Mr Rilwan Bala Musa, Comptroller General of Immigration

Written by Olawale Rasheed
Sunday, 05 May 2013

THERE are strong indications that
veterans of Mali Islamist war are already finding their way into Nigeria’s northern borders, just as reports indicated that the Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb (AQIM) has activated its sleeping cells across Northern Nigeria.

Security agencies are also said to be in
dilemma over the best approach to the
counter-terrorism efforts, especially as
the jihadists are not just Boko Haram
fighters, but Islamists from AQIM and
other sects alleged to be involved in attacks on security agencies.

These indications emerged at a meeting
of the Maghreb Union held in Rabat,
Morroco, last week where Maghreb
countries assessed the fallout of the
French intervention which led to the exit
of Islamist fighters from Northern Mali. Though Nigeria was not part of the
meeting, reports indicated that the
ministers and counter-terrorism officials
at the meeting reviewed the war efforts
and concluded that Islamist fighters had
retreated to parts of Algeria, Libya with substantial numbers heading back to
border regions of Northern Nigeria via
Niger and Chad republics.

The meeting, which agreed on a number
of security measures to contain the
fallout, was also said to have hinted that
AQIM had refocused its operations,which involved kidnapping for ransom, among
others, with the retreating fighters said to be attaching themselves to the sleeper cells of the jihadist sect across the identified countries.

About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies


  1. Spirit says:

    Why Nigeria? why not Ghana, Togo, Liberia etc?

    Now we are paying the price of corruption, lack-of-vision, years of poor-funding/neglect of security agencies/armed forces, religious intolerance, ethnicity etc.

    Its a pity that its the ordinary nigerians that are paying with their lives while the thieves/bastards that caused all these rubbish are sleeping in their villas in South of France.

    FG should please wake up and equip the security agencies/armed forces before this fire burns down this house.

  2. Eeben says:

    As you may recall, I said some time ago on this great blog that Nigeria was the ultimate price of the Mali conflict. I still fear that is the case. Mali is simply a means to an end and has little strategic value, whereas Nigeria remains a great prize.
    Be wary my Brothers.

    • doziex says:

      Hey Eeben, I wish we could get your advise and expertise for our CT COIN training centers, which are attempting to retrain the army and the police bit by bit.

      Advice and expertise, is clearly needed in the types of weapons and assets to buy, so as not to waste money.

      Advice ,expertise and experience is needed in the sourcing of the needed weaponry.

      Advice is needed on the proper and effective use of our existing systems.

      Our armed forces, needs to formulate effective strategies in pacifying the niger delta, and securely extracting oil there.

      And most definately, as the fall out of libya, mali and chad reaches nigeria, our troops need to have had the best preparation in the right context.

      Our generals and civilian leaders need sound behind the scenes advice, sans any alterior motives.
      Sir, I believe you and what you have to offer is the right fit for nigeria today, I hope we don’t let foolish pride block what would be a beautiful synergy.

      • Eeben says:

        Thank you for your confidence in STTEP/me as well as your kind words, doziex.

        I have, for years, being saying that I am neither anti-East nor anti-West – I am pro-Africa. Unfortunately, that does not count for much on our continent. Instead, it would appear that our governments would prefer their armed forces to be trained by people who do not have our interests at heart. All that matters to them is their influence over us, what weapons can be dumped on us and how they can manipulate us to jump to their tunes.

        I have sat in on briefings where governments have been given very bad advice – but as it comes for “free”, it is deemed to be good council. Sadly though, it is never for free as both CAR and Mali can attest. We warned Mali; we warned CAR; we warned DRC – but our words fell on deaf ears. Instead, for accepting free advice both the CAR and Malian governments lost their countries. DRC is heading down that road. That is the price governments will pay for willingly accepting this free advice and those who give it are nowhere to be found when the worst happens.

        I believe that, strategically, Nigeria is the prize. But, I know Nigerian Armed Forces/Nigerian Police Services have the military will to succeed and will do themselves proud. (What wouldn’t we give to have a group of 200 of your men to train!) As you know, all of this is related to the National Security Strategy (NSS) and the NSS in turn is supported by other governmental agency/department strategies. It is this alignment of strategies that results in a unified effort. But, it also clearly gives policy guidelines, responsibilities and accountability. But this lack of strategic vision and its subsequent product has prevented us from “seeing over the hill” and subsequently, we end up doing crisis management as our men are unprepared for what they REALLY must face.

        Training the army and law enforcement agencies piecemeal can have its benefits. But, we find ourselves in these situations as a result of poor intelligence (intelligence must drive our strategies) and subsequently we end up with “false” unrealistic strategies. As this does not enable us to clearly identify the enemy and his motivators and drivers, we plan our training, equipping and so forth on wishful thinking. This gives the enemy momentum and initiative and forces us into a defensive posture. Plus, we must now exert a monumental effort to deny him these crucial principles and allow ourselves to regain the momentum and initiative.

        Politicians and generals need to hold those who give advice accountable for the results/fall-out. This is however increasingly difficult as they find themselves held hostage by other influences and interests.



      • Saints says:

        @oga dosiex & lord Eeben..They would sit and allow western expatriates educate them on a conflict that is taking place in their own theatre, instead of availing themselves of the opportunities made available to them by fellow Africans who are used to the system. In my own opinion the west has stopped colonising africa long ago but Africans are still being colonised by their mindsets.

      • Eeben says:

        Hi Saints,

        What concerns me is that many of these expatriates know very little about Africa, our conflicts and our threats yet they give advice as though they are specialists. We have a term for them: “one-week wonders” as after a week of arriving in Africa, they believe they know and understand our problems better than we do and that they have the solutions to all of our problems.

        However, I see a new type of colonisation taking place and that is where our governments accept these people – in good faith – into the halls of power and in so doing, surrender our security to them. If they control our security, they control us. As the state requires security to be stable and attract inward investment, it instead becomes unstable and therefore sells off our resources cheaply in order to buy equipment not suited to our operating environments. As Africans, we hamper ourselves and allow our continent to simmer and boil. I have never believed in conditional peace agreements – as they are a false peace driven by forces of instability, made to win time and simply to be broken when the time is right.



  3. ifiok umoeka says:

    Great insight sirs, but as we focus on the army and police, may we not forget the immigration, prisons, civil defense corp as well as the various members of the intelligence community. The approach should be all involving. Remember the US homeland security.
    On the other hand, remember the wiki leak saga where it was revealed that multinationals we actively spying for the US and UK! The question is, what really became of that revelation? What have we done differently and what do we need to do reverse it?

    • Eeben says:

      Hello ifiok umoeka,

      Our NSS should include every government agency and department that works in an environment that may have an influence on our security as we require all of those inputs. These inputs are different from their normal departmental strategies.

      So, you are absolutely correct in mentioning the other members, especially as your unique situation shows that the department responsible for oil should be involved, so too the departments of immigration, customs, transport, water and so forth as all of those are issues that can/may impact on national security. All of this simply confirms the politico-conflict model I developed that identifies the assets of state and how to either strengthen or erode them.

      Of course, some multinationals engage in espionage. We should however not forget the NGOs. Some do so rather openly and some covertly. That is where our counter intelligence/counter espionage assets should be active but we seem to ignore that which we cannot see and instead focus on those things that have not as much value as the longevity of the state.

      We seem to have conveniently forgotten the wiki leak saga.



  4. ifiok umoeka says:

    To add to what Eeben has said, I think that we should go the step further and be PRO NIGERIAN. Just imagine what our country will look like, we (leaders and followers across the spectrum) are all pro Nigeria. Wao!

  5. Eeben says:

    You are correct, ifiok umoeka. We ought to be pro-whatever country we are from but also always be pro-Africa. Many do not want this and will do everything in their power to stop this. However, to be pro-whatever country we come from, we will need to stand together and counter negative and misleading perceptions as perceptions tend to guide people’s reality.



  6. Saints says:

    Nothing beats An African Solution to An African Problem.. But we would prefer to allow those who have being criticised for Human right abuses in all the urban theatres were they are operating across the middle east,we would foolishly allow them to teach us How to fight in our own built up areas. Not to mention the name of any specified nation i would like to stop at saying that Africa is outside its own concentric circle, and we wouldnt ceize to experience failure until we begin to think AFRICAN cus thats who we are

    • Eeben says:

      True words, Saints. However, let me again reiterate: I am neither anti-East nor anti-West. But, we have foreign trainers who teach us principles of war/warfare that are not applicable to our situations and TTPs based on how they believe the conflicts/wars should be fought. I won’t even mention the route of statecraft. Let’s also be brutally honest: If I want to train a champion boxer, I don’t get him a trainer that hasn’t won a title fight. I think the time has come for us to stop sugar-coating our problems.

      Much of this foreign training results in a mismatch with our doctrine and equipment and thus becomes a problem for us to assimilate. We do not field hi-tech armies but rely on our men to carry out their missions. To do that, we need to train hard to fight easy, equip correctly and make sure every soldier can rely on the man next to him. We need the political will to see a problem through to its conclusion. We need the military will to enter into sustainable missions and achieve mission-success.

      I like your phraseology: Nothing beats An African Solution to An African Problem. I would like to add: Failure in never an option!



  7. Saints says:

    Most of our problems is not stemming from the lack of hi-tech equipments,but from our lack of confidence in an Indegenous African Methodology. Most of the african insurgent movements are in their elements and have mastered it and do not in anyway rely on hi-techs for their sustainability,while our various uniformed forces across the continent would complain and moan over the abscence of foreign trainers and technology. I respect the importance of hi-tech equipments in any security outfit(especially in the area of remote surveillance),but should this stop us from improvising i mean the free syrian rebels have come up with ways of arming gas inflated ballons with improvised surveillance gadgets.. I meanNecessity is the mother invention so when are we going to stop selling our freedom to buy a western idea of security

  8. Lourens says:

    Guys, I agree with the remark of an African solution to an African problem. But I also have to say that I agree with Eeben – maybe we should stop being so diplomatic about the troubles in Africa. It hasn’t gotten us anywhere, except for one country after another falling into rebel hands, supported by the West. The sooner we as Africans learn that we should move away from the influence of the Americans, Brits, French and in some cases the Israelis the better.
    Like Eeben said, if you want your fighter to win, you will get a trainer who has won a title to train him. Why dont the African governments do the same? Why haven’t they seen by now that the West isn’t the friend of Africa they diplomatically claim to be. I thought after the wiki leaks episode that the African leaders would wake up, but it seems like they only buried their heads in the sand like an ostrich!
    So now that Nigeria is being targeted, where are the American and British advisers and trainers now? Why dont they solve the problem? Where is their intelligence that should have forecasted the turning of events?
    But they wont do anything – just like they did nothing in CAR, nothing in Mali and nothing in the DRC, in fact they have supported those overthrows, and will so too in the DRC eventually, and maybe even Nigeria?

    • doziex says:

      @lourens, good one. “If you want your fighter to win, you will get a trainer who has won a title to train him “.

      It sounds like good strategy, good business and good politics to me.

      Nigerians get to keep their sense of sovereignity intact. Our leaders get sound advise, to make smart decisions.
      Our military on all levels gets better with the right training for the right battle by those who have been there and done that in the African environs.

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