MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Usman Bello
A public affairs commentator and security chieftain, Mr. Matthew Ibadin has called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to play a fatherly role by choosing diplomatic means in handling the military putsch in Niger Republic than resorting to use of force on the coupists.
Ibadin who is also the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Badinson Security Limited in a press statement on Wednesday urged the President to adopt the resolution of the ECOWAS 15 Chiefs of Defence Staff who resolved in their two-day meeting that ended in Abuja from August 2nd to 4th, 2023 to seek diplomatic solution to the illegal change of government in Niger where the democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum was ousted in a military coup led by Gen. Abdourahamme Tchiani .
Following the incident, the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) heads of states and government under the Chairmanship of Nigeria’s President Tinubu had given the coupists seven days to restore Bazoum to power or face heavy sanction including military attack.
As the coupists are seriously entrenching their regime, Ibadin has reminded Tinubu of the consequences of ignoring what he calls “voice of reason” from concerned citizens which is hinged on total abstinence from any semblance of force or war in Niger in an attempt to restore democracy.
Among other things, the security chief noted that the Defense Chiefs as military professionals must have weighed the options of adopting a peaceful means or military approach in resolving the Nigerien problem before they resolved to follow the path of diplomacy. “It would therefore be a very wrong step for the President to insist on the use of force to restore democracy in Niger,” he argued.
As posited by some military analysts, that any coup that has lasted up to 24 hours is already a success as many stakeholders must have endorsed it, Ibadin advised the Nigerian President not to allow pressure from United Nations and its power wielders like United States of America and France to mislead him into taking action that may precipitate a regional war particularly as some West Africa countries are already giving subtle support to the coupists in Niger, aside from the fact that this guys are our brother.
The security boss reminded the President that the country is fragile, two days ago, the insurgents resurrected, shooting down the Airforce airplane in Niger state, and they are seriously vandalizing our rail tracks presently, so we should use our armies to protect the countries infrastructure instead of pushing them to war. He would therefore want the President not to take action that might stoke the anger of even his political supporters against him for over indulgence in the Niger problem.
Ibadin also reminded the President that since he does not have the constitutional power to declare war against another country without the approval of the National Assembly, he should exercise maximum restraint in that respect even though he may want to pitch his actions within the premise of his Chairmanship of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government.
The coup in Niger is seen as a revolutionary government and that’s fair, says Ibadin. They appear to be fighting against French domination, Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, but they can’t be seen as attaining proper independence because they are swapping French for Russia, which altogether we are kicking against, says Ibadin, preaching more of brotherhood and unity ,sense to understand that we own this resources.
“lets change the paradigm”. says Matthew Ibadin
Nigeria is somehow border less on the side of the North, the border is extremely porous, so going to war with someone you are borderless with,just imagine the effect, arms can come in from any where , western world will take advantage of the situation to roast Nigerians.
Is Ecowas representing the French interest? must it enter the war? This are questions we all need to understand, says Ibadin, the CEO of Badinson Security Services. Why not negotiate with your brothers instead of going to war with them, the spirit of the time is pro independence, it’s time to reawaken the African spirit and kill slavery forever. Ibadin further states with so much enthusiasm.
He is of the opinion that It’s time to negotiate first, The president should travel to Niger and negotiate peace with this guys. The negotiation should include timeline for when they will hand over to democracy again, either six months, one year or two years. This is because any coup that lasted for more than 24 hours is already a success. so it’s to negotiate with them , any form of protest cannot solve the problem, but one call from a reputable person, like an industrialist, a CEO who has global Influence to Niger, like Aliko Dangote and other top influential Africans they will resolve the issue and plan a way forward. The truth is the war cannot happen over night, since there is a way to plan a war, there should be a way to plan a negotiation too.
if there is a war by ECOWAS it’s going to be very ugly, says Ibadin, a Security Expert.
“my generation does not understand this: how can Africa which has so much wealth become the poorest continent in the world today? and why do African leaders travel the world to beg.”
Until we address the socio economic challenges in Africa, We make Democracy less palatable. A hungry man is an angry man, if you check the pulse of the people of Niger, they are extremely happy with the coup Ibadin says.
Now lets look at what really happened, The first root cause of the issue is Uranium, Niger is the largest producer of uranium after Russia and Kazakhstan , Russia started a war with Ukraine however because they need Russia uranium, they did not sanction them on Uranium, they can’t sanction Russia on uranium because of there energy needs , but Russia itself is cutting down on the supply of Uranium to Europe, Kazakhstan supplies and provides Europe 26% uranium too. But the uranium passes through Russia by shipment, but from Kazakhstan to Western Europe, the uranium has to pass through Russia which is not feasible because Russia won’t allow it pass.
So the next plan B is Niger, The Europeans too are making alternative plans to get there uranium from Niger Republic. They were discussing with the President before the coup plotters took over and this guys are loyal to Russia, the same Russia the Europeans are trying to run away from. However there is another big issue, which was further explained by Mr Ibadin.
The Security Expert further outlined the real bone of contention which is the Nord Stream Underwater Pipeline that was blown up some time ago. It is going to cause a bigger war than the Ukraine war if care is not taken.
The Nord Stream Underwater Pipeline previously moves gas from Russia to western Europe, before the war started against Ukraine, When it was blown up, it dealt a major blow on Russian economy, not as if Russian went poor, but it was a hit that Russia really felt, and all fingers were pointing to the USA, though they had not officially taken responsibility but the USA became a sole supplier of gas to Europe after that.
Where Niger came in is through the Trans Sahara Gas Pipeline(TSGP) Project, a planned natural gas pipeline from Nigeria to Algeria aimed at supplying Europe gas. It is seen as a means to diversify the European union gas supply, if it goes through, Europe does not need Russian gas anymore. Ibadin explains where the issue is, which is all the while, the TSGP project was abandoned. Why reawaken it now? There is a cold war between Russia and Europe, which is happening in Ukraine, happening in Sudan ,and now about to ignite in Niger.
Africa, Why is it that it’s either you are loyal to colonial Europe , the west, or loyal to Russia another super power, and the trade in commerce is almost friendly, unlike Europe that controls you fully..,must you even be subjected to anybody’s control? Ibadin ask.
The security boss reminded the President that with the challenge of the gas pipeline by not allowing it pass through Niger , Europe is stucked, so it’s not just a France thing, it’s the whole Europe that is affected. France is only fronting for the whole Europe. That is why there is so much pressure on ECOWAS to act by the UN. So it’s also a make or break for the coup plotters in Niger, a more reason why our president should calm down.
To shock us all, the Wagner PMC group members are also now live in Niger, Ibadin says, and if you know there history, they don’t joke, they don’t play, imagine the effect of the war on Ghana, on Nigeria and every nation in the western sub region, because when this things happen, it is not going to be for Niger alone, Mali and Burkina Faso, Guinea, Algeria, Egypt too has a stake,
The truth is we can’t ask them not to fight because if they don’t fight, how are they going to get gas, which they are deficient of, because the only feasible way they can survive is through this pipeline from Warri…According to The security boss, we are gradually heading towards a Ukraine style situation, and some people are advising the president wrongly to go to war, how many days has he even stayed in office, it’s not going to be an easy war. That is why we are hoping that the voice of reason will just take over. Ibadin states categorically.
Why should we even be fighting ourselves? You do not fight your brother, says Ibadin
Why should we join the colonial masters to fight our brothers?
ECOWAS and Africa union should actually focus on Free trade for themselves, not fighting ourselves, The Europe that is trying to disunite us, has free trade and free visas among themselves. Getting visa to another African country is very difficult. where is the love for one another, that should be the priority for African Union, not fighting ourselves, this are our neighbours, people in Niger republic are married to people in Nigeria and the likes, so why should we engage in such kind of fights? The security Boss is asking.
If Africa were to be intelligent, we have all it takes to make ourselves rich, we have the opportunity, we have the products, but we prefer to put our money in things that will impoverish us instead of enrich us, and this is affecting us, because we are constantly being deceived and played to continue to do things that will deteriorate our economy and not things that will make us progress.
Why is it that we are always tilting towards things that makes us fail and not things that can help us progress, and that is why he suggested that President Bola Tinubu as the head of ECOWAS should walk into Niger republic to negotiate , and make sure that the US and the West or whatsoever they call the Imperialist people does not infiltrate us, make sure they don’t bring war between us, make sure the pipeline project is implemented, we need the money, we do not need the war. There are many diplomatic ways we can restore orderliness to West Africa.
As of France, Ibadin is of the opinion that they can negotiate with Niger republic to build a uranium factory, allowing Niger export the products to them. This uranium is theirs , they can’t go there to take it by force or without paying for it, that era has passed. if they want to come and mine it, they are free, they will process it there, they will build there power plants there, and the Niger will export it to them, they buy it in form of electricity from Niger in watts and they make money. This power tussle thing the Russians and the Europeans are trying to turn our continent into a battle ground to is none of our business, what we need is love, peace, understanding, more trade among ourselves. and how we will enrich ourselves, they have been enriching themselves all this while with our resources. it is time for us to wake up and enrich ourselves too.
For a long while, we have been there slaves, watching like morons, signing agreements that has been enslaving us, it’s time to wake up and face the issues and unite more than ever than before. Africa the richest continent in the world, can no longer be poor and used again.
Negotiation is not a Weakness , The security boss reminds the President
The problem in Niger is a super power tussle, France, Russia and The US have stakes in this issue, why must Nigeria, a nearby brother to Niger, enter the midst, we must not start what we cannot finish. Nigeria should learn from the Ukraine war…Nigeria should not be used in matters of interest of the west because we Nigerians will be the victim, the enemies of democracy will use those periods to our dear country. Ibadin warns those who are advising the President to go to war that they do not like him.
War is no longer just missiles or the number of battalion you have, it is now more of biological, Its technology. It’s about drones… It can be sent to anywhere , the enemies can strike from any angle….it’s not about how many soldiers you have, they can strike from anywhere and we do not have the capability to handle it…
The Borders Are Even Porous than before since the altercation
Security Information reveals that a significant contingent of ISWAP militants are relocating from their base in the Sahel and Niger Republic to the periphery of Lake Chad and the North West, as reported by a reliable security source. This information is apt, people around the affected areas acquainted us with updates on this issue. Ibadin outlines
According to intelligent report, this extremist group, equipped with advanced weaponry, is evacuating to evade potential military intervention by ECOWAS and the closure of borders in Niger Republic.
“The principal ISWAP fighters and their accompanying forces are in the process of shifting from their stronghold in the Sahel/Niger region down to Nigeria, resettling in the areas of Kukawa, Abadam, Gaidam, and Guzamala within the Lake Chad vicinity.
“Furthermore, states in the Northwest like Katsina, Kaduna, Zamfara, and Sokoto are witnessing the departure of ISWAP fighters from Niger Republic,” the source disclosed.
Another intelligent source noted that the situation escalated after the leader of the coup in Niger Republic reportedly withdrew from the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF). “This development has started to pose a significant security challenge to the stability of the Lake Chad region.
From this report there are close monitoring in the Lake Chad region; this reports confirm there is a notable movement of top ISWAP fighters from the Sahel region to the Lake Chad area. Lately, Katsina, Zamfara, and Yobe states are also being affected. Says Ibadin
“Prominent ISWAP figures like Abubakar Modu, Shiek Ba’ana Dujum, Marte Alwady, Mohammed Ibn Abubakar, and El-Mansur Dawahli Mouda, among others, are reported to be on the move with hundreds of their fighters.
“We’ve received multiple reports indicating a significant influx of these dangerous ISWAP fighters into Nigerian territory in recent days.
“This presents a substantial security risk to the entire region.” says Ibadin, A certified private investigator and Security Consultant.
However, stakeholders and experts in Borno State have voiced concerns over the use of military action in Niger Republic by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and how much damage it will bring to there region.
Many believe that such action could result in security repercussions across the Lake Chad region and the North West. What Nigeria needs is diplomatic negotiations and shuttle diplomacy to alter the security perceptions and relations with Niger.
The current movement of ISWAP from the Sahel region, spanning from Mali through Burkina Faso, reaching Niger and Nigeria, the Nigerian Armed Forces will need to bolster their forces and troop numbers. Ibadin opens up
“If they were previously managing with 7,000 soldiers to counter these terrorists, now they might need to double or even triple that number. And as you can imagine, this will affect Nigeria’s overall security.
“Additionally, in terms of resources, the nation will have to allocate more funds to combat these threats,” he remarked.
He emphasized that Nigeria should engage in extensive diplomatic efforts to reshape the security perception and relations with Niger and other nations in the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF).
“Nigeria will have to embark on heightened diplomacy to persuade the countries in this multinational joint task force. Essentially, we need to convince these nations that Nigeria stands with them.
“Regardless of our stance, Nigeria made an error; Tinubu should have realized that he is the president of Nigeria, not ECOWAS. He should have consulted the National Assembly before making that declaration,” he stated.
This information accurately captures the sentiments of people in the affected areas, who have provided updates on this matter to us. He stressed.
Prior to the military coup led by General Abdurahman Tchiani in Niger Republic, which ousted Mohammed Bazoum’s government, clashes were ongoing in the northern fringes of Niger Republic. These conflicts involved Fulani militias and Tuaregs (Buzaye). Due to the Tuaregs’ superior influence, the Fulani militias, along with their noncombatant members, fled the area.
Regions in southern Niger, near Maradi, Tahoua, and Zinder, as well as northern Nigeria in Zamfara, Sokoto, and Katsina, witnessed a mass departure of Fulani groups, supposedly seeking refuge from the Tuareg militias. Local sources corroborate this information.
The President should know that the situation had worsened due to the conflict between ECOWAS/CEDEAO and Niger Republic in the aftermath of the military coup in Niamey. It’s worth noting that the influx of foreign individuals into Nigeria from neighboring West African countries has intensified at an alarming rate since the Niger Military has always previously aided Nigeria in securing it’s borders against external threats and arms proliferation but with the threat. Our borders became more porous, and the war has not even started, now imagine if the war finally starts? Wisdom is profitable to direct. This are our brothers, let’s negotiate instead of fighting. Ibadin concludes