nigeria-pictureOn the October 23, 2014, BBC[1] reported that on Saturday, October 19, exactly one day after the “truce” unilaterally announced by the Nigerian Army, the terrorist organization Boko Haram abducted several dozen of women and girls from three villages in Nigeria’s northeastern Adamawa state. Though the Nigerian government didn’t confirm the abduction, local sources said that the terrorists attacked Waga, Mangoro and Garta, villages which are located very close to the towns of Madagali and Michika, and which had already been under Boko Haram’s control for several weeks. The residents who described the attack said the terrorists asked the women to harvest groundnuts from a plantation where they selected the teenagers and the very young from the group and took them away. Over the last weekend other attacks have been reported by the residents in Adamawa and Borno states as well in Bauchi state where a bomb blast killed at least five people in a bus station. All these incidents remain unattributed to any terrorist group or organization.

On October  22, 2014, Xinhua News Agency, quoted by globalpost[2], reported that on the same day “the Nigerian House of Representatives approved President Goodluck Jonathan’s request to borrow up to 1 billion U.S. dollars to tackle the security challenges facing the country”. No other details about the origin of the loan and collateral have been submitted for the public review.

Definitely, all these very recent events have to be considered against other events that happened over the last few months: 1. on September 19, 2014, Australian private negotiator Stephen Davis accused members of current Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s entourage of providing funding to the terrorist organization Boko Haram[3]; 2. on September 20, 2014, Nigerian Intelligence sources claimed that Nigerian soldiers are being trained by the Russian Federation, and that the Nigerian federal government had decided to buy Russian and Chinese weaponry after traditional Western allies had failed to support the fight against Boko Haram[4]; 3. on October 16, BBC[5] reported that “fifty-nine soldiers are being court-martial in Nigeria after being accused of refusing to fight militant Islamist group Boko Haram” and another 12 Nigerian soldiers were sentenced to death in September on similar charges. All of the indicted reportedly accused the Nigerian government of not paying their salaries and not providing them with adequate equipment and enough ammunition; and 4. on October 17, 2014, Nigerian Army announced that a “truce” with Boko Haram has been agreed and that over 200 of the girls abducted in April of this year from Chibok gymnasium would be released[6].

It seems that something, somewhere, is clearly missing. On one side the Nigerian administration points its finger at the U.S. for not providing the local army with expertise and military help. The Nigerians use that alleged American failure as justification for turning to the Russian and Chinese military supplies and training, but, on the other hand, Abuja is not paying the salaries for its own soldiers. Then, the person recruited by the Nigerian government to negotiate the release of the Chibok girls surprisingly accused the Nigerian president’s entourage of funding Boko Haram. On top of all these, the Nigerian chief of defense announces a questionable truce with Boko Haram shortly on the heels of a series of terrorist attacks in the northeastern part of the country. Maybe the missing link can be found in a vulnerable and strategic target, the Trans-Saharan gas pipeline, that Nigeria is currently building together with Russia’s Gazprom[7]. What might be considered an inviting target by most terrorists has been left untouched by Boko Haram, especially considering the pipeline runs through areas where the Islamists have struck before… Or perhaps the flurry of activity relates to the coming presidential campaign in which current president Goodluck Jonathan is standing for re-election, or maybe something else...

It might something else as well: maybe President Putin has an ace up his sleeve within the context of the loan. Might it be that the $1 billion will come from the new BRICS bank that Putin has pushed to counteract US control of the world financial system, and that in consideration for the loan Gazprom will have greater control or privileges concerning Nigerian gas, thus enhancing Russia’s control over Europe’s energy supply?

Or, the wild card might be the Chinese who would also like to see the U.S. role in international banking reduced and would enjoy furthering their role in developing African markets for Chinese purposes, such as control of sources of rare earth metals and hydrocarbons.

One can only speculate. But asking a lot of questions is a very legitimate intellectual tool, as far as I am concerned.



[1] “Nigeria's Boko Haram 'abducts more women and girls'”, BBC NEWS AFRICA, October 23, 2014, at the Internet address

[2] Xinhua News Agency, “Nigerian parliament approves 1 bln USD loan to fight Boko Haram”, globalpost,October 22, 2014, text accessed atthe Internet address

[3]“Exposing the CBN Boko Haram “sponsor””, Vanguard, September 19, 2014, at the Internet address

[4]Ben AGANDE, “BOKO HARAM: FG turns to Russia, China as USA, UK fail Nigeria”, Vanguard, September 20, 2014, at the Internet address

[5] “Nigerian soldiers charged with mutiny over Boko Haram”, BBC NEWS AFRICA, October 16  2014, at the Internet address

[6] “Nigeria and Boko Haram 'agree ceasefire and girls' release'”, BBC NEWS AFRICA, October 17, 2014, at the Internet address

[7] “NNPC: a pipeline of opportunities”, Pipelines International, June 2010, at the Internet address

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