Dr Ona Ekhomu the security expert, has urged the Nigerian military to urgently create a firewall in the North-east to prevent incursion into Nigeria by the various militia groups fighting for control of the Central African nation of Chad.
He said: “Aside from the rebel group
(Front for Change and Concord in Chad) which assassinated President
Idris Deby, there are myriad armed groups which could advance south into
Nigeria or be pursued by the Chadian Army into Nigeria. Either way we
must not be caught off guard by military adventurists”.
Reacting to the assassination of the Chadian leader and the resultant constitutional crisis in that country, Dr. Ona Ekhomu who is President of the Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria (AISSON) said the military diplomacy strategy of President Deby had resulted in a “militaristic culture” by elements of the Chadian military and armed rebels.
He said the famed military prowess of
the Chadian Army was evidenced by a “Chadian swagger” which was
exemplified by derisive comments made in April 2020 by President Deby
against Nigeria after the “Wrath of Boma Operation” which dislodged Boko
Haram fighters from the Chadian side of the Lake Chad.
Ekhomu urged Nigeria’s Chief of Defence
Staff, General Lucky Irabor and the military high command to send at
least 5000 soldiers to Kukawa Local Government and garrison them there.
He said the massing of the force would
deter Chadian adventurism into Nigeria and also place the military in an
offensive role against Boko Haram/ISWAP in the Lake Chad Basin area.
The security and intelligence analyst
said that another goal of the proposed strategy is that the Nigerian
military’s firewall would prevent the influx of weapons from Chad and
Libya into the Northeast conflict zone.
He said that illicit weapons could further exacerbate the already dire security situation in Nigeria.
Dr. Ekhomu urged the Nigerian government
to act expeditiously in dealing with the unfolding constitutional
crisis in Chad as it has serious security implications for Nigeria.
Mourning the tragic loss of the Chadian
strongman whose army propped up governments in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger
and Central African Republic, Ekhomu said “Chad’s military diplomacy,
which was the brainchild of President Idris Deby was a cornerstone in
the fight against jihadis in the Sahel. With the sudden demise of
President Deby, I expect a spike in Jihadi operations in the Sahel”.
Ekhomu, who is the first chartered
security professional in West Africa called for a restoration of the
constitutional order in Chad, urging the fractured military to hand over
power to the speaker of the parliament who is constitutionally expected
to succeed President Idris Deby.
He said military coups are no longer
fashionable, and decried the fact that the Central African nation was
yet to find its democratic bearings even though it because independent
before Nigeria in 1960.
He decried the endorsement of the
military coup by France, and warned against the promotion of instability
in Africa by metropolitan powers.
Dr. Ekhomu described the new
transitional charter that named General Mahamat Deby as President and
Commander-in-Chief as unconstitutional.
He said the ploy to create a dynasty in
Chad was bound to produce widespread armed conflict which the
over-stretched Chadian Army may not be able to cope with.
He advised the Federal Government of
Nigeria to brace for a humanitarian crisis that would invariably flow in
from its northern neighbor – Chad.
He further advised the government to commence building of IDP Camps that would accommodate the foreign IDPs.
According to Dr Ekhomu, “the perception
that Nigeria is a land of opportunities will encourage many refuges to
travel South into Nigeria.
“These people are more afraid of the
Chadian militias than they are of Nigerian insurgents and terrorists
such as Boko Haram/ISWAP.
“Based upon the Westphalian Treaty principles of sovereignty once they are on Nigerian soil, the Nigerian Government would have the responsibility to provide humanitarian assistance not minding the fact that Nigeria has a domestic humanitarian crisis on its hands and the UN is threatening to withdraw humanitarian services due to incessant Boko Haram attacks in Northern Borno State.”
Post by Chinyere Onyemachi
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