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By Eugene Uzor
On Thursday, July 4th, 1984, at the cargo terminal of Stansted Airport 40 miles (64km) north of London, a young British customs officer, Charles David Morrow was on duty and his suspicion of the situation around a particular crate was triggered even further by an All Ports Bulletin from Scotland Yard which said a Nigerian had been kidnapped and would possibly be facing being smuggled out of the United Kingdom. Procedural failings on the part of the Nigerian diplomat present created room for the cover of diplomatic immunity to be temporarily suspended so the crates could be opened and checked.
The crates were found to contain the missing Nigerian who was a fugitive of the Nigerian military government headed by the duo of Idiagbon and Buhari and while the diplomat at the scene panicked and ran off, the accomplices to the kidnap were caught.
The Nigerian fugitive involved was the infamous Umaru Dikko and a surprising detail was that some of the accomplices were a former Mossad member and other Israeli mercenaries for hire for the Muslim dictators of Nigeria. The kidnap team was made up of former Mossad agent, Alexander Barak who led fellow Israelis Felix Abitol and Dr. Lev-Arie Shapiro in the team that included a Nigerian intelligence officer.
Muhammadu Buhari was engaging in illegal cross-border military action that far back.
Now fast forward to 37 years later and it’s the 1st of July, 2021, and the Nigerian government inexplicably under the same Muhammadu Buhari who has somehow been reborn as a civilian president has announced the capture of another fugitive Nnamdi Kanu who is the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). Unconfirmed reports say that Nnamdi Kanu was intercepted at Addis Ababa where he was arrested by Interpol and then extradited to Abuja on the last Sunday of June. He is being held responsible for stirring violence, in the South-eastern Nigeria that has led to the loss of lives and property. News reports have emerged in which we have people blaming certain parties in the Niger Delta for being involved in the buildup to Kanu’s seizure.
The truth is that Buhari has been dabbling in these situations for almost 40 years and he wouldn’t need the help of the likes of Asari Dokubo for this.
In 37 years, the world has faced enough armed conflicts to get a significantly improved supply of mercenaries and all sorts of intelligence required for cross-border military actions and in situations where the target is in countries that can be persuaded to seize and hand over a target, there isn’t even any need for use of mercenaries. This is what should be considered by the people speculating as to what role might have been played by Asari Dokubo in the capture of Nnamdi Kanu by the Federal Government.
An SBM Intelligence report back in March had given details on a possible breakaway of an IPOB faction headed by Nnamdi Kanu’s ex-deputy, Uche Mefor, and his likely merger with certain Niger-Delta groups. Nnamdi Kanu was said to have abolished Mefor’s position of Deputy and later on announced the dissolution of the UK chapter of IPOB in a radio broadcast after Mefor demanded that Kanu give an account of funds in his care. According to SBM, Mefor is far more competent than Nnamdi Kanu and was more inclined to pursue a partnership with Niger Delta groups, something that is crucial for any pro-Biafra movement to succeed. His interaction with Asari Dokubo is likely to be the basis of the reported boasts from Asari Dokubo. Asari Dokubo is given to exaggeration and spectacle so it’s useful to keep a pinch of salt close by when he’s taking.
It is unclear why the leaders of Fulani terrorist groups linked to Boko Haram and ISWAP are not being sought after as keenly as Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB have been chased.
Northern Nigeria has terrorists who negotiate with governors and the likes of Sheikh Gumi after killing thousands of people and go ahead to kidnap schoolchildren in their hundreds but there’s never any publicized capture of key elements. Some captured terrorist combatants even get released and communities are being told to accept them. For some reason, this is responded to in a much milder manner that suggests that the ethnicity of the offender is a much weightier factor than the offence actually committed.
As different regions in Nigeria keep looking for a semblance of order, leadership, and security in response to the chaos and despair occasioned by the atrocity that passes for central federal governance under President Muhammadu Buhari, ethnic demagogues have become a more widely considered offer. Ethnic champions have been a thing in Nigeria even during the Abacha days, but under Buhari, things have gone up a whole new gear, and the rearrest of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra is another episode in the unravelling of a shared national identity. Only time will continue to tell Buhari’s uneven manner is a sensible way to approach things.
Eugene works as an analyst at QCA and is also a social commentator whose work is mainly found on Twitter, @EuginhoCortez and 774ngr.
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