Forgotten Facts : Nigeria’s Ballistic Missile Program.

In the begining

July 2001.

A French military transport plane lands at Ndjamena airport with a bath of 50 missiles of the MILAN II anti tank missile, a 4th generation anti tank weapon to replace the ageing Milan I anti tank system.

The Chadian authorities had ordered the missiles a year earlier and is an initial delivery of an order for 200 missiles and 20 firing posts. The MILAN II has a range of 3,000 metres

October 2001

Two Nigerian patrol boats are attacked with high gun shots in the Akwayafe River by Cameroonian forces, resulting in the death of five Nigerians.

A fortnight later Cameroonian forces entered several fishing villages where they hoisted Cameroon flag and announced their intention of renaming the villages. They also promised the people health units and education facilities.But before getting to this stage, the settlers were told to pay their taxes. 

The Obasanjo administration seems to have no semblance of a response, and chooses to keep the story buried, much to the Chagrin of Cross Rivers governor, Donald Duke. He believes it is a deliberate ploy to provoke a confrontation. In truth the Obasanjo/ Atiku were far too occupied with their political cat-and-mouse, and the difficulties of adjusting to democratization to allow the possession of a few fishing villages to stand in the way.

Encouraged by pacivity of Nigeria’s new democratic government, Cameroonian Gendarmes storm several fishing villages again and arrested scores of Nigerians for tax evasion. 

“These people were well informed on how to evade taxes and did so with great skill ” they said.

 At the point the Obasanjo administration was less inclined to compromise.
On the end of November, a battalion of Nigerian troops occupied Diamant and Jabane, two island’s on the peninsula with the fishing communities requesting help from Calabar and Abuja against the Cameroonians. Cameroonians were accused of harassment and maltreatment of Nigerians living on the peninsula. 

In retaliation Cameroons military response led to several deaths and immense destruction of properties. 

In response Nigerian troops occupied the localities of Idabato, Uzuma, Kombo and Jane’s with two fully armed battalions which resulted in the flight of over 18,000 people into Cross Rivers State.

The year of 2003 saw a renewal of confrontations. Nigerian troops occupying the four villages clashed again with Cameroonian troops, leading to several deaths on both sides; both capturing prisoners of war. Whatever, the affront took a different perspective when the Nigerian Intelligence sent a report to Abuja on the near completion of a secret military airbase, with Caucasian personnel on site.

This was a shock for the Nigerian government that suddenly found itself in a daggers-drawn situation with Cameroon, putting its barely two year old fragile democracy at risk.

This coming on the heels of a rapid acquisition of weapons from Chad designed specifically to negate Nigeria’s military superiority in amour reinforced the notion that external powers at play are deliberately pushing for military confrontation with a clear objective in mind – to stage an attack on three fronts – the Chadian army in the Lake Chad basin, Niger Delta militants in the creeks and mangroves in the South South part of the country and Cameroonian forces in he East.
Nigeria’s president orders the country’s armed forces to be in a war footing quietly, but without causing mass hysteria. He orders the re-activation of several previously closed combat helicopter air wings in Port Harcourt, and the 21 Amoured Brigade in the north on a readiness, prepared to respond to any attack, and called on Joint Chiefs to present a plan for the defense Of Nigeria should war

Of particular concern for Nigeria’s military planners is the scenario in which a more powerful Nigerian forces face a weaker enemy, but a still more powerful enemy force ( such as France ) could intervene in the conflict. War with the French military was a war Nigeria could not hope to win.

Nigeria’s strategists therefore called for the use of an array of weapons, political and military to target and potentially nationalise billions of dollar worth of French investments in the country and long range standoff weapons, this includes missiles with enough range to strike military bases in Cameroon and Chad.

December 2003

Secrete meetings between Nigeria and Israel for  unmanned aerial vehicles and North Korea for missile procurement and technology, are initiated. 

January 27 2004.

The Vice president of North Korea, Yang Hyoon Sop arrives Nigeria’s where he met  Nigeria’s vice president, Atiku Abubakar at the Aso Rock presidential villa in Abuja.

Nigeria’s vice president Atiku Abubakar infuriates the West when in a press conference he told the Vice President of the North Korean that Nigeria would continue to seek a peaceful world without regular threat of confrontation by nuclear powers.

He further stated that while Nigeria understands the antecedents of North Korea nuclear program as explained, it seeks a peaceful use of the program. He also assured his guest that “Nigeria is ready to support all peaceful means to ensure the immediate unification of the Korean nations.”

January 28 2004.

North Korea announces it has agreed to share miss I technology with Nigeria, and will support Nigeria’s quest for a permanent seat at the United Nations. Mr Yang Hyoon Sop further stated that Nigeria will receive assembled missiles and technology. 

Nigeria claims the missile help would be used for “peacekeeping” and to protect its territory. Vice President Atiku Abubakar agreed to the “program of cooperation that includes missile technology” with Yang Hyong Sop. 

In an official statement from the Nigerian Vice President’s office, Atiku Abubakar said the Nigerian government would continue to cooperate with the Korean government in the defense sector, an area in which both Nigeria and North Korea had cooperated over the years.

The Spokesman of  Nigeris’s Vice president Mr Onukaba Ojo said : 

“The subject of arms sales had come up at a meeting in Abuja, Tuesday between Atiku and his North Korean counterparts, Yang Hyong-Sop. Atiku had met with the North Korean delegation to discuss buying missiles.”

He added ,

“They came to us wanting a memorandum of understanding signed with us towards developing missile technology and training and manufacture of ammunition. They were just trying to get us interested, but there hasn’t been any interest shown on our side. We are not interested, but we didn’t tell them”.

February 4, 2004.

The United States and France accuses Nigeria of secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons and promises punitive and crippling sanctions and diplomatic isolation.

End of Part 1..

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