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Can The Tucano Helicopters Help Nigeria In The Ever Changing Insurgency War?


The Oasis Reporters

May 12, 2018

Embraer Tucano jets in the air.

A foreign policy report from Washington DC has factually captured what President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria really wants to prove to Nigerians ahead of the crucial 2019 presidential election, and that is, “he can get from Washington what his predecessor Goodluck Jonathan couldn’t”.
But will it be it be enough to get him re-elected?

The writer, Max Siollun adds that “the two countries are trying to patch things up after their biggest ever row. During the tenure of former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, relations deteriorated to their lowest level ever, culminating with the U.S. refusal to sell Cobra attack helicopters to Nigeria in 2015 to aid the country’s fight against the terrorist group Boko Haram”, which according to President Trump during his joint press conference with Nigeria’s president Buhari was “for no reason at all”.

The spat, says the report, “arose due to U.S. concerns about alleged human rights abuses by the Nigerian army”, which rather made Nigeria to view the United States as “a false friend that had failed to help Nigeria in its moment of crisis”.

“Buhari”, Siollun went on, “defeated Jonathan in the 2015 presidential election based on his image as a military “ironman” who could simultaneously fight corruption and security threats. But Buhari’s claim in December 2015 that “technically we have won the war” against Boko Haram has repeatedly come back to haunt him. Nearly two and a half years after Buhari’s “mission accomplished” moment, the Islamist terrorist group still carries out suicide bombings, ambushes army convoys, and kidnaps schoolgirls. The threat from Boko Haram and other sources of communal violence has become so widespread that the Nigerian chief of army staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, admitted that the army is deployed on various security operations in 32 of Nigeria’s 36 states”.

“Buhari’s popularity has plummeted, and his critics have gotten tougher. In January, former President Olusegun Obasanjo wrote a public letter in which he urged Buhari to “dismount from the horse” and retire from office.

“Buhari needs a political boost if he is going to have a shot at re-election. The meeting with Trump, and the United States’ recent decision to sell Super Tucano fighter jets to Nigeria, allows Buhari to show voters at home that he has repaired a broken relationship and that his own skills have achieved deals with Washington that his predecessor couldn’t produce”.

How useful are the Tucano helicopters to Nigeria from the 2020 time lag they need before getting here?
Can it turn the tide against insurgency in the North east and the Fulani herdsmen terrorists brutally attacking farmers in the middle belt region of Nigeria?
The long and short answer to this, is that by 2020, the helicopters would have been too bogus and too out of date to deal with the terror on ground.

Siollun says in the foreign policy report that, “Tucano jets would have had more impact four years ago, when Boko Haram was attacking and occupying Nigerian territory like a conventional army, rather than today, when its preferred method of attack is to send little girls into mosques and crowded markets on suicide bombing missions. The Tucanos will not stop suicide bombings, nor will they stop the clashes between farmers and herdsmen that are Nigeria’s next security headache”

“Yet Buhari needs the Tucano deal more than his country does. This deal amounts to toys for the boys, bolstering Buhari’s image, rather than being a gamechanger in the war against Boko Haram. Indeed, Nigeria is getting the right equipment but at the wrong time”.

So are these the toys that Nigeria is paying almost half a billion dollars for and opening our agricultural market for US farm produce to be dumped on us while putting our farmers out of work even when the farms and villages are already being violently occupied and destroyed by the Fulani herdsmen militia?

Sold short, and that’s the real analysis. Nigeria didn’t get a good deal at all.


Source : Foreign Policy report
Max Siollun
In-house analysis

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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