EDITORIAL: Why Nigeria Should Not Join The Saudi Arabia Islamic Military Alliance

There have been reports about Nigeria joining the Saudi Arabia created Islamic Military Alliance Against Terrorism (ISMAT). Such a decision has serious implications for peace and security in our country and should not be taken without proper and transparent consultations and considerations.

We recall the national stress triggered by the non-transparent way in which we joined the Organisation of Islami States, OIC, so many years ago. The ISMAT question could have much more serious implications for Nigeria than the OIC.

PREMIUM TIMES believes that Nigeria should not join ISMAT, created specifically under pressure to fight ISIS. The national interests of Saudi Arabia are not Nigeria’s national interests. On the sound and legitimate issue of fighting terrorism locally, regionally and globally, Saudi Arabia has shown that her interests come first before any commitment to fight terrorism.

It is expected that countries advance and defend their national interests. But there is a problem when such interests collide with global interests, and Nigeria should not be made to simply be the vehicle with which another country advances its national interests. Nigeria must maintain its independence and sovereignty at all times.

The second reason is the ambiguity surrounding the formation of the ISMAT itself. Initially, Saudi Arabia called its initiative a “coordination centre” and later transformed it to an “Islamic Military Alliance” without consultations. Indonesia, for example, did not know that Saudi’s “coordination centre” was going to be a military alliance. Pakistan also has indicated its surprise at the change. The global community only heard of the change when Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, announced the new group at a midnight press conference that members comprised countries genuinely interested in fighting all forms of terrorism – both Islamic and non-Islamic.

In clarifying Saudi’s initiative, the Saudi Foreign Minister, Adel al-Jubeir, said the coalition is a group that would allow member states to request or offer assistance among themselves in fighting groups they designate as terrorists. Such assistance could include military force, financial aid, and material or security expertise. The “centre” “coalition” “alliance” (whichever name we use), according to Adel al-Jubeir, would have a permanent base in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

Following this clarification, the question is: Is Saudi Arabia-created ISMAT a knee-jerk response to her narrow national interests? Is there anything to learn from the Nigerian massacre of the Shiites as Nigeria considers joining ISMAT?

The Nigerian Army, for example, officially designated its massacre of Shiites in Zaria, between December 12-15, 2015, as a “war” apparently because the Nigerian Shiites, which barricaded the highway wanted to assassinate the Chief of Army Staff (General Tukur Buratai). So if the Nigerian state or the Nigerian army “decides” to “designate” the Shiites who barricaded the road on December 12, 2015 as “terrorists”, it means they can get assistance such as “military force, financial aid, material or security expertise” from Saudi Arabia and her ISMAT to combat the Shiites.

Both Saudi Arabia and Iran have been very engaged in the Shiite/army clash in Nigeria and are clearly eager to join the fray. This would be in line with their national interests, but Nigeria would certainly have no interest engaging in such a proxy war between the national interests of Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Apart from the ambiguous nature of Saudi’s ISMAT, the third reason Nigeria should be critical of ISMAT is the cultural and theological roots of the terrorism ISMAT is supposed to fight. Some have argued with good reasons that the roots of some of the more contemporary forms of terrorism associated with Islam is located in the Salafi/Wahhabi movement upon which the Saudi Arabian theocracy rests. The Salafi movement claims to be the real Islam, and their adherents claim to be the real Muslims. Such claims imply that other Muslims who are not Salafi or Wahhabi are not real Muslims. Nigeria has different forms of Islam co-existing and PREMIUM TIMES believes that it is dangerous for us to officially promote a sectarian Islamic agenda.

In today’s Global Islam, two forces are aligning supporters for a major confrontation – the Shiite forces under Iran’s leadership and the Salafi-Wahhabi forces under the leadership of Saudi Arabia. Both of them have been known to sponsor forms of terrorism. We have, for example followed the activities of Iranian backed Hezbollah in Lebanon and Houthi Insurgency in Yemen. It is also known that the Shiites have empirically proven to be in an organised sense disrespectful of constituted authorities and governments. Given the Saudi/Iranian rivalry, Iran is not at the table at ISMAT! As the rivalry and proxy wars between the Iranians and the Saudi deepen and widen, Nigeria should beware of being a partisan on one side.

Despite the Shiites/army clash, Nigeria must not allow itself to become a pawn in the Saudi/Iran high-stakes bid for Islamic supremacy. Most of the world’s Muslims, along with the majority in Nigeria, peacefully practice their Sunni doctrine without confrontation with others. We must stand for religious freedom and tolerance, something that may be lacking in the various alliances being whipped up in the promotion of divergent national interests, all under the cover of religion.

For the past seven years, Nigeria has been engaged in a war against Boko Haram, which has announced its allegiance to the Islamic State. Boko Haram has also announced that it considers Shiites to be non-Muslim and enemies. There have been reports of Boko Haram suicide bombers attacking a Shiite (Islamic Movement of Nigeria) procession in Nigeria.

The confrontation between the Nigerian army and the Shiites in Zaria is a strong indicator that we stand the risk of opening a second front of Islamist-based terrorism in Nigeria. Nigeria must not allow herself to be turned into a battleground for religious proxy wars.


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  • share Idea

    It is gradually becoming clear that the agenda of the president is to islamise Nigeria. Nigeria we hail thee

    • Fadama

      Who is this clown?

      • Danladee

        Truly a clown. He call himself Share Idea. LOLz.

        • sam

          No worries Nigerians we are in good hands. This Buari government will flush terrorist out of Nigeria whether they join ISMAT or not.

          • Otile

            How can Satan fight against Satan? Judge for yourself, slave.

    • tundemash

      Dunce, when Jonadaft was busy attending OIC meeting, what was he islamizing that time ?

  • NoSpinEd

    Well said. Let Iran and Saudi Arabia settle their differences without us. We have enough problems of our own. It will be an affront to Nigerian non-Muslims if the Buhari administration for whatever reason align itself with ISAMAT. We are not proxies of either Iran or Saudi Arabia. We are not a Muslim nation.

  • Gidi

    A well timely editorial. I hope Buhari’s administration is listening. I for one believe the root cause of Terrorism comes from Saudi Arabia. All we need to do is to follow the money…

  • Omotolaaraujo

    IBB is to blame for membership in the OIC. Saudi Arabia has nothing Nigeria should be involved in.

  • Aremu Mathew Okikiolu

    Will Christians in the Nigerian Army be part of this Jihadist terror group?
    Religion and politics, no good.

  • IZON Redeemer

    Major General Tukur Buratai was appointed director of procurement DHQ in
    2012, a position he held until May 2015 that he was appointed force
    commander of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MJTNF), an appointment he
    held till he became chief of army staff,” Steven Chilaka, national
    secretary of the movement, said in a statement issued on Sunday.

    “As director of public procurement at the DHQ, all procurements by the
    military between 2012 and May 2015 passed through his office. Our question
    is; how can you probe procurement of arms within this period without the
    involvement of Major General Buratai, the man who was the director of

    “Curiously too, only retired and serving officers of the Nigerian Air
    Force were said to have been indicted.

    “Was the army being excluded from this probe to save Major General
    Buratai? Or Could procurements have been made without his involvement
    during the period that he was Director of Procurement?

    “Definitely, it won’t be funny if President Muhammadu Buhari’s fight
    against corruption is also selective against the military as it already
    appears to be against the political class and the president must look into
    this obvious case of selective probe as a matter of urgency.”…

    • persona

      The man has already declared his assets and that is twice. If found false he will face CCT…are you happy now? God find better work and stop digressing.

  • IZON Redeemer

    The new Islamic Republic of Nigeria———————IRN–in the year 2020

  • persona

    Everyone has an angle in this story. Saudi is building a covert force against Iran; Iran is flush with cash to do likewise and premium times is also painting a doomsday scenario.
    The fear of the OIC thrown in, I may ask how has it impacted us negatively? I am not a Muslim but I have found that we should be focused more on nation building than speculation and fearmongering which takes us nowhere.
    Every venture is predicated on a risk-reward ratio. Buhari will not sign up if he feels the nation stands to lose and that is what makes me relax that he will take the best interest when it comes to us. AT the UN, we have had to abstain severally when we think neutrality will help our diplomatic trajectories. Saudi will doggedly proceed even if Nigeria does not join because the gulf region already perceive Iran as a threat and they have over the years built at least legitimate arsenals to ensure they don’t advance. Saudi built a 900km wall to prevent such attack recently and while I feel that Indonesia that has the world’s largest Muslim population deem it both worthy and cautious, our position could follow same lines. Should we join, I guess no but there are several ways with diplomacy to support any ideology. We can go the ECOMOG route of get in, stabilize and get out.
    The military high command will have some recommendations and the president will take a call. SCare tactics should not be a channel to pass on an opinion especially as PT has done here.

    • PolyGon2013

      I would love to see Saudis and Iranians destroy each other. After all they have nothing to do with their money. Besides, it will raise the price of crude oil, which is good for us. Then, we can save the money accrued to build our infrastructures.

      • Otile

        I thought you were a good Muslim. How can you wish your great masters to destroy themselves? They did not convert you to Islam only to have you wish them bad. Yoruba treachery is a bad thing.

        • PolyGon2013

          Dunce, I am a Christian. It says much about your stupidity.

          • Otile

            Tell us another lie. A yoruba Christian-Moslem my foot.

          • PolyGon2013

            And who do you worship? Okija gods?

          • Otile

            You know, there is no such thing as Chritian-Moslem. Stick to your Ifa. Don’t claim to be a Christian one day and Moslem the next day. Dumb_ass.

  • Nche Bikwe

    Why is this administration giving itself into needless distraction most times? When its change agenda should have included the consideration of the withdrawal of Nigeria’s membership from the OIC, to reflect our secular nature and religious diversity, it is talking about joining ISMAT which which will certainly cause disaffection as its only result. Now, how would you explain sending Christain military personnels to fight an islamic cause, isnt it ironical? They walked away with the Shite massacre, now they want to secretly enlist us in a shoddy outfit. This time it will fail, those from other religions and well meaning Nigerians must stop taking things too much for granted and allowing the President and Buratai act their islamic script, as this will definitely affect the peace of this country.

    Remember, when the previous adminstration was using religion as a campaign tool in last year’s election, it was this present Information minister that repeatedly warned that, “no country ever comes out same after a religious wafare.” Yet the government which he serves is threading the same part of self distruction while he has suddenly goes numb. What this country needs at this point is not projecting one religion interest above another, but placing all at equal level and the promotion of religious tolerance.

    • persona

      This is just what I alluded to in my post.
      Scare tactics is what this article is about.
      This is an invitation from Saudi and not that Nigeria has joined. Several questions will decline and like I also said, our approach can follow the ECOMOG route where we went in to stabilize and exited.

    • Shugaba Nkasa

      WHat is wrong with having another organization from where you can request help?
      Firstt, what is the OIC and how has Nigeria being a member affected you adversely?

      • PolyGon2013

        We don’t need the help of terrorist like the Saudis and the Iranians. To he’ll with all Arab nations.

        • Otile

          How can you tell your Fulani masters what to do? Don’t you know that a slave is no better than his master?

          • AFRICANER


          • PolyGon2013

            Since a slave is no better than his master, apparently, they can interchange role. You are dog, since you always pick from the crumb. Apparently, you are below human status.

          • Otile

            See how impish your logic is:
            “Since a slave is no better than his master, apparently, they can
            interchange role. You are dog, since you always pick from the crumb.
            Apparently, you are below human status.”

            Does you comment make any sense to you? Read over you crap again and cry for yourself. Dummy.

          • PolyGon2013

            Since you are a dog, I do not expect you to make any sense out of it. Like I repeat, you and your people are dogs, that always pick from the crumbs.

          • Otile

            Get some logic and reason like a human being before you can distinguish between yoruba dogs and yoruba crumbs. Dunce

  • tuby NY

    I totally agreed with this editorial points and recommendations. Going by the way PMB handled the OIC situation/controversy in 1983/1985 as a military head of state then.. by refusing to join the Saudi led organization then (IBB dragged Nigeria into it during his presidency, n GEJ been d first sitting president 2personally attend OIC meeting) n stuff.

    Anyway, Nigeria shouldn’t subscribe 2these (Saudi Arabia, Iran) shiites/sunnis superior-rivalry fight cause this is what this Saudis military-coalition effort wuld led 2. I believe PMB will handle it accordingly as he did much earlier!!

    • favourtalk

      If the president depiction is to help the nation like he has been doing, we shouldn’t be worry, we have thrust d him so far and we are enjoying I’m. He will make the nation better

  • favourtalk

    I have never doubted the DECISON and integrity of the president and whatever he desire to do for this nation, we shall surely get it better as we move on. What I know is that, sleeping with a country on some decision will always be to help Nigeria not to rip us off. Pmb has been caring about us ND he will make the best choice again here

    • Psalm 35

      Your second sentence makes poor sense if you don’t mind me being honest, you said and I quote you,

      “What I know is that, sleeping with a country on some decision will always be to help Nigeria not to rip us off.”

      The question is not whether he cares about us or not, if you ask me I will say he actually has the best interest of Nigeria at heart but he must go about it the right way. If military alliances must be formed, it should be first and foremost be done taking into consideration the primary interests of Nigerians and all the various religious groups that make up Nigeria. The world has gone beyond the years of archaic religious alliances, those should belong to the stone ages. We should be talking about alliances based on sound socio-economic, cultural and economic interests i.e. BRIC, NATO and etc as good examples. Joining the ISMAT is a mistake that should not be made. Your not doubting the decision and integrity of the President should not preclude you from thinking for yourself right out of the box, what are the merits of what PT has just raised and could you come up with more yourself ? Being able to think for yourself will help you come up with better ideas you can offer to a President you love so much. I assure you, he will thank you more for the alternative pieces of advice and correction you give than for acts of blind support of actions that brought his government needless controversy and opposition. Have a blessed day

    • FactsandFigures

      Why does everything and anything end on the integrity of the President? In accounting parlance, “trust is not control”.

  • Shugaba Nkasa

    The writer should research what he is talking about before writing reports.

    • Otile

      Meaning what? Islamic terrorist banza.

  • Psalm 35

    And the last and most major point PT should have made is that Nigeria is not an Islamic country and never is, Nigeria is made up of other religious groups hence has never been officially, socially, economically and spiritually recognized as an islamic republic, we are a Federal Republic comprising diverse religions, cultures and aspirations. This fact was never taking into consideration when with impunity Nigeria was railroaded into the OIC in the 80’s. A quick look at all the current members of the ISMAT shows you they are all islamic republics or emirates in all their respective ramifications, but Nigeria ain’t hence the thought or dream of inducting us into that gathering should not be entertained. This point should be the foremost one listed by PT.

    • PolyGon2013

      We should not even be an observer, let alone a member.

      • Otile

        Duh! Sycophants and voiceless Nigerians will be dragged into this sordid affair by your master Imam Duncee.

  • I did It 4 Love.

    With regards to this article, the Saudi Arabian government is going to change the name of Islamic Military Alliance Against Terrorism (ISMAT) to Halal Military Alliance Against Enemies of a Sovereign States that way they will help Buhari fight IPOB, ND militants, Biafra, MASSOB or MOSSOP.

    By the way why should we be associating with countries that eliminates our citizens in the name of capital punishment?

    Moreso Nigeria is not an Islamic country.

  • Maria

    It would be a grave mistake if Nigeria joins the ISMAT or whatever they are called…In the first place, how do you form an organisation and name its members without informing or seeking approval of those members? Nigeria is not a colony of the headquarters of terrorism called Saudi Arabia…Any attempt by this government to drag Nigeria into such unholy alliance must be vehemently resisted by the people of Nigeria. Nigeria has been fighting Boko Haram, a creation of Saudi and its stooges in Nigeria…..have we ever received any support from them or any words of sympathy? No because Boko Haram is propagating the gospel of Saudi Arabia in Nigeria…

  • tundemash

    If President Buhari as a military head of state with absolute power refused to take Nigeria into OIC, I don’t see him doing anything that far reaching now. But the editorial is timely !

    • PolyGon2013

      You are right about Buhari; he won’t join ISLAMAT. Besides, we are in democracy.


        You are a witness to religious corruption, which is lethal to any country who allows it.

        Buhari is religiously corrupt. The constitution specifies that Nigeria is a pluralistic society, that tolerates all religion. Nigeria is NOT a Muslim country. Any attempt to thwart that, is corruption. The culprits should be apprehended and punished .

    • Otile

      Alhaji Abubakar tundemash, you see, the rooster is finally coming home to roost. You can defend your god Imam Duncee as much as you like, but you know very well that he is bent on islamizing Najeriya with your blessing. Imam is about to reach his Waterloo. He is about to fight his war on many fronts. In case you pretend not to know, I must spell out some of those fronts to you. His biggest challenge is to stop Biafra for obvious reasons, you know, to steal oil. His next challenge is to keep the Shiites at bay. His other challenge which does not appear obvious to the uninitiated is the treachery of the yorubas who will pull the plug on him when the time comes. Finally his ultimate goal is to Islamize Nigeria, a bloody Islamic venture, the dream of true moslem where great martyrs made.

      Ifa Orunmilla a gbe yin oo.

  • Profy

    That is the end time prophecies by God…. U cannot stop it. It will happen. The beast is coming out from the Arab world. It is clearly stated in the Bible. Very soon the World we have one President that will emerge from United Nation. Xtian should be prepared… Rapture is very close than u may think. Jesus Christ is coming very soon.

  • dr.r.f banjo

    My People,

    Premium Times reporters, editors and board directors may just be too educated for Nigeria’s own illogical environment.
    Not once since the current civil rule started in 1999 has one read a more enlightened editorial by Nigerian newspaper.
    I believe this well-knitted editorial must be going round newsrooms around the world and lifting Nigeria’s image a notch.
    Presidents and Prime Ministers around the world will each have a copy and asking for expert briefings on this editorial.
    The idea that somehow Nigeria is a country of sloven jackanapes is put aside once and for all by Premium Times.

  • MC

    Obviously, someone high-ranking guys at premiumtimes is shiite or pro-shiite. The piece above is a good one and could pass for logically sound. But why is it that balanced journalism such as the above is rarely experienced at PT, except when there’s some interest ? You see guys, the (death) bell might toll for another today, but it must toll us all at one point. When PT, for material gratification and ethnic bigotry et al, shies away from calling evil by its name, they should not cry foul when the whirlwind blows them no good. So PT, there’s ever something that Buhari can ever do wrong!? Wonders shall never end.

  • Really timely editorial. Our government must note this and understand the feelings of Nigerians on this matter or any other like it where an attempt is made to officially support one religious view over another. Our country is made up of citizens with very divergent religious views and this fact must be acknowledged.

    We can’t as a nation take sides with an organization apparently set up for a particular religion given its name, for we don’t run a theocracy.

    May our government be rightly guided.

  • Gem

    When Nigerian was suffering from Boko Haram deadly activities, Saudi Arabia and Sudan still allows BH weapons and cash to be smuggled through their territory and citizenry.
    Saudi Arabia is loosing it’s war against the Houti rabels in Yemen, and Iran is getting more global prominence. Saudi Arabia is now looking for international military support in it’s war againt their perceived opponents.
    Iraq and Iran are both shiite led muslim nations but they weren’t invited to the coalition, this shows that the Saudi coalition is a coalition of Sunni countries to fight the main enemy of the Saudi royal house which is Iran and other rising Shiite countries whom only Saudi has defined as a terrorist enemy.
    Buhari should be careful, Nigeria should not be seen as being sectarian especially among the muslim believers.

  • International games

    If you see pictures of Black people in Saudi Arabia as recently as the 1990s, you will see Barefooted Black men who hold umbrella for the Saudis. These are Slaves. In fact the word for “Black” in Saudi is “Abed”. This means slave. When you see Saudi Arabia commanding Buhari, you are seeing the sub conscious relationship between a slave and his master. As you know, for 6 years of Boko Haram, Saudi Arabia did not send one Sargent to Nigeria. Now that they are afraid of Houthi in Yemen, they want to get their former Black slaves to come and die for them. Buhari should please try and stand as Black Man for once. We are Black people of Africa. Not Arabs. We honor Prophet Muhammad SAWT, but let the Arabs solve their problems with the Persians. Am I wrong?.

    • PolyGon2013

      No, you are not.

      • Otile

        Is it not what your Fulani master Imam Duncee is planning to do to people east of the Niger? Hypocrite.

        • PolyGon2013

          Dummy. Fulani has always been your master. You are the Hypocrite. Wait till 2019 when you can align with the north, as your dogs have been doing since independence. The alignment of SW with north is an equal partner. But you and your people do not know how to negotiate politically, and for this reason, you will always eat from the crumbs.

          • Otile

            Treachery does not mean alignment_idiot.

  • Sparzo

    Nigeria is not an Islamic State.
    The idea of joining the ismat is a bad one. It is very divisive and lacks foresight.

  • PolyGon2013

    Good analysis, and a good advice. Since Nigeria is not an Islamic state, I cannot envisage us joining the terrorists (Saudi Arabia ). All Saudis and all Arab Muslims are terrorists or potential terrorists. Moreover, We are in a democracy, and there is no way Nigeria would key in to aligning with the Saudis or the Iranians. To he’ll with Saudi Arabia and Iran.

    • Otile

      As long as your master Imam Duncee is the leader Nigeria is going to be dragged into Islamic jihad willy-nilly.

      • PolyGon2013

        …And you will be consumed in the inferno.

        • Otile

          Back to sender. I have nothing to do with your master Duncee’s rule. It is easy for you to hide in US and enjoy freedom but insult and look down on as Africans. I wish the Ku Klux Klan will one day remind you that you are African too. Odale

          • PolyGon2013

            Trust me, you will be consumed in the inferno.


      It’s too late. When Buhari was making key appointments to his cabinet is when Saudi Arabia won. There’s nothing anybody can do now, the radical government is in place now to deal decisively with Yorubas, starting soon. Watch.

      Boko Haram took over from Jonathan.
      It’s a strategic move, and change.

      The brains behind Buhari believe that Yorubas is “the trouble with Nigeria” (Sanusi Lamido Sanusi ),and cannot be trusted, that they are very clannish, and that they hate the Igbos, so Buhari pretends as if he is persecuting the Igbos so he can rope the Yorubas with that; and it worked because the Yorubas got nothing in the main security apparatus. The stage is set for Arabs to enslave Nigeria.

      Except of course, Biafra will not let it happen. With a little help from Yorubas, the country can fight back again.

      • PolyGon2013

        Clap for yourself. I did not know that you are this retarded.


    This article vindicate my claim that President Buhari is corrupt, albeit Religious Corruption.

    The currency used by corrupt politicians is not always cash; some are traded with power, some in supremacy.

    I could write a big book on this here but there is no need. All forms of corruption is damaging to the country.

    The editorial is sound and courageous.

    • Otile

      It goes without saying that most Fulani leaders are corrupt and corrupt to the teeth. Nobody can see immoral Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Turai, and late Ahumadu Bello as saints.


        What kind of wicked soul will come to power in present day Nigeria, where students are neglected, there’s poverty in the midst of plenty, there’s plurality, and their preoccupation is religious supremacy, and plunging the country into feudal wars and colonialism by Arabs?

        This country is doomed.

        • Etomi

          Buhari is still unfolding….

          But thank God for those who are still clear-sighted….

          Buhari is poised to be the architect of the splitting of Nigeria….

          It is not Nnamdi Kanu or Uwazurike that would cause the crashing of the cursed citadel….

          But the self-conceited Muslim bigot, sunni-zealot called Buhari….

  • IZON Redeemer

    Amaechi Looted $757M from Rivers State To Fund Buhari’s Campaign.

    The immediate past Rivers State Governor, Mr Rotimi Amaechi stole $757 million (N230Billion), reliable sources at the Government House told our reporter in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, south south Nigeria.

    Findings from our investigative reports revealed that Rotimi dug deep into Rivers State coffers and doled out a whopping $757 part of which was used to fund Buhari’s campaign and every hue and cry that has been raised so far to have Rotimi Amaechi investigated in spite of the glaring evidence against him tendered by the Rivers State Government has fallen on deaf ears.

  • TrueNja

    Every human soul knows that Saudi Arabia is the bed rock of terrorism. The U.S. 9/11/01 terrorist attack, 15 hijackers out of 19 hijackers were Saudis. PMB, you didn’t win your first 3 presidential elections because majority of Nigerians feared that you would Islamized the country . Please don’t dear try joining ISMAT.