In 2025 Idris Derby finds himself in a quandary. The landlocked Central African Republic of Chad is finding itself at the beginning of a precipitous depression, brought on by reduced revenue from oil due to a persistent drop in oil prices, a hungry population that is beginning to question the legitimacy of the 32 year Regime.
Citizens are leaving the drought ridden arid countryside for the city, an action that the Derby Regime has always feared, combined with a renewal of violent unrest in the CAR. French support to drops to almost nothing under a new ultra-conservative anti immigration Porpulist French President with a foreign policy more aligned to that of the United States, than seeking to be the new lewder of the Free World.
Within the Republic of Chad, the pain is beginning to be felt throughout the military including the higher levels. As he did in mid-nineties , Idris Derby does several purges, but his paranoia continues to rise. In a desperate attempt to hold in to the rein of power he keeps his personal guards in line by buying their loyalty with more State wealth. The Army sees that his personal guard is taken care of, while their rations have been cut and cut again. So he decides on a bold stroke of action.
He will take the oil.
But what about the powerful Nigerian military, especially its large army, larger than the combined armies of the next 16 ECOWAS countries combined? Chad does not have the manpower and resources capable of taking on the Nigerian military, let alone grab and hold on to her territory.
He has a meeting with his top leaders railing about the Nigerians. The number of impoverished Chadian lives lost helping the overfed and lazy assed Nigerians in its battle with the now vanquished radical Islamic sect Boko Haram, and getting next to nothing in return.
He points to Lake Chad Basin where all of unexplored riches of Chad lay, where the solution to all problems lay, guarded only by the soft spoiled and corrupt people of Nigeria and the interfering Satan of the British He demands a solution or someone’s body will be torn apart by starving dogs every six hours until none of his cabinet is left. He tells the cabinet he will be back every hour to check and leaves.
The members of the cabinet eye each other with fear and distrust. They are scared for their lives, but scared to trust one another in a revolt. So they begin to discuss solutions. An hour passes. Then two. Then three. By hour four they are silent and dejected, and they can’t stop looking at the clock.
Fifteen minutes after the fifth hour, the head of the Forces Armées Nationales Tchadiennes raises his face from his hands. He looks at the general of the Commander of the 15,000 strong Forces Armées Nationales Tchadiennes, fiercely loyal force merged into the national army in 1992 and asks, “can you give me the general dimensions of our readiness. Our stockpile of ammunition, fuel etc?”.
An aid rushes out and comes back with specifications…..
Idris Derby walks into the room. “Give me a plan or someone dies now!”
“Dear Leader, I believe we have one…”
Two months later, a Nigerian Environmental Researcher studying the cause of desert encroachment in sahel and the rapid drying up of Lake Chad Warming was puzzling over some intercepted traffic from Eastern Europe believed to have originated from Chad. He has been observing this for several days, and he’s finally ready to present to his supervisor.
“Badmus , got a minute?”
“Sure, but I got a briefing in…. 8 minutes. Make it quick.”
“I’ve got some data out of Eastern Europe. It looks like the Chadians are hiring several contractors, but it’s odd. They seem to be looking for several teams of combat pilots to man these aircrafts. They also seem to be looking for several oil merchants to deliver nearly the equivalent of 100,000 litres of fuel from the black market. No big deal….big deal is they are not sourcing it from Nigeria.
They’re looking for 200 SA-7 easy to operate MANPADS too.
“”What the hell for, Badmos?””Um, no clue. Not even good guesses really.”Steve taps his fingers, thoughtfully. ”
“Could be nothing but more bat-sh!t crazy from those nuts, but you better post it to Abuja. Make sure you ask for feedback so they at least look at it, but keep the priority low. Keep digging, Badmus!”
One month later, President Fatumbi walks into his morning intel briefing, gritting his teeth. Last night he hosted a dinner with the Nigerian Under-17 World Cup team who do the nation proud. He drank more than his usual , and was now suffering the headache he always got from too much reds.
His chief of staff has already warned the briefers to be quick and to the point, and quiet. President Fatumbi downs a glass of water, and closes his eyes for a minute. Then he put on his professional ‘politely interested and listening’ face and briefly nodded to his Security Adviser.
Abdulwahab Mamud cleared his throat, and said, “Mr President, we would actually like to start with NRO, who has some disturbing news. NRO?”
National Reconnaisance Office Mr Ituen, his depuy interjected.
“Mr President, we have been noting some alarming activity in the Lake Chad Basin. They have been mobilizing an enormous amount of military hardware and deploying to Forward Operating Bases in the Lake Chad region boderung Nigeria. They have been conducting more military exercises in recent weeks.
We’ve also seen what looks like equipment distribution to reserve units, extra purchases of diesel, more maintenance being performed on equipment… Well, in other words, it’s looking like they are mobilizing for war.”
President Fatumbi clenched his hands together under the table as hard as he could, until the spike of fear and adrenaline passed. He looked at Mamud, then Itien, then Mamud.
“I see. Has this been researched cooperatively?” “Yes, sir.
President Fatumbi was elected on an economic mandate after eight yearsof economic disaster from the Buhari administration, who himself was elected on a military mandate the crush Boko Haram. He has never envisioned the posibikity of being a war time president. This was not his forte.
President Fatumbi sighed. The transition from fuel to electric cars globally has had an adverse effect on oil prices. Nigeria has been able to partially diversity its economy, cushioning the effect of drop in oil prices. But not so with the largely agrarian Chadian ecocomy.
The new populists in France has all but cut off all forms of economic aid to its former colonies, focusing more on the domestic front.
For Nigeria, the military had been cut back and was already spread thin after two decades of hi tempo military operations And the National Assembly was being…. well, National…
He looked at his Chief. “JCS up next?” referring to the military Joint Chiefs of Staff. “Have they been briefed?”
“OK, then let’s continue.”
Two weeks later, Chief of Air Staff Abubakar Sadique is flying along the Lake Chad Basin in a Beechcraft King Air 350i ISR plane, making sure that no Chadian forces get too close to the 12 Islands under Nigeria’s control when he spots something odd; a small firing flash racing towards the plane. Started , He points it out to the crew and who banked left while the co-pilot radios ground control. SADIQUE spots what looks like a small subdued blue yellow orange flag painted on the…. It’s the last thing he sees.
Then he notices a counter-current of exclamations, and looks over. On the seaward side, some of the tourists are pointing, and he looks. It’s hard to see in the low light, but it looks like…. a small submarine. He starts to walk over and look when a bright flash explodes.
Nigerian Air Force
“Mr President, there has been an incident. A plane carrying the COAS and three crew members have crashed . There are no survivors.
We are seeing mass movements of “unmaked” helicopter gunships and troop movement simultaneously. Major networks are reporting the unsourced internet rumors that there are Chadian troops in at least 3 Islands under Nigeria’s administration.
President turned to the screen showing the JCS. ” HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN! !! I thought you said you had the Chadians 24/7 surveillance ? and the situation in the ground, What have you got on that?”
Chief of Arny Staff Lt General Festus Erabor looked uneasy. “We had been tracking two Chadian troop movement. It was nothing more than a False Flag operation, to divert our attention away from the main attack force, which were troops air dropped from waves of Mi-24 and Mi-17sh Multirole helicopters. We managed to destroy Hal of them, but not after they cargo.
Our forces are being mobilized as we speak. Readings in the area do indicate that they may try supply their forces on the ground quickly before we cut them off from reinforcements.
The Commander of the 3rd Amoured Brigade, General Hasrani spoke up, “Mr president? The Islands are minutes away from a brutal artillery attack before their Air Forces could quickly reinforce their ranks. The 7th Infantry Division will be attacking on all fronts. So is the ROK army and marines. They will bw pinned down by non-stop artillery fire from multiple launch points, while we quicky mobilize the Strike brigades and its follow-on units!”
National Security Adviser Rotimi Emenalo interrupted, “General! You’ve had weeks to prepare our defences, you are just mobilizing ? !”
“Sir, with all due respect, do you really want us to immediately mobilize our forces to the front on mere threat reports? What’s happening on the Lake Chad Basin was premeditated. It was a well thought out attack plane based on deception !!!”
“What !! Are you mad? At you talking to me? ”
The meeting broke up into acrimony until finally the President stopped it.
“Enough!” Then, more quietly, “enough.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are at war. Period. We have been hurt. And it will not be the last time.
But we will not back down. General! Your job is to take bacl the Islands and after that launch a full blown assault on N’Jamena itself with the aim of capturing that Rebel lunatic Idris Derby. At your disposal is the full resources of Africa’s richest economy. You tell me what you need. You will have it. Get it done.”
He turned to the Secretary of State’s screen. “Your job is the United Nation. Make sure they know that we won’t back down and that we won’t stop until we get to the N’djamena. I’ve heard what you think, but this is my decision.”
45 minutes later, Nigerian Air Force landed at an undisclosed Base and taxied close to a podium. A small press pool was gathered nearby, their cameras streaming every second to the world. Finally the President walked down the steps and strode to the podium.
“My fellow citizens. it is my duty to inform you that we are now at war with the They have attacked our citizens on our soil and our allies, the Republic of Chad.
We have been attacked. Our Chief of Air Staff and hundreds of our citizens have died. There will be two days of national mourning.
But war has come to us. The House of Assembly has responded with a declaration of war. The time for debate and discussion is over. We must harden our hearts.
We will prosecute this war. When it is done, the Derby Regime will longer exist. We will do whatever it takes for however long it takes.
This is my pledge to you.
May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.