“Around 2000, governors fearing that the Military may still make a stage back to power, resolved to mobilize and fund parallel militant groups drawn from different tertiary institutions, local cult leaders and terrorist groups as auxiliaries in the event the military makes any stage back to power. They feared Obasanjo could become dictatorial or rather pave way for military stage back to power. It was their collective decision to protect democracy by forming a strong parallel militancy group that could match the military in the event military plans a stage back. The guns, the training and the resources plunged into this unholy desire could have led to what we have today as militancy and terrorism, with foreign collaboration though”
Ask an average Nigerian his view on the genesis of militancy and terrorism in Nigeria. You will readily hear responses like “Jonathan formed and funded Boko Haram to reduce the population of the North for political advantage” Or you could hear something like “The atrocities being committed by the so-called herdsmen thrive today because they are President Muhammadu Buhari’s Fulani brothers. He wants to use the Fulani Herdsmen as a political weapon comes 2019”. These are far from the origins of terrorism and militancy in Nigeria today. Jonathan did not set up and fund Boko Haram neither is there anything pointing to President Muhammadu Buhari equipping herdsmen for political gains”
These are what Nigerians have been fed with depending on one’s regional affiliation or political ideologies.
LeadingReporters in its quest to unveil what is hitherto unknown about militancy and terrorism in Nigeria could authoritatively trace it to Nigerian Governors when Nigeria returned to democratic government in 1999.
How? You may ask.
Nigeria returned to democratic governance in 1999 after the military has held sway to power for a very long time. President Olusegun Obasanjo, a retired General in Nigeria Army became the democratically elected President in the 4th republic in 1999 elected under the platform of Peoples’ Democratic Party. Other parties then were APP, AD and ANPP.
Our source, who spoke to us on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the issue, said that the then governors worried that the military might still strike and seize power from them began to device ways aimed at averting another military stage back. They feared the process that produced Obasanjo and thought that Obasanjo might just be there to hold brief for the military or that Obasanjo at that time was an extension of the military in democratic identity.
It was learnt that the governors agreed that the best way to keep off the military from power was to equip and fund a parallel militancy group. Towards achieving this, some governors were detailed to begin the process of scouting for people within their regions to form militancy groups. Monies were contributed, arms procured for these militancy and terrorist groups with specific mandate of watching and averting any military move to usurp power and dislodge the democratic governance.
Leaders of different cult groups in tertiary institutions and in different villages across Nigeria were engaged, equipped and funded with thematic instruction to guarantee the protection of the governors and the democracy.
At a point, when they were certain that the democracy has been strongly rooted, disarming these youths became difficult. While most of them withdrew the monetary supports they were extending to these group, especially within the Northern Axis, others within the Southern Axis continued to maintain and use them against political opponents in form of killer squad, assassins, election riggers and ballot box snatchers. Disarming them became difficult as the groups became violent and thus resort to other criminalities to expand its operations and base. Willing Western collaborators cashed in and provide the needed weapons for stolen crude.
That singular act of desperation on the part of the governors paved way for foreign infiltration of the terrorist group and militants who now began to trade stolen crude oil for arms while the others from Northern Axis were stirred towards asking for their own sultanate, thus the untamed militancy and terrorism in Nigeria today.