The Price of Complacency. MI-35 Helicopter Gunship Downed.

In November 2014 the Personal aid to Chadian Strongman Idris Derby, Mr Barracat Gnoti was caught by border guards with 19 anti-aircraft missiles meant for Boko Haram.

Mr. Gnoti who claimed that President Idriss Déby gave him the funds to purchase the weapons, had waved a presidential pass issued to him by Mr. Deby’s office in order to get past border guards but was stopped and searched by the guards who found the deadly weapons on him. Strangely enough the Nigerian government took no action. As they say, weakness attracts aggression.

In the face of Nigeria’s intransigence the Chadians upped the ante. In a bold and audacious move, Chads President prevented the decapitation of Boko Haram by convincing the Nigerian government to halt its final offensive against a weakened Boko Haram in a fake cease-fire deal, that was nothing more than a ploy to buy Boko Haram time, and demanded billions of naira as payment for his saboteuring. But you gotta give it to the Nigerian government when it comes to outright incompetence.

The fact that Mr. Derby was able swindle the Nigerian government out of millions of dollars shows how stupid our francophone neighbours think we are. Perhaps they are right. There is no other nation like Nigeria in the history of human civilization. The Nigerian government is an ecosystem littered with anomalies, unexplained occurrences and strange happenings. Things we have yet to comprehend because they stand outside the bounds of human reasoning.

Where is Amnesty International? 

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Juda Allahondoum, editor of Le Visionnaire, was detained by police in the capital N’Djamena.

The guy in the photo is Juda Allahondoum, publisher of the weekly Le Visionnaire newspaper. Idris Derby had him arrested after he published an article in the October 11-17 edition of Le Visionnaire that accused Air Inter 1, a privately owned Chadian airline, of being involved in the illegal transportation of weapons to Syria. All calls to the Chadian government for his release has been an exercise in futility. What’s his offence? He was charged with “usurping the title and function” of a journalist, and transferred him to Amsinéné prison in N’Djamena where he is awaiting trial.

These are the kind of neighbours Nigeria is encircled with. It’s bad enough being flanked on all sides by drone bases. If Chad can smuggle weapons from West Africa to Syria, privately arming Boko Haram is a piece of cake.

For months Defence Nigeria has raised alarm on the possibility of Boko Haram getting access to anti-aircraft missiles if we do not expend resources to secure the border and take tough actions against Chad or any other country implicated in giving covert assistance to Boko Haram. But if Cameroonian gendarmes can invade Calabar, terrorize the villagers, kill dozens of Nigerians and casually stroll back across the border, or in the case of the Chadians caught red-handed with missiles for Boko Haram, swindle Nigeria and go Scott free, then it will take a nuclear detonation in Abuja or Lagos to make the Nigerian government realize the nation is at war with an enemy much bigger than Boko Haram.

On Wednesday a Nigerian Air Force Mi-35M helicopter gunship was brought down by anti-aircraft fire, killing all 5 crew members. The official statement from the Nigerian Air Force claims the Mi-35M helicopter gunship crashed.

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What are the odds a brand new Mi-55M helicopter, one of the most advanced helicopter gunship in the world and flown by experienced pilots crashed on the battlefield while providing close air support to troops of 145 Battalion, Damasak in Borno State ?

The Nigerian government needs to start asking serious questions. Where or how did Boko Haram get its hands on advanced surface to air missile system? If Boko Haram have MANPADS and can now shoot down a sophisticated helicopters with defensive suites and flares, then it’s only a matter of time before un-armed armed and even civilian aircrafts start dropping from the skies.

 

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