high-tech, Super Tucano A-29 attack aircrafts worth N219 billion ($600 million) to Nigeria’s Air Force to assist in battling Boko Haram insurgency.
We do know that America had resisted such offer to Nigeria in the past, under the Obama Presidency, a development exacerbated by the mistaken bombing of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Rann, Borno State. And that America has recounted its position is a consideration of several factors, including transparency, accountability and respect for human rights of people.
But we are today consoled because we have not stopped improving ourselves and making amends where possible. The Holy Scriptures says, in Exodus 14:13 that “These Egyptians that you see today, you shall see them no more.”
Whilst the torment of Boko Haram lasted, lives were lost and properties destroyed and varying layers of social dislocation, some nations in the world in the position to assist Nigeria looked at terrorism as an isolated Nigerian problem. Nothing griefs the heart more like when a neighbor sits in celebration of your misfortune. That was the fate of Nigeria and international organisations also conscripted into the conspiracy against Nigeria.
One cannot help but frown at the destructive roles played by Amnesty International (AI) and its array of local franchise and extremists sects like the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and some briefcase Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), which only existed on letterhead papers.
They spared generous time to mock the plight of Nigerians in the time of sorrow and some went to the extent of initiating actions that inflamed the situation. These entities deployed fully to add to the deep pains and afflictions Boko Haram brought upon our land. They were everything an enemy would be to his neighbor; but today the narrative has changed for good.
We cannot hold our joy that the Service Chiefs came and turned the tables against Boko Haram insurgents, which these soulless detractors and extremists used as canon folder in the destabilization plots against Nigeria. Their motley of minions satanically added some paraffin to the conflagration.
But our courageous military have proved them wrong, by decimating and defeating Boko Haram. Nigerian troops have shattered the dreams of those who wanted to see more of a sinking Nigeria and embarked on nocturnal voyages to frustrate its bounce back to full economic life or harnessing its full potentials, with her blessed children.
Today, we see a Nigeria where love and patriotism are returning back, after some statesmen came out to disown IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu and his agents. We are on the path of a new Nigeria where everyone will be proud of his country. And a new nation where ethnicity would no longer be a factor against merit and talents would saunter on the center stage.
We are proud to say, it is not in doubt that Nigeria defeated Boko Haram before the end of the Obama administration in America. That our military took over every lost territory before the end of 2016 is not also in doubt. To also say the current Service Chiefs and the last soldier in Nigeria are true patriots is also not in doubt.
These rare breed of Nigerians came at a time we had lost our integrity, pride and honour to a ragtag Army of street urchins. But they restored this dignity. It may not be good to continue to keep reflecting in this direction, but to appreciate the Nigerian military.
It is in this light that we celebrate the recent approval by President Trump to sale military warplanes to Nigeria. It is an undeniable confirmation of the victory which our military secured for us over the terrorists. It is also a certification that Nigerian military played according to the rules of engagement in the counter-insurgency war.
And the international organizations which operate in league with detractors and destabilization agents of Nigeria by fabricating stories about imaginary human rights abuses by the Nigerian military in the counter-terrorism campaigns have had the veil removed from their eyes in shame by America’s reversal of its position.
I again reiterate, much as millions of patriotic Nigerians that it is an open endorsement of the professionalism and transparency in our military operations as being marshaled by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Olonishakin ; the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai and the rest. The appreciation for saving our collective destiny stretches down to the lowest on the rung of military personnel, obviously down to even a Private A A Goodluck. They have all done well and deserve all the golden applauses from us as a people.
And to the extent that the gift of the Tucano attack aircrafts is coming after the rain, does not imply that the Nigerian military has not appreciated the approval, in spite of its belatedness. It is in reality a testament to the fact that our military is one of the best in Africa and have a leading role to play on the continent as the first to defeat Boko Haram.
Nonetheless, a new vista of collaboration has been opened between Nigeria and the United States as both strive to work together in the global fight against terrorism. America soldiers can now freely share notes with Nigerian troops on how to defeat any insurrection against a sovereign state. The aircraft gift embodies many other lessons beyond the mere package, as it also signifies the overall endorsement of the war against insurgency in Nigeria.
More exciting, President Trump has re-invoked the essence of the Biblical verse that the “Egyptians we saw yesterday, we shall see them no more.” So, those who are already afraid of the military procuring such hardware must now know it has become a reality. And they are powerless to bring back the era of horror and sorrow anywhere close to Nigerian soil anymore.
They should lick their wounds quietly. I mean the likes of Amnesty International and all the dissident elements who once held us to the jugular should know that the world is now aware of their antics to destabilize Nigeria and nobody will ever take them serious again.
*Kolawole PhD, a University teacher writes from Keffi, Nasarawa State.