January 30 2018.
Cameroonian soldiers stormed Danari, a village in Cross RIvers State, on Thursday, demanding that the village head hand over some refugees to them.The leader turned down the request and the troops left without hurting anybody.
On Monday night, however, the soldiers returned. Numbering between 50 and 100 invaded the village at about 2:00 a.m. on Monday, shooting intermittently.
The geopolitical struggle between Nigeria and her Francophone neighbours shows the Franco-alliance is winning. Nigeria’s incoherent and snail pace condemnation and failing to make Cameroon accountable for its brazen violation of Nigerian territory shows the erosion of Nigeria’s military power and influence in the region is real. The timidity of Abuja in the face of this violations gives the perceptions that the economic and military order of West Africa Nigeria crafted is rapidly being eroded, and the balance of power is, for the first time since the formation of ECOWAS shifting from Anglo West Africa to Franco West Africa.
However, more worrying to Nigeria , many ECOWAS members seem increasingly ambivalent regarding the spectre of France and her vassals dominating the region.
Nigeria as it stands is a paper tiger and can no longer be regarded as a regional power, at least militarily, that rank should go to Cameroon and Chad. Cameroon was able to kidnap/force the repatriation of the leader of the Ambazonian separatists in Abuja with relative ease, transport them to Yaounde, have them tortured and locked up, and the very next day invade a Nigerian village.
How on earth can a foreign country invade Nigeria, kill Nigerian citizens on Nigerian soil repeatedly with absolutely careless abandon?
This is akin to Canada invading the United States on multiple occasions, killing hundreds of Americans, and casually retreating back across the border into Canada on multiple occasions.
Nigeria is perhaps the only country in Africa incapable of defending her citizens from terrorists and foreign power alike. How the mighty have fallen. This is a watershed moment for what used to be the most powerful black nation on Earth.
History of Provocation
A raid carried out Cameroonian gendarmes killed six Nigerians in Bakassi territorial waters 10 days after Niger Delta militants surrendered their weapons and left the creeks of Bakassi peninsula.
Reports said the gendarmes on a routine patrol of the island swooped on the Nigerians at Abana and Atabong areas of the peninsula which are one and half hours boat ride from Ikang near Akpabuyo Local Government Area. Ikang is the headquarters of the new Bakassi Local Government.
Shortly after killing the Nigerians, the soldiers took off but not without warning other Nigerians to stay off their (Cameroon) territory following the ceding of the oil-rich island to the Republic of Cameroon based on the World Court judgment of October 10, 2002. Nigeria’s sovereignty over Bakassi faded into history on August 14, 2008.
Three hundred Chadian and Cameroonian troops crossed the border into Nigerian territory with armoured vehicles and Mi-17sh attack helicopters, to recapture Nigeria’s border town of Baga from Boko Haram insurgents, without the knowledge or approval of the Nigerian government.
The Nigerian military confirmed it had no knowledge of an order by President Idris Derby of Chad, deploying that country’s armed forces in pursuit of Boko Haram in Nigerian territory.
Cameroonian gendarmes from Bodam community had, in October 2017, invaded Danare, killing two farmers.
Cameroon had also, in December, abducted five persons from Danare on the claims that they were suspected youths involved in the fight for the creation of Ambazonia.
Cameroonian soldiers fired rocket-propelled grenades indiscriminately, killing a family of four, then shot and killed two elderly men. The Cameroonian soldiers stole cattle and razed entire villages along a 150-kilometer 95-mile stretch of the border.
Cameroonian troops crossed the border into the Nigeria, where they shot and killed about 150 villagers, burned their homes, forcing many of them to flee.
Not a single word of condemnation from Abuja.
Cameroonian soldiers storm Kirawa-Jimni, a village in Gwoza local government area of Borno state, and asked where Boko Haram insurgents were, before they could say a word, they opened fire, sending the villagers running. By by the time people returned to the scene on 70 corpses were found to be littering the ground.
Cameroonian paramilitary unit enforcing a $300 fishing levy kill 97 Nigerian fishermen’ in Bakassi. A government spokesman remarked :
This is a calculated offensive from the Cameroonian military on Nigeria. They have shown outright defiance of Nigeria’s territorial sovereignty with no care in the world about possible consequences.
But why should they? The most powerful country in the world operates a Reaper Drone base in the country.
WHY THE CORWADICE?
Nigerians deserve to know why in response to repetitive provocations by the Cameroonian army, the government has adopted a policy of appeasement, a policy permitting the murder of Nigerians, saying they are partners in the war against terrorism, given excuses for these acts of war ?
Why is Africa’s richest country with one of the largest and best funded military capitulating to an aggressor in the hope that aggression will cease or be diverted elsewhere ?
The increase in tensions right after Nigeria ceded Bakassi to Cameroon holds many lessons on appeasement. Give a mouse cheese, it will demand for milk.
These appeasement are borderline stupid and will not forestall outright war, instead its doing just the opposite. As it stands Nigeria is in a state of war. With each concessions and appeasement, our Francophone neighbors are growing in strength and ambition, forging defense relations with France and the United States.
The Chadian and Cameroonian militaries are modernising very fast. While our government is focused on passing legislatures to allocate grazing rights fo cattle hearders, two of our geo political foes are modernizing their militaries and forging defence pacts with France and the United States, taking them near the capacity of confidently unleashing an all out war with a good chance of winning. This is not Hyperbole.
The only nation seen as capable of seriously constraining France’s colonialist ambitions in West Africa is Nigeria. From Nigeria’s standpoint, France has no business “interfering” in the region far from its shores and where its interests are secondary compared to Nigeria’s. For Abuja, Paris’s insistence on maintaining a military presence in the region after the destruction of Libya is provocative, destabilizing and illegitimate
Unfortunately West Africa is vastly different today compared to 10 or 15 years ago. Nigeria have lost much of its power and influence. In fact, we have become ourselves threatened and interfered with by the two military superpowers of the Western Word. Today the U.S. and France are the biggest security overlords in West Africa.
Nigeria still posses arguably the most formidable military in the region, but it is in the process of decline. The Franco-alliance on the other hand is on the move, having ambitions of taking over wherever Nigeria’s influence is diminished. The danger of war definitely is mounting.
Nigeria’s leadership needs to step up their game. What is needed is a Nigerian military strategy designed to effectively stop further unauthorized cross border attacks. Such a strategy should begin with an affirmative assertion of Nigeria’s interests.
A Nigerian counterstrategy, if it is to have any prospect of success, will have to enlist the full range of its economic capabilities and assets. Stopping trade with landlocked Chad and Cameroon will have reaching consequences, no amount of French economic aid will compensate for it.
But in the immediate term the challenge is military
The Nigerian army should maintain a continuous 24/7 365 presence in Calabar and the surrounding Bakassi islands. They should deploy with no regard for Cameroons ownership the Bakassi Peninsula.This should include, and here the risks are obvious—air and naval transit within 12 nm of at least one of these features.
This measure will establish sufficient hard power deterrence. Nigeria must take a tough stance against unauthorized cross border attacks regardless of the political cost. If Cameroons military grandstanding and provocations are not checked, Nigeria, will be confronted with an irreversible fait accompli.