By Wale Adedayo
Chad did very well with its intervention against Boko Haram. But its move against the terrorist group was not because of Boko Haram’s many evil activities. Chad did not act in the name of humanity. Nigeria’s landlocked neighbour acted in its national interest. And that is very okay with son of man.
A quality leadership knows the meaning of national interest. A quality leader knows what to do in the defence of that national interest. Deep in that national interest is the diamond of patriotism, which an average citizen should be willing to lay his/her life down for in order to sustain it. Boko Haram sought to disgrace Chad by killing dozens of its soldiers in just one day.
-Watch video of the combat here
The response from a quality Chadian leadership was swift and sustained till every inch of Chadian soil was rid of the cancer that is Boko Haram. Yes, the Chadian President, Idriss Derby, is a dictator. He is brutal. But the dictator refused to allow his country to be disgraced in the comity of nations by a rag-tag collection of criminals using Islam as a basis for committing the worse crimes in recent times against the innocent.
Nigeria is still struggling to have a leader, who is imbued with such a patriotic zeal to rid the country of the menace of Boko Haram. Our leaders are blinded by myopic religious sympathies, questionable ethnic loyalties and a love of lucre that’ll force the average Chadian cringe. The Chadian soldiers, despite previous engagements with Islamic militants from Libya and Niger Republic to Mali are not superior to their Nigerian colleagues. The difference in what has just happened is the quality of leadership that thinks way beyond its stomach.
The topmost echelon of Nigeria’s military and political leaderships know the location of Boko Haram camps. The group could be taken out within a month were it not for the poor leadership we have, where many are raking in billions by gambling with the lives of our servicemen and making a mockery of the country in the process. Stories abound about orders to stop hot pursuit of Boko Haram leaders during engagements. Some of these were confirmed by the South African mercenaries once engaged by the Goodluck Jonathan Administration. It did not start today.
Besides, Chad also played out its hand in this mess. As pointed out by son of man on several occasions, Nigeria’s neighbours in the war zone are also guilty in aiding Boko Haram. But for the attack that cost Chad the lives of many of its soldiers in one day, Boko Haram would still have maintained its supply routes in and out of that country. Our leaders in Nigeria, who should have critically looked at and acted against supply routes for the terrorists continue to look the other way. The war must continue for them to make money.
Biafra was effectively blockaded during the civil war. They were fighting for self-determination. These ones are criminals, who want to impose themselves and their warped religious ideology on the rest of the country. Yet, our leaders have consistently refused to consider the same options used against Biafra. They continue to treat captured ones with kid gloves, sending many on dubious trainings and even setting them up for business. The quality leadership of Chad always sends captured Boko Haram cadres to God. In Nigeria, we brand them as repentant, while their colleagues continue to kill and maim.
Those abusing jubilant Nigerian soldiers at the front have no idea what it means to face an enemy being assisted by your superiors bare-handed. You can watch the videos on Youtube. The Chadians were well coordinated with quality armaments. Our soldiers, in the service of a stupendously rich Nigeria, cannot boast of such equipment. Brave guys they are. But war is not all about bravery. The heart of your leaders back home must be same with yours if you are to win. It is so in Chad, but not the same in Nigeria.
-Wale Adedayo, journalist, political activist and social critic, is the publisher of Uhuru Times