Niger Delta from space

Niger Delta from space

Major A. A. Mohammed (rtd), a former chief security officer to President Ibrahim Babangida, recently gave an interview to Leadership Nigeria (also at allAfrica.com here) discussing the proposed US Africa Command, and related issues of importance.  Major Mohammed has a strong background in military intelligence.  He doesn’t mince words.  About AFRICOM he says:

It is another form of colonial-imperialist agenda to siphon our resources-oil, mineral resources, forest resources and the use of our soldiers to advance their selfish interests. We know they have continuous interest in our crude oil in the Niger Delta region of our country. And believe you me, it will boomerang some day. It will.

On terrorism:

If you invade a sovereign country for the simple reason that they have what you desperately want, I consider you a terrorist also.

And of the militants in the Delta he says:

We have to look back – who formed them in the first instance, who funds them, where do they get their weapons? These are the issues. From their utterances, you can understand that those behind them are the so-called powerful political elites in the region, either former or present political office holders. They have a lot of questions to answer, but Federal Government neglects that. I know we have a very strong military capability to deal with them. The Federal Government must look inwards within the military hierarchy and those behind them. It is unbelievable that this powerful nation will be held to ransom. I do agree the region has been neglected in terms of social amenities and educational opportunities, and they are fighting a just cause, but in a wrong way and manner. Killing innocent civilians, kidnapping foreign expatriates and putting shame and disgrace to our nation, blowing pipelines and stuff like that. I believe it could be solved without even military intervention. But I want to ask one question, where are the children of their sponsors? They are schooling abroad most of them on the nation’s expenses …

His prescription:

First, Yar’Adua should allow the security agencies to do their work, if really he agrees with the rule of law. Because it is only in this country, where someone who does not know anything about oil, but tomorrow he is a captain of the oil industry. They fly the best private jets, and you cannot talk about it. If security agencies are allowed free hand to do their work, honestly speaking, they can nail anybody that breaks the law.