Year 2015 promises to be more challenging to the Nigerian military as it would certainly face the reality of keeping Nigeria as one indivisible and indissoluble country against all odds.
This is against the backdrop of purported predictions by the United States of America, USA, that the country would break up by the year 2015.
Although the US had since denied this claim as coming from some intellectuals based on their calculations, who did not represent the United States, it is very instructive for the military to take such rumour seriously to avoid being caught in the web, just as it was caught in the web of the uncontrollable Boko Haram insurgency.
The country’s military has continued to grapple with the Boko Haram insurgency since 2009 and rather than winning the war, insurgency is growing bigger and stronger on daily basis.
In the previous years, insurgents promoted bomb explosion in key cities across the North including Abuja, but stepped up their operations in 2014 , embarking on serious conquest of big cities in North East and having control over them. By capturing Gwoza, Konduga, Damboa, Mubi amongst other cities in North East and installing their command and control system, Boko Haram proved to the military that it could do more, even though some of these cities were reclaimed by the military.
The over 200 girls of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, who since their abduction on April 14, 2014, had remained in captivity of Boko Haram without the military knowing how to go about their release, gives an indication of the hard task ahead in 2015.
In spite of the continuous killing of these insurgents and capturing their weapons by troops, their numbers seem not depleted in any way and they seem not to run shot of weaponry, given the huge encounters the military has reported to have faced from these insurgents. Their numbers continue to increase and they continue to have arms supply for their operations.
The insurgents are bent on controlling certain portions of Nigeria’s territory and the military has vowed not to cede any portion to them. There have been predictions and calculations that there will be an increase in the level of insurgency in 2015, at least by 10 per cent, something that is believed would pre-occupy the military in 2015 as it must not allow insurgents to divide and rule any part of Nigeria.
A part from insurgency, the 2015 general elections in February, is one that if not handled carefully, the country would be doomed for it. Opposition politicians have been condemned for taking extreme positions in their desperation to capture power, thereby making statements capable of jeopardising the country’s togetherness.
Some were quoted to have vowed to run a parallel government if the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, should rig and win the presidential election. They have even gone ahead to allegedly start inciting soldiers to mutiny, a development which called for serious concerns from the Defence Headquarters, DHQ. It is obvious that where opposition embarks on a parallel government, the sovereignty of Nigeria and the sanctity of the constitution would be threatened.
It therefore becomes clear that the military have a huge task to ensure the protection of the country’s common values, the constitution, the state and its sovereignty and it should be strategising now to avert such threats within the elections year. Already, the military is no longer at ease with the fire that is spitting out from the mouths of politicians since the constituted authorities in the military are feeling threatened.
The DHQ in a statement last week had warned politicians to steer clear of military systems and never again should they incite soldiers to be unruly. The DHQ through its Director of Defence Information, DDI, Maj-Gen. Chris Olukolade, in a statement warned politicians to watch their tongues as they go about campaigning ahead of the 2015 general elections. It became clear to it that politicians were becoming meddlesome in affairs of military, thus asking them to play politics correctly.
This shows the beginning of what the military would face in 2015 when politicking becomes very hot, reaching to desperate state. Politicians would attempt to undermine the military.
The military would attempt to live up to its billing. The game in the long run may no longer be palatable. The military would have the duty to defend this democracy by resisting the temptations that power and absolute power brings. Yet, it would certainly not watch Nigeria collapse. Ignoring the denied prediction of Nigeria’s collapse would not be the best.
Thus it is believed that the military is watching out for those factors that could be contributory to the collapse and tame them quickly. The military would also have to find a way to free the Chibok girls so that they are not in captivity up to one year, as well as ensuring the reclaim of all parts of North-East still held by terrorists.
Acquiring arms and other weaponry to prosecute the war, would also remain one challenge that the military would have to face, as it may just have to keep winning with the available weapons in its possession if no one wants to sell arms to Nigeria.