Recently, the Nigerian state was forced to covertly admit that there was indeed a contractual relation of $40 million with an Israeli firm, Elbit Security Systems, to monitor Internet and computer activities of Nigerians. However, President Jonathan’s retinue of official and unofficial spokespersons have maintained a covert duplicitous disposition on this. They first questioned the veracity of the news only to claim that the contract is justified! They must have been watching the body language of the presidency while hoping that the bad news would go away and perhaps the presidency would quietly continue with the treacherous and unpatriotic contract out of public glare.
There are some questions Mr. Jonathan’s official and unofficial spokespersons and the Presidency did not answer. Those questions are: Was $60 million dollars involved in the contract? If so, why did Elbit systems report $40 million? Why can’t President Jonathan hand this money over to the Nigerian Academy of Science and Nigerian Society of Engineers with the marching order to them to provide a Nigerian and an African-centered Cyber defense and intelligence mechanism within a year? I submit that to avoid these questions is to wrongly accept the dubious view that peoples of African descent are genetically inferior to other races; that they are incapable of any scientific endeavor. I challenge anyone who defends the Presidency on this unpatriotic contract to refute this submission.
Paradoxically, as if to justify the contract, something happened. Within the same time frame that Elbit, the Israeli firm was informing us of this contract, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, President Jonathan’s adviser on amnesty on Niger Delta creek terrorists, was informing the American audience that insecurity would return to the Niger Delta if President Jonathan is not re-elected in 2015. Insecurity means terrorism. In a normal republic, the president would have demanded the immediate resignation of Mr. Kingsley Kuku for such open subversion of the republic. But Kuku is still there being paid from the sweat of the taxpayers he threatened with insecurity and terrorism-which means President Jonathan is in full support of Mr. Kingsley Kuku’s statement. This is sad and unacceptable from a President.
Shortly, after Mr. Kuku’s public disclosure, one of the terrorists Mr. Kuku was supposed to have amnestied -Mr. Asari Dokubo –followed with an orchestrated video saying regardless of democratic process, if President Jonathan is not re-elected, insecurity would return to the land. With Dokubo’s video, the distinction between Kingsley Kuku, the President’s adviser and Asari Dokubo, the thug and terrorist became blurred! It did not cross the mind of this thug and terrorist Dokubo that in a democracy anyone-including an incumbent, his principal and mentor, President Jonathan, can be electorally defeated. Both Dokubo and Kuku did not appeal to President Jonathan’s programs and manifesto. Rather, they both appealed to violence and insecurity-in other words terrorism- as the tool.
Strangely, our President is quiet. By keeping quiet, President Jonathan has acquiesced to the support of a terrorist like Asari Dokubo and by extension has become a candidate of a terrorist in the 2015 elections. Hence, in view of the fact that President Jonathan’s government is amnestying the creek terrorists to guard oil pipeline (as he is hoping to do with the OPC ethnic militia in the west) one is a bit confused about the meaning and value of President Jonathan’s amnesty program to the creek terrorists and Mr. Kuku’s job description. While Mr. Kuku and Mr. Dokubo have a right to their opinions on the return of terrorism to the land, the question for Mr. Kuku and Mr. Jonathan is: why will Mr. Dokubo who has been amnestied with public money bounce back as a renewed and re-invigorated terrorist? Did we waste public funds in amnestying Mr. Dokubo and his consortium and franchise of creek terrorists? Is the presidency by other means using amnesty money to fund terrorism? The proposed questionable oil pipeline security contract to OPC ethnic militia to “police” and “guard” south western oil pipelines is instructive here. These are serious and grievous considerations in the republic.
But Kuku and Dokubo are not alone in this threat to the republic. Both Mr. Kuku and Mr. Dokubo’s comments only gave a creek face to Mr. Adamu Ciroma and Mr. Lawal Kaita’s prior comments from the savannah shortly after the 2011 elections. Ciroma and Kaita savannah subversive proclamations are fillips to Kuku and Dokubo creek sabotaging response. The only difference is that Mr. Ciroma and Mr. Kaita are “old School”. They did not use video format the way Dokubo has done. But while the MEND and other creek terrorism franchise is cognate to Kuku and Dokubo, Boko Haram savannah terrorism franchise is cognate to Ciroma and Kaita. However, even when Ciroma and Kaita may be “old fashioned”, Abubakar Shekau the video “leader” of Boko Haram is analogous to Asari Dokubo. Both are trendier and more contemporary. They now use YouTube for visual effect. I guess soon they will start using facebook and tweets to showcase their “trendy” terrorism franchise. More importantly, while Ciroma and Kaita are precursors to Kuku and Dokubo, Farouk Aliyu is a more recent entrant to the use of freedom of speech to give public face to terrorist threat to the republic.
And talking about funding, Boko Haram, which recently uploaded another YouTube to claim responsibility for the killings in Baga and Bama in Borno state, has not found time to upload YouTube to deny that it collected 500 million naira to free French hostages. At the ethical level, given Boko Haram’s claim to Islam and given that all religions enjoin us to say the truth, and given that truth saying is an ethical issue, we are surprised that Boko Haram is running away from being “bold” and “courageous” as usual. It seems Boko Haram is not bold and courageous enough on question of simple ethics i.e. to say the truth about the alleged 500 million naira it reportedly collected. One wonders why a “religious” group will be “courageous” to kill but is not courageous to tell the truth and be ethical as taught by religions. Terrorists of all hues must have a funny notion of the virtue of courage and boldness. It may be that Boko Haram is finding it difficult to hold onto a righteous ground hence it is praying that the news go away.
However, in an open democratic republic, the news of the blood money may not go away so soon for if there is a collector of blood money, there is a payer. So who paid this money to Boko Haram? This may be one out of the numerous reasons the President of the Republic; President Jonathan is hiring Elbit, the Israeli firm for intelligence gathering even when the real question is whether we need an Israeli firm to be able to see the connection between Boko Haram and MEND/ creek terrorist franchises, and the franchises’ public faces like Messers Kuku, Aliyu, Ciroma, Kaita and Dokubo who have used their freedom of speech to subvert the republic and the nation’s democracy? This is because if Asari Dokubo and, his sponsors are right that there is a connection between Ciroma, Kaita and Aliyu’s comments on one hand and Boko Haram’s terrorism on the other, by that same Dokubo and sponsors’ logic, there is a connection between Kuku and Dokubo and their sponsors on one hand and the Niger Delta creek terrorism on the other hand.
Looking back, the president of the Republic, Mr. Jonathan once lend credence to all these when he confirmed with his own mouth that there are members of Boko Haram terrorist group in his presidency. That also implies that there are members of the Niger Delta creek terrorist groups in the presidency. This is a question for citizens in the republic to engage and not for a foreign company-Elbit- whose interest is legitimately and purely economic. Such economic interest will never be Nigerian nor will they be African. We citizens of the republic are the only ones that can make Nigerian and African interests the core center of our lives, not a foreign company. Fellow citizens, what do you think?
Adeolu Ademoyo (email@example.com) is of Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.