Nigeria Military And Backward Integration

By Basil Okoh

The interest of the North is to impose its backwardness on the rest of Nigeria.

Anybody who watched that speech by the Defence Minister Bashir Magashi at the graveside of the deceased Chief of Army Staff Ibrahim Attahiru and the other officers that died in the Beechcraft plane crash will understand why Southern youth say Nigeria is the joke of a country.

His public delivery summarizes the shameful quality of Muhammadu Buhari’s government and the quality of personnel presently running the affairs of Nigeria. Bashir Magashi, the Defence Minister ploughed through a prepared speech like someone who never sat in a classroom. He read as one never tutored in basic grammar. He mispronounced simple words like “loss”, “bereaved” and muddled tenses like an unschooled clown in a farcical theatre.

Even Zebrudaya Okoroigwe Nwogbo, alias 4.30, in his TV Set of The New Masquerade fame, couldn’t put up a public display of such inanity and illiteracy. He made sure to abuse the living and the dead in his graveside speech when he expressed his “heartless felt condolences” to Nigerians.

You will of course worry as everyone should, that this man has the charge of managing the war against the dreaded Boko Haram in the Northeast. And you will ask: is this the quality of mind that he brings to the job of Defence Minister in a 21st century Nigeria? A man who cannot read a speech prepared for him by subordinates.

And is the man making this ridiculous and farcical speech truly a retired general of the Nigerian Army? How did he pass his promotional tests and examinations to rise to the rank of general and in what language were the exams written? Defence matters in the modern world is a purely technical and technology driven engagement. How does this man who cannot pronounce “professionalism” understand missile and propulsion technology, how does he understand the trajectory of different weapons systems? How do you make this man understand possible military formations in an asymmetric war like the one we are fighting in the Northeast?

Does this man represent Nigeria to discuss defence issues or negotiate defence contracts with foreign powers and corporations? In what language does he do that and how do you make him understand the technicalities of weapons and of modern warfare?

From this shameful public display by the Defence Minister, it is obvious why Nigeria is losing the war against Boko Haram. The quality of mind supervising the effort does not match the present sophistication, agility, and brutality of the terrorists. And the superior mind will always win.

Please imagine and do get scared that this is the quality of persons on whom you trust the lives of fighting men and women of the Nigerian armed forces. You now begin to understand why the Northeast has become a killing field spewed with the blood of our soldiers. You come to understand why unlike other armies, the Nigerian Armed Forces do not publish casualty figures for the ongoing war in the Northeast against Boko Haram.

It is evident now that the fight against the terrorists of Boko Haram, Ansaru and ISWAP is a hopeless enterprise, that we are outmatched by illiterate bandits on the loose and it’s about time we negotiate an honorable exit for our forces.

Muhammadu Buhari and the North believe that Magashi’s level of proficiency and knowledge is enough to head the national effort to defeat the terrorists but we the people of Nigeria know that it’s not true, that no matter the weaponry you acquire or the number of men you send to battle, as long as the effort is managed by Bashir Magashi and other people like him and of the same mental aptitude, Nigeria will be worsted in the end.

The world, including Nigeria and the military challenges confronting her, has moved far ahead of the quality of mind presented by Bashir Magashi. It has always been that the interests of the Norths is to impose its backwardness on the rest of Nigeria.

You can follow the writer on @basilokoh

Please note that the opinion expressed by the writer in this article does not reflect the position of the publishers of

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