Boko Haram: Nigeria downplays Chad’s move to capture Baga

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In what has raised concerns over possible violation of Nigeria’s sovereignty, the Chadian government in collaboration with its Cameroonian counterpart, has sent troops to recapture Nigeria’s border town of Baga from Boko Haram insurgents, without the knowledge or approval of the Nigerian government.

The Nigerian military confirmed Monday it had no knowledge of an order by President Idriss Deby of Chad, deploying that country’s armed forces in pursuit of Boko Haram in Nigerian territory.

Regardless, defence spokesperson, Chris Olukolade, said the order makes little difference since Chad already belongs to a Multinational force alongside Nigeria, Cameroun and Niger, set up to tackle the terrorist group.

Boko Haram militants captured the town on January 3 after it sacked a base of the Multi-National Joint Task Force, MNJTF, there and unleashed terror on the civilian population in the town.

Amnesty International said over 2,000 people were killed in the attack, while the Nigerian military said the casualty figure was not more than 150.

Nigerien and Chadian troops who were part of the MNJTF had withdrawn from the town prior to the attack.

On Saturday, thousands of people marched some kilometres waving the Chadian flag in support of Chadian troops dispatched to fight Boko Haram troops in Nigerian and Cameroon.

The Chadian president, Mr. Deby, said in a speech read by the country’s head of parliament that the aim of the troops was to capture Baga.

“We answered the call of (Cameroon’s) President Paul Biya. We cannot remain indifferent to what happens to our neighbours. Cameroon must not be left alone to face this threat that has so hurt innocent people in Cameroon and in Nigeria,” said Mr. Deby.

Apparently left in the dark, the Nigerian military, however, seems confused over the development.

The Defence Spokesperson, Chris Olukolade, confirmed that the government was unaware of the deployments but said that he would need to “verify”.

“I’ll need to verify what you are saying but it is not as if everything is out of order, there is Multinational Joint Task Force which allows us to interact with forces of neighbouring countries among which they are,” he told PREMIUM TIMES.

“But even with that being the case, there cannot be solo operations in that area that will ignore the existing Nigeria’s arrangement for that area,” he added.

Security experts say the response of the Nigerian government to the development is worrying.

“The Nigerian government saying through the army spokesperson, General Olukolade that they are ‘lukewarm’ to Chad’s mission to Nigeria is very troubling to say the least. If Chad’s intentions and mission is good intended then why should the Nigerian government be kept out of the loop and be unenthusiastic? This questions the trust we as a people have in both governments. Would the Nigerian government not wish Chad assist them in rescuing occupied territories? Is there intelligence with the Nigerian administration that makes them suspicious of Chad; or are they uninterested in Nigeria’s liberation?” Peregrino Brimah, of the civil society group, Every Nigerian Do Something (ENDS).

Mr. Brimah said the announcement of Mr. Deby to his people that his troops were on a mission to re-capture Baga without informing President Goodluck Jonathan is similar to Mexico announcing it was going to rescue a troubled Texas with the knowledge of the United State government.

“Chad setting out to assist Cameroon at their request is appropriate, however for the Chadian president, Idriss Deby to announce formally to his people and to the international press that his troops will be invading Nigeria to “re-capture” Baga, without express permission and willful authorization by the Goodluck Jonathan administration is absurd. It is like Mexico deciding it will invade the United States to rescue a “plagued Texas” without the explicit approval of the United States government.”

This development is even more worrying with the allegation that elements in the Chadian and Nigerien armies are complicit in providing support for the terrorist group.

Last September PREMIUM TIMES exclusively reported that credible intelligence obtained by sources within the Chadian army linked former Governor of Borno State, Ali Sheriff and Mr. Deby to Boko Haram sponsorship. Messrs Sheriff and Deby are close friends.

“…members of Boko Haram sect are sometimes kept in Abeche region in Chad and trained before being dispersed. This happens usually when Mr. Sheriff visits Abeche,” a 2011 intelligence memo from field officers in N’djamena, the capital of Chad, read.

The report said Mr. Deby provided “ready army and possible refuge” to Boko Haram insurgents and his support for the insurgents is linked with his friendship with Mr Sheriff, a known gunrunner.

“Military reports from Biu pointed to Chadians being a major force in Boko Haram. Boko Haram courts ruling occupied parts of the northeast have been reported to be presided over by Boko Haram Chadian nationals and not even Nigerians. There are serious questions of Chad’s complicity to say the least in Boko Haram’s proliferation, the harbouring of Boko Haram terror training camps, Boko Haram’s sourcing of weapons, its trade in abducted persons and even allowing the nation be a place of retreat for wounded and fleeing terrorists and a dock where stolen properties from Nigeria are transferred,” said Mr. Brimah.

While suggesting better cooperation and trust between Nigeria and Chad, Mr. Brimah said Nigeria should not compromise on the issue of the violation of its national integrity and pride.

“Nigerians should not be forced to choose between Boko Haram terror and foreign violations of our national pride, sovereignty and international boundary laws. In the event of Chad “re-capturing” Baga; what are the terms of its returning this and other Nigerian territories to Nigeria? Such modalities should have been worked out before a Chadian proposition of a mission into Nigeria.”

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  • Truthometer

    Commander-In-Chief matters. We are getting the right one very soon. GMB all the way, come Febuhari 2014!

  • International Games

    This is an invasion of Nigeria. Even Stevie Wonder can see this, but not Dumbo Johnathan. This Nigerian government should start mass mobilization NOW!!!!!

  • Debekeme

    In Europe, In America, even in the Middle East, Nigerians cant get any respect.

    But we have hit the bottom of the barrel when poor, desert countries of Africa also have no respect for us.

    Its up to Nigerians to decide how the future goes.

    • Otile

      Lack of respect from Yoruba Fulani for President Jonathan has done a lot of damage to the morale of fighting troops. Insh Allahu the Ijaw man will finish his tenure in 2019 regardless of his noisy opponents.

      • amazing2012

        OTILE the accursed English slave. What you are saying was said during Abacha and God listing to our prayers. Only a cursed mind will not bother about of thousands because of one person or tribe or religion.

        • Otile

          Hear him, hear the accursed son of Ishmael. How many times will I remind you to brush up your grammar? The money we wasted sending you to school should have been used to feed pigs.

          You hate the fact that President Jonathan is a Christian man from Ijaw, but you must wait till he finishes his term in 2019. Beelzebub you god will not prevail.

      • Chris1408

        Then we hear some dumb behind like Otile still ranting about the drunk, inefficient and weak president coming back for another term. Don’t worry he’ll join the honorable list of not living Aso Rock, just like the two before him.

        • Otile

          Just ask your Boko relatives to cease fire you will see progress in the land. It will take a lot to bring Nigeria up from backwardness caused by your Northern looters.

          Obasanjo started the process of rescuing Nigerian and Jonathan has sustained the progress made by OBJ. Tell your Boko brothers to give peace a chance.

          • Jika

            When your man stopped befriending the alleged major sponsor of Boko Haram and,starts equipping the security forces very well,then there might be hope.For now,it is either he shapes up or ships out.

          • Otile

            What are you talking about?

          • Jika

            My post is written in English sir.

      • Stomach Infrastructure

        Dumbo? 2019? If wishes are horses, beggars would ride. Wishful thinking! GMB all the way, bro!

        • Otile

          An gode Allah, elections are not won on the front pages of APC newspapers. Imam is going to lose again.

      • Jika

        Insha Allah,the peaceful change through the ballot box on February 14th is inevitable.

        • Otile

          May Allah give Imam Buhari the grace to accept defeat graciously and allow peace to reign.

          Jika say Amen.

      • Man_Enough

        i come against you!

      • TrueNja

        On May, 29, you may elect him as Ijaws’ governor general. That’s your wahala!!!

  • Rommel

    Is there anyone still in doubt why Nigeria needs a commander in chief?

  • bib

    GEJ has since relinquished supremacy to Idriss Derby. GEJ has turned Nigeria into paper tiger of Africa and a loughing stalk of the world. Let us regain our supremacy and respect by voting him out of Also Rock.

    • Otile

      All the hullabaloo about Islamic Boko Haram is about returning power to the Fulani North where the Yoruba West will be the benefactors. Just read read the comments you see who is who, and who wants what in this Boko Haram war/elections. Nobody is fooled.

      • Yemi

        Cluelessness of highest order. Otile, Goodluck doesn’t know this job. We have become objects of laughter even to the small fries like chad and Cameroon. We never had it so bad like this. Jonathan just doesn’t know what to do , where to start. It is a pity!

        • Otile

          Don’t say we never had it so bad. Didn’t we lose the whole of Bakassi to the ragtag forces of the Cameroon gendarme?

        • Abdullahi Abba Bukar

          Yemi, please don’t mind Otile he is just a tribal Nigerian who doesn’t know his left from right. Has there been any President whose under his leadership Nigeria fall so low in everything like time of his brother GEJ?

          • Otile

            How lower can Nigeria fall when we lost Bakassi to Cameroon?

      • Jika

        The Fulani North and the Yorubas have been the C in C for the past 6 years on whose table the buck stops?

        • Otile

          What is your point?

          • Jika

            My point is that whoever is the C in C has the constitutional powers plus the coercive powers of the state to deal with anyone/group that is a threat to national security and stability.If you, an ordinary citizen like me, believes that the Fulani/Kanuri are sabotaging the Government, don’t you think that the powers that be should and ought to know that? The question then is that; is there any capacity from the leadership to act?I hope my point is clear sir.

      • bib

        Don’t worry the change has been made necessary by the rudderless govt of your brother. It’s now inevitable, God willing. Even bigots like you cannot stop it.

    • warry

      Each time BH is mentioned in Nig what some persons can think about is GEJ.France had a terrorist attack,nobody said remove Hollande.This why it is difficult to defeat BH.
      This is why some Nigerians are sabotaging his efforts. Don’t forget whenever they became president, they could be sabotaged by others too.

      • Man_Enough

        hollande took the right steps. that is the difference.

      • bib

        Thank you for saying ‘whenever they became president’.become should be the word since it shall soon happen. Note that only serious and misguided govts like GEJ’s get sabotaged.

      • tundemash

        did it take Hollande 3 weeks to respond to terrorist attack ? Reason before u type else u come across as a f00l !

        • Otile

          Is Holland fighting a vicious opposition party like APC? Dont insult him unnecessarily.

          • Sword of Damocles

            Rally for the Republic is lead by Nicolas Sarkosy. you make up your own mind if France has a vigorous opposition. english exercise for ya. V-I-G-O-R-O-U-S is different from V-I-C-I-O-U-S.. Bushman who wants rule of law democracy but has tyrannical inclinations. you no want dissent heh? you want make we rubberstamp everything wey ur “PHP” presido want, no be so?

          • tundemash

            So the opposition made the Otuoke Cl0wn mind blank once the terrorists struck> You keep making a mockery of Dumbo with some of your thoughtless, ethnic and religious-biased submissions. You abuse the north and Islam all year long and yet Dumbo has now gone there to seek vote so Dumbo needs the votes of the Islamists ?

          • tick

            Tthis otile man is either a dumbo was an APC man trying to whip up hatred for president Jonathan

          • Otile

            What are you struggling to hint to your home boy, Abubakar tundemash?

      • Amang Raymond

        In 3 days, the terrorists in France were killed. What has the Nigerian military achieved under Jonathan?

  • growthengine

    Chad has invaded Nigeria. Baga people will not murder themselves in thousands. This boko Haram thing is now looking like an external invasion.

    • Amang Raymond

      However way you slice it, the fact still remains that thanks to corruption of the Jonathan government, the military has been unable to perform it’s duty; defend the territorial integrity of the nation from all aggressors, internal and external.

  • ODOFIN, Lagos

    In my own view, I have always believe that Chad’s govt is behind the series of boko haram attacks. The Boko Haram militants are too organized, well-equipped and well-motivated not to be sponsored by a country or government. I stand to be corrected…

    • Chris1408

      We pay our military to fight every enemy, foreign or domestic. They’ve failed. I cry for my country

      • Otile

        This time the military has not yet failed. Despite numerous sabotage they suffered they still have the upper-hand, otherwise Boko Haram would have over ran the 12 sharia states, and you know it.

        • Chris1408

          Man, stop drinking that stuffs. Nigerian military is weak because their commander in chief is a weakling

          • Otile

            Nigerian military is not weak by any stretch of imagination. Do you know what it takes to fight Islamists? Did the Islamists not defeat USSR, a world power for that matter? Has the combined forces of NATO subdued Taliban for the donkey years they have been fighting in Afghanistan?

            I duff my hat for President Jonathan for doing his job well despite all the put downs he is subjected to by the enemy.

          • Sword of Damocles

            the islamists did not defeat USSR on USSR territory, but in Afghanistan(big difference).

          • tundemash

            Otile Shekau …. lend Dumbo your balls if u have got any ….

          • Concerned One

            Tundemash, are you forgetting something? It is Otile you are engaging in a war of words. Better ignore him.

          • Amang Raymond

            In Afghanistan, the Islamists were supplied by USA. NATO is fighting in foreign lands in Afghanistan. Would a person come inside your house and easily beat you? We are fighting on home ground and we should have the upper hand.

        • tombalbay

          If the military didn’t faile then Are you okay with boko haram killing your people like insects.

  • Chris1408

    Wow, this is truly shameful, Chad is sending army to fight Boko Haram inside Nigeria and get back Nigerian territory. Our worthless generals doesn’t see nothing wrong with it. What happens when Chad now claim this territory? Shameless and absolutely worthless generals. They are not worth the stars they wear.

    • Otile

      Chad is trying to steal that territory, but Jonathan will not allow them. Under Gowon, French Cameroon stole Bakassi peninsula. See the difference.

      • Man_Enough

        THROUGH THE WORLD COURT. DON’T MISINFORM PEOPLE.!

        • Otile

          Did we lose the territory through the World Court when Gen Abacha was alive? The World Court is there only to ratify conquered territories. See the difference.

  • Guguru

    Jonathan is now the Commander-In-Disgrace. Shame on Jonathan and shame on those who support him.

  • Yemi

    The chad troop will only ask Boko Haram to withdraw from Baga and they will comply. This is to ridicule nigeria army and govt

    • Chuks007

      Truth

  • Man_Enough

    nigeria should bombard the chadian force headquarters without further delay. let us show some muscle for once. this is most condescending. what effrontery.

    • Kola Oladapo

      With which weapon and army?

    • Umar Dendi

      I beg!
      Sorry!
      Wait till they at least finish the Bokos before you start spilling fire!
      If they angry commot who go retake all that land that’s under BH control??

    • tombalbay

      With what are you going bombard the Chadian force.

      • ijawman

        Amala and ewedu I guess!!

  • Sword of Damocles

    This ordinarily would be a time for deep comtemplation for the so called leaders of Nigeria. Isnt this the same Deby that GEJ has been travelling to D’jamena to consult with “Brother” Sheriff in tow? And He doesnt bother to notify the President. It appears that Nigerians are not the only ones who have a taken a measure of our President, and concluded that he can be rolled easier that a “stick oftobacco”. Now I noticed that the Gen. in charge of Propaganda, Olukolade has not threatened the chadian forces, as he did the Nigerian press 2 weeks ago. I suspect it is because the Press dont have the “wherewithal” to cause kinetic action like the Chadians do. We will retrieve our Nigeria ffrom the the grasp of the people who have so betrayed Nigeria. Does Chad intend to return Baga to Nigeria if they are successful or do they have claims that they will now raise? So sad & disgraceful

  • TrueNja

    Nigeria as a nation has never had it so bad since independence. This is the worst president, he has no spine at all.

    • Russel

      Yeah—-Jona is a total waste of space. The first ever PHD toting f00l ever to brace the rungs of any leadership ladder.

  • mohammed

    what is wrong in that since you cannot stand to depend your territorial integrity. its better they claim that portion to themselves rather living it in the hands of the terrrorists.

  • True son of the soil

    I didn’t believe this story but if is confirmed a foreign troop are on our soil I want the national assembly to reconvene for emergency deliberations of the state of the nation immediately.

    • D1

      And do what exactly?

  • Juliet Okoro

    Pakistan and other countries that are faced with terrorism had never asked their president to resigned or have they called him names, only in Nigeria l hear it, for once let us rally round him and support him. And to those of you that think the army has not done his best, you can as well enrol into the army and bring the change you think is the best

    • Saj jad

      Miss Juliet it’s not only for BOKO haram Nigerians decided against Mr. Jonathan,it’s on every aspect of his governing the country. He is incompetent in everything. All that country you are mentioning their leaders didn’t failed them day to day activities of their lives. So this is what you are missing on the issue of Nigeria.

    • tundemash

      DId it take Pakistani and French President 3 weeks to acknowledge terrorists act in their countries ?

      Do you think the FRench or Pakistani President could have gone dancing at a political event 24hrs after terrorist attack in their countries.

      Difference: French and Pakistani President acted responsibly; Dumbo acted irresponsibly and you would help him if you ask him to stop hugging the bottle. Too much alcohol do not help in making the right judgement !

      Another example; just today Cameroon army rescued 24 hostages from Boko Haram 24hrs after they were abducted. Dumbo was on binge drinking and did nothing for 3 weeks after the Chibok girls were abducted. Juliet … do u get the drift now ??????

      • D1

        Tunde, you are arguing with a dunce. Talking of ignorance, she ranks No. 1.

        • tundemash

          I will henceforth ignore the dunce.

    • Umar Dendi

      Pakistan’s problem is synonymous with Cameroon’s problem not Nigeria’s! When you have a neighbor that is unfortunately a failed state, you simply have to contend with it.
      And yes, we think and we know that the Army has failed, 50 BH fighters sent three battalions of those supposed soldiers cowering to safety. A BBC reporter witnessed soldiers exchanging their guns for civilian mufti. It was Hunters! Local Hunters with bolt action rifles and bows that retook Mubi and Hong! so I assure you many people are ready to volunteer….Just give ’em a real C-in-C who would not be using our defense budget as Sunday benefaction!

      • Juliet Okoro

        Sajjad, Jonathan has not failed in all area it is obvious you are blind to the truth, you can’t see that agriculture is been revived in the North, almajiri’s that some of your elites use as stooge are now going to school and will no longer dance to their dictate when they tell them to kill or cause evil because they are enlightened, the trains that are moving in the North you have not seen them too. You are just blind

      • Juliet Okoro

        Tundemash, Jonathan has always acknowledge that there is terrorist activity in Nigeria. If not for some northern elites that assuage him on this issue and sabotage of some sympathizers in the army, they would have been crushed. Now that the army has instilled discipline into it’s rank and file through the court martial, have you ever heard again that Bokoharam over ran any army formation rather they are repelled when they attack and they are moving out of Nigeria because they can’t stand the army anymore and that is why Cameroon is having their own fair share because they are part of the joint task force but refused to contribute to it. Chad is afraid because they that after Cameroon it is their turn because in life there is always cause and effect, things will always boomerang. Tomorrow when the chadians army ask Bokoharam to leave baga and they drive in they will come out to say they have recaptured baga

      • Juliet Okoro

        Umar, it’s unfortunate that people like you don’t say the truth, how would local hunters recapture these villages, you could as well tell them to recapture other villages. The hunters never did it was the army that did it, the hunters only gave the army guide because they are familiar with the terrain since the armies were brought from other battalion outside Adamawa. Pls let’s appreciate the effort of the army for once and l always say to people like you, if you think the army is not doing enough you can enlist yourself in the army and bring the change you think is the best

        • Umar Dendi

          I think its unfortunate that we still have folks like you who put “National Pride” above the interests and lives of your own people!
          You are ready to down play any sign there is, play any card at your disposal. Have you seen your proud army retaking any of those captured towns?
          I think it is you who needs to give up your luxuries, live in one of those camps for the internally displaced and if you still manage to keep your faith in Jona and the Army, I’ll consider every point you made!

        • staaaaaaaaaaa

          even a frontline batalion commander said nigeria army isnt doing fine due to corruption. let us learn to say the truth

          • Juliet Okoro

            My stand to both of you is that you can enlist yourselves in the army and bring the change. Let me ask you a question, which army will buhari use to end the insurgency, is he going to hire army from another country or same Nigeria army. There is a cleansing in the army of Bokoharam sympathizers and the army is winning the war gradually. And I repeat that since the court martial have you ever heard that bokoharam over ran any army formation? The answer is NO, why? Because the sympathizers are being dealt with

          • Juliet Okoro

            Umar, you will tell me that it is still the local hunters that recaptured mubi, michika etc. Haba, just say the truth for once l know you don’t like Jonathan but be Patriotic and not unpatriotic like buhari that will wait until he becomes president before he will end insurgency when he has all the opportunity to advise the government as a member of the National Council of state where he did not attend even a meeting to say his ideas. Is he a patroit?

  • Guguru

    Jonathan has made it easy to view the green passport with scorn.

  • Umar Dendi

    fraternité Franceafrique!

    Vive la République

    • Otile

      Dendi boy, I didn’t know you are a Chadian. No wonder you don’t understand our Nigerian history. Don’t worry, the longer you stay in our soil the more you understand. Meanwhile be a good boy, don’t join Boko Haram. Learn Hausa and some Yoruba, they rule Nigeria.

      But don’t say: Vive la Republique du Chad. Ecutez moi, mon ami?

  • “While suggesting better cooperation and trust between Nigeria and Chad, Mr. Brimah said Nigeria should not compromise on the issue of the violation of its national integrity and pride.” Are these clowns for real??????? They do absolutely NOTHING while extremists kill their people by the thousands. Kidnap, rape and brainwash their children by the hundreds and yet they get their panties in a bunch when someone comes in who actually cares and intends to do something about it.

  • Adetayo Adewale Adebowale

    First time in Nigeria’s history,that the Nigeria Armed Forces will need and acquiescence to external armed forces to defend it territorial integrity. Surprise,Surprise,Surprise,but the help of this African International forces is much needed by Nigeria.

  • staaaaaaaaaaa

    Jona time to take your shame back to your village. This is too much for Nigeria to bear. Under your watch small nations are teaching nigeria how to fight.

  • tunji braimoh

    All these conspirators will fail eventually,evil can only tarry for a while but good will always overcome at the end of the day. GEJ is annointed by GOD to rule this country and no amount of blackmail or evil gathering can upturn it