Boko Haram Insurgency: The French Connection By Ahmad B Kaita
The previous week was quite eventful largely for all the wrong reasons. The sudden change of mind by President Jonathan to visit Chibok on his way to France to attend a ‘kindergarten’ class on security alongside his equally in-dire-need-of-a-baby-sitter West African colleagues was one of them. The purpose of the France trip was to find a solution to the seemingly intractable Boko Haram imbroglio. Talk about mutual trust between the fox and the hen.
Just as the president was about to score a cheap point that might have slowed, if not stopped his continuous decline on the scale of leadership, his strong circle of associates chose to waste the chance. Perhaps, out of fear for his own personal safety, he saw wisdom and canceled his visit to Chibok, an action many Nigerians saw as an immoral neglect of constitutional mandate and responsibility, as well, a fair view of how not a president should behave.
To worsen matters, the president’s performance in Paris only succeeded in showcasing his nationally acknowledged incompetence on a wider global scale. With ongoing Cannes Film festival in full blast a stone throw away, the timing couldn’t be better. President Jonathan’s Paris speech, which have since gone viral on the internet was a source of embarrassment for Nigeria especially when juxtaposed with the apparent excessive display of inferiority complex by President Jonathan which could easily pass for a call to the return of the colonial days.
The president succinctly captured the pathetic situation with the declaration: “This is the second time within a year that we have come to Paris to discuss what are essentially African security issues”. This is bizarre. Why should our leaders always neglect or misplace their priorities only for them to embark on a wild goose chase. How in God’s name should somebody expect a solution from France on the Boko Haram menace while refusing to work in harmony with most governors in northern Nigeria, particularly those of the N’East.
Perhaps the president is not even aware about the numerous conspiracy theories concerning France in relation to Boko Haram, most of which were loaded with logical, even if not proven hypothesis. Beside, this is the same France that stood firmly by Biafra that most people believed the most important single reason for battered Biafra’s continuing survival against the attacks of the Nigerian Federal Army was a steady infusion of French military aid.
Nobody should pretend France is no longer interested in realising its ambitious dream of economic dominance of West Africa hence, it’s easy to see that what France couldn’t get through Biafra may well be there for its taking through President Jonathan and the Boko Haram mess his regime created. Juxtapose France’s sudden interest in Nigeria, the APF/Boko Haram mutual connection, the stylish way France drafted itself into the war through cases of its ‘kidnapped’ citizens by ‘Boko Haram’ in different parts of Nigeria – with most, if not all victims freed under unclear circumstances usually without firing a single shot, a clear deviation from the Boko Haram modus operandi.
Among the French citizens kidnapped that benefited from a spectacular happy ending was Francis Collomp who was kidnapped in Rimi, Katsina State. Collomp escaped from his Boko Haram holding cell by God knows how and rode an ‘achaba’ to a police station in Zaria, from where he was ferried to Kaduna and subsequently flown to France the next day without the police allowing the press access to him to share his experience.
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