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Corruption and Escalating Boko-Haram Insurgency in Nigeria

Victoria Nkemdilim Ogbuehi*

Department of Criminal Justice-Law and Public Policy, Walden University, Minneapolis, MN, USA

*Corresponding Author:
Victoria Nkemdilim Ogbuehi
Department of Criminal Justice-Law and Public Policy
Walden University, Minneapolis, MN, USA
Tel: +2348032241449
E-mail: Kemvic12@yahoo.com

Received date: 20/08/2018; Accepted date: 11/10/2018; Published date: 18/08/2018

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Abstract

It is no longer news that there has been an insurgency in the operations of Boko-Haram terrorists domiciled in the Northeastern Nigerian state of Borno since the group first struck in 2009. Apart from the mail bomb that claimed the life of Dele Giwa a renowned Nigerian journalist in 1986 military regime of IBB, with a few of such attacks in successive administration of Sani Abacha; Nigerian's had always felt immune to terrorist attacks before the series of bomb blasts that went off in 2009 at the October 1st Independence anniversary of Nigeria presided by President Goodluck Jonathan. No one was certain of the masterminds until the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger- Delta (MEND) claimed responsibility. At that time, however, there was a lot of news on terrorism and insurgency in the mainstream media especially after the September 11, 2001, attack where 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda hijacked four airplanes and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States. This is a presentation based on findings from doctrinal research on how corruption has Succeeded in inhibiting the fight against Boko-Haram insurgency with emphasis on North-eastern region of Nigeria since it is not just the region where the terrorists are domiciled, it also doubles as the region that has had the most adverse effects of all insurgent attacks put together since the inception of the activities of the Islamic sect (Boko-Haram). There is no doubt that the sect has wreaked havoc and has continued to do so almost unabated which many Nigerian's see as disappointing especially with the hopes that the Buhari's administration will deliver on one of its campaign promises of crushing Boko-Haram within one year in office. Though, the government has been consistent in its claims on severally occasions that the sect has been defeated "technically," Nigerian's are yet to come to terms with the actual meaning of "technical" defeat. Nevertheless, recent statistics from the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) 2017 underscores the claims by the government that Boko-Haram has been technically defeated. The report revealed that Nigeria recorded the most significant decrease in terrorism with 3100 fewer persons killed in 2016 than in 2015 when the group was rated the most dangerous terrorist organization in the world. Research & Reviews: Journal of Social Sciences JSS | Volume 4 | Issue 3 | October, 2018 367 In the past administration of Goodluck Jonathan so many officers were indicted of sabotaging the fight with their conduct while others were accused of deliberately diverting funds meant for the welfare of the soldiers at the war front. There are several other allegations especially those bordering on the Arms procurement scandal (DasukiGate) where all the immediate past service chiefs, National Security Adviser (NSA) and other prominent personalities were implicated. There were also allegations and counter-allegations on why Boko-Haram seemed to be highly successful in all its operations at the expense of the civil populace and the military at the forefront. While the government blamed some members of its cabinet for sabotaging its efforts with the claims that Boko-Haram had successfully infiltrated all organs and arms of government; the army also accused some of the officers of its woes and many failures based on allegations of leakage of sensitive information to the sect. This claim was substantiated following the alarm raised by the Nigerian Army and the Defence headquarters claiming that more than fifteen senior military officers including ten generals have been tried and found guilty of giving information and ammunition to members of the dreaded Islamist. There was also allegation of Western countries with the USA at the lead position frustrating Nigeria's effort by its refusal to sell arms to the government while conspiring with other governments not to do same on the premise that Nigeria was excessively violating human rights and committing war crimes against civilians instead of fighting the insurgent group–Boko-Haram. It is a fact that "corruption" is one of the reasons the fight against Boko-Haram onslaught is still lingering even though emerging reports have shown that Nigeria is gradually winning the war. This paper seeks to examine the rise of the insurgent group Boko-Haram; how the three identified types of corruption escalated the sect’s activities; the involvement of International communities, Nigerian agencies and the military in some of the recognized corrupt practices. The overall purpose of this presentation is to show how corruption has negatively influenced the fight against insurgency repeatedly.

Keywords

Terrorism, Insurgency, Corruption, Boko-Haram

An Overview of Boko-Haram’s Insurgency

Some Nigerians have reasons to believe that Boko-Haram is an offshoot of Maitatsine an Islamist sect which wielded dominance in northern Nigerian states of Kano, Bauchi (present-day Gombe) and Maiduguri in the 1980s. For them, the uncle of the founder of the Boko-Haram sect Mohammad Yusuf was one of the top commanders of Maitatsine sect. He narrowly escaped Kano [1] during the state's military onslaught on the sect and decided to settle in Maiduguri. Mohammad Yusuf grew up under his uncle’s tutelage. Maitatsine was said to be responsible for series of attacks from 1980 to 1985 which claimed the lives of approximately eight thousand Nigerians. The sect engaged in maiming, raping, killing, burning of houses, looting and so on with the aid of bows and arrows, Dane guns, charms and leopard skins which served as bulletproof vests. Despite its weapons not being sophisticated per se, it achieved overwhelming success in most of its operations. It is important to note that the activities of this group continued even after the death of its founder and leader-Alhaji Mohammad Marwa who migrated from northern Cameroon to Kano in 1945 [1].

Back to Boko-Haram, its official name which is Arabic-"Jama'atu Ahilis Sunna Lidda'awati Walijihad –meaning People committed to the propagation of the Prophet's teachings and jihad” [2]. The group which was founded in 2002 by late Mohammad Yusuf promoted a version of Islam which makes it an abomination (haram) for Muslims to take part in any political, social, or economic activities linked to Western culture. By 2009 it launched its first military operations aimed at creating an Islamic state. The United States later in 2013 designated the group as a “terrorist organization” in the face of fears and that the group has established operational contacts with other terrorist groups like al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb to wage a global war. The leadership of the sect Abubakar Shekau later pledged its allegiance to the Islamist State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) turning its back on al-Qaeda. With ISIS acceptance of Boko-Haram’s loyalty, the territories under its control were named the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) making it a part of the global caliphate it sought to establish [2].

By August 2016, the video of ISIS announcing the replacement of Shekau with Abu Musab al-Barnawi who is believed to be the son of late Mohammad Yusuf emerged. That video was one of the indications that Shekau’s relationship with ISIS was not as cordial as initially thought [2]. The kidnap of 276 Chibok school girls in 2014 sparked global outrage which saw the likes of Michelle Obama, David Cameron and other notable world leaders joining the “Bring Back Our Girls Campaign” a movement started by Obiageli Ezekwesili [3,4]. Though Shekau announced his intention to sell the girls into slavery but by Saturday 6 May 2017, government Ministers confirmed the release of eighty two Chibok girls in exchange for five Boko-Haram Commanders detained in various Nigeria Prisons [5]. Boko Haram's demands have primarily remained local, and the insurgency has fed on poverty, hopelessness, and unemployment in northern Nigeria. Again, finding-Boko Haram leaders who could legitimately negotiate a peace deal on behalf of the group has been a significant challenge [6].

So, can Boko-Haram be regarded as an insurgent group? Yes! The reason is anchored on what constitutes “insurgency?” the term is applied to any such armed uprising, typically guerrilla in character, against the recognized government of a state or country [7]. Insurgency is best defined as an organized movement aimed at the overthrow or destruction of a constituted government through the use of subversion, espionage, terrorism and armed conflict. Terrorism which is not an end in itself can be a subset of an insurgency, or it can be an act of violence by criminals or crazies who want to strike out at anyone especially a government [1,8]. It is important to note that insurgency takes different forms such as–defensive, reactionary and subversive, resource-based, apolitical, economic, commercial and spiritual, revolutionary separatist resistance, criminals, global Islamist, radical Islamist etc. [9]. Boko-Haram terrorist group can be classified under the radical Islamist emanating from the fact that Islam never underwent any reformation which ushered in secular political thoughts. The two variants of this form of the insurgency are the Shia and the Sunni. That terrorism is often mentioned vis-à-vis insurgency with insurgency capable of utilizing terrorism as one of its tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) is also noteworthy [9].

What then is terrorism? The term terrorism was coined during the French Revolution and the Jacobean reign of terror [10]. There is currently no consensus on the definition of ‘terrorism' even as different member nations of United Nations have continued to call for the need for one generally accepted definition which should be the first requirement for understanding, initiating and winning the war against terror [10]. Words have meanings, and the term "terrorism" has been used promiscuously for a long time now [11]. For NATO, Terrorism is the unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence, instilling fear and terror, against individuals or property in an attempt to coerce or intimidate governments or societies, or to gain control over a population, to achieve political, religious or ideological objectives [2,12]. The FBI, on the other hand, aligns itself with the definition of terrorism as defined in the Code of Federal Regulations as the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civil population or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives." It went further to identify and recognize two basic types of terrorism based on origin as ‘domestic' and ‘international' [12]. The two definitions are similar since they both accepted the unlawful use of violence and coercion in the actualization of both political and sociological objectives. However, the definition by NATO is more sacrosanct with this presentation because it recognizes religious or ideological goal which is what the Boko-Haram sect is pursuing.

Corruption and its Effects on Escalated Insurgency in N/E Nigeria

Transparency International has defined corruption as the abuse of entrusted power for private gains [13]. There are several other definitions of corruption, but the one by Transparency International stands out because of its ability to classify corruption into grand, petty and political corruptions. In other words, the definition by TI is quite comprehensive and covers all class of persons and institutions. An in-depth analysis of these forms of corruption shows that corruption cuts across class in the society and not a concept that should be tied to the elite public office holders alone. Escalating insurgency in N/E Nigeria is examined based on these identified types of corruption.

Grand Corruption and Insurgency

This type of corruption consists of acts committed at a high level of government that distort policies or central functioning of the state, enabling leaders to benefit at the expense of public good [14]. There have been insinuations from different quarters that Nigeria may never witness the end to Boko-Haram insurgency since some elites have designated the fight against "insurgency" as one of the ways of making quick and cool money. In other words, once Boko-Haram becomes a "history," their guaranteed source of income is automatically cut-off. It is pertinent to state that the recent report by Transparency International (TI) on "how military officials are benefiting from the fight against Boko-Haram lends credence to these emerging insinuations." The position of TI in the report was that corrupt military officials had taken advantage of the situation to create and award non-existent and fraudulent contracts to themselves and their cronies while the Federal Government and the victims of the insurgency are counting theirs loses. The proceeds of these unlawful gains are laundered in the UK, USA and elsewhere around the world. This has been noted as one of the factors weakening the country’s efforts in the fight against insurgency [15].

There is need to cast our minds back to the killing of Alhaji Buji Foi, an alleged Boko-Haram sponsor who was executed 24 hours after the sect's founder Mohammad Yusuf was executed. Surprisingly, Foi had served in various capacities as a public officer which includes being a two-time local government chairman in Borno and the Commissioner responsible for religious affairs in the first tenure of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff (SAS) as the governor of Borno state. Though it wasn't clear what his grouse were, he succeeded in using his position in the state to provide shelter and other necessaries for members of Boko-Haram sect [16]. Sometime in 2012, Chief of Army Staff General Azubuike Ihejirika (retd.), Senator Ali Modi Sheriff and an unknown senior officer of the Central Bank of Nigeria were implicated as being complicit in the operations of Boko-Haram sect. This was a stunning disclosure by Dr. Stephen Davis- an independent negotiator who claimed that the chief sponsors of the sect are politicians who channeled their funds through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make their transaction look legitimate. However, these allegations were dismissed with a wave of the hand by Jonathan's administration on the premise that it was geared at tarnishing the image of his administration especially with the implication of his Army Chief and CBN [17].

In a way that may be seen as a deliberate attempt to further prove Ali Modi Sherrif's involvement with the sect, a former Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of Borno state accused Sheriff of being responsible for Boko- Haram's insurgency. He went on to depose forty reasons to corroborate his claims. Chief among his reasons was that Sherrif as the Chief Security Officer of the state did nothing to secure the release of Mohammad Yusuf even though he was aware that he was going to be executed by the police. The reason he may have done that was not farfetched according to the commissioner- he didn't want Yusuf to make a public confession which would have included his claims of being betrayed by Sherrif. The former governor again tendered an unreserved apology to the sect on 5th July 2011 for any wrongdoings. So why was the apology rendered if he did nothing that exacerbated the activities of the sect? [2,18]

Subsequently, the National Security Adviser (NSA) to Jonathan who was later replaced by Sambo Dasuki at a conference maintained that Boko-Haram insurgency has continued to escalate due to the non-inclusive kind of politics played by the ruling PDP in the Northeast. For him, the issue of violence did not increase in any way until Jonathan declared his intentions to seek re-election in the second term. But in sharp contrast, Senator Godswill Akpabio stated that Northern Nigeria has produced the Presidents of the country consistently for more than 35 years and wondered why poverty, illiteracy, and ignorance should still be dominant and prevalent in the region. In other words, insurgency for him was as a result of poor quality leadership which predates Jonathan's regime [2,19]. For President Jonathan, the most significant challenge in the fight against insurgency lies in the fact that the sect had infiltrated the Executive, Legislative and Judicial arms of government and even the Armed Forces [20].

Upon the swearing in President Buhari in May 2015, one of the first arrests made by his government was the arrest of a former NSA to Jonathan–Colonel Dasuki Sambo (retd.) in the celebrated arms deal scandal that was later tagged “DasukiGate.” Dasuki was arrested for allegedly stealing $2.1bn earmarked for arms procurement-this was according to an investigative report that indicted him [20]. In the course of Dasuki’s incarceration which is still on-going, over fifteen top Nigerian politicians were implicated for different degrees of reasons while more persons are likely to get entangled in the DasukiGate web as the trial continues. Nevertheless, Dasuki has continued to insist that he was never invited by any investigative panel but was indicted even before his side of the story could be heard [21,22]. That is contrary to the rules of “Natural Justice” and better treated from a legal point of view. By April 2016, reports emerged on allegations by western media that President Buhari has channeled UK's aids running into E860m meant for the fight against Boko-Haram to the persecution of perceived political opponents from Jonathan's regime which was tantamount to the "misuse" of resources [2,23].

Another side to corruption in the fight against insurgency is the linkage of senior military officers to the squandering the monies meant for the welfare of the rank and files while allowing them to face Boko-Haram at their peril. Some of the soldiers in the field claimed in a corroborated account that their monthly allowances were slashed by 50% and that their benefit is sometimes delayed for several months. Aside from the issues of monthly stipends, they are also poorly fed and finds it difficult to get sufficient drinking water which leaves them dehydrated for most parts of the day [24]. One of the Police officers on a joint task force mission in Nigeria's N/E once told the Voice of America that they were meant to confront the insurgent group that confronts them with over 1000 bullets on a daily basis with just 30 bullets. Any officer that required more of the bullets will have to give kickbacks (bribes) to get them [25].

International Dimension to Grand Corruption in the Fight Against Insurgency in Nigeria

In 2014, Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States expressed concerns about the US refusal to help the Nigerian government procure the ammunition needed to fight Boko-Haram. The High Commissioner stated that Nigerians are disappointed with the scope, nature, and content of US support in its fight against Insurgency [26]. Though another report emerged that the US refusal was based on the fact that the government of the day had refused to probe an unnamed service chief implicated in money laundry in the United States [27]. But what has one thing got to do with another in this instance given the many lives at stake? In May 2016 New York Times Editorial prevailed on Barrack Obama to block the sale of warplanes to Buhari’s government citing human rights violations [27].

The seizure of $9.3 million meant for arms procurement by South African Board Authorities and a subsequent seizure by South Africa of $5.7 million transferred by Societe D’Equipment’s Internationale of Nigeria to South Africa Arms Company, Cerberus Risk Solutions for same procurement of arms is still in public domain [28]. Though these funds were later released, but not after due process according to South African authorities [29]. The occasioned delay in the release constituted a major setback in the fight against insurgency and underscored Governor Kashim Shettima’s claim that Boko-Haram is more equipped and motivated than Nigerian troops [29].

Another report has it that the USA and its allies have not responded as expected in the fight against insurgency in Nigeria. The feeling in government quarters is that the USA, UK, France, Canada have always pledged support in the fight against insurgency but ends up not delivering on that mandate. A classic example was when some foreign experts were brought in by the Nigerian government to help track the whereabouts' of abducted Chibok girls and also aid in ensuring their safe return. These experts were celebrated to high heavens because they claimed to know where the girls were located but eventually turned around to say that their mission was to provide Nigeria Information on how the girls can be rescued not to rescue the girls per se. This was coming after they were granted permission to explore Nigeria's airspace [30]. "That means that while they were in Nigeria using their satellite equipment and drones to scan the country if they saw Boko-Haram's convoy passing or the sect maiming innocent Nigerians, they will do nothing about it because they were only observing" a senior military officer asked [31].

Petty Corruptions and Insurgency

Petty corruption refers to everyday abuse of entrusted power by low and mid-level public officials in their interaction with ordinary citizens, who are often trying to access basic goods or services in places like hospitals, schools, police department and other agencies [31]. Looking at the cadre that this type of corruption covers makes it clear that this type of corruption will thrive more within the military's rank and file. An unmotivated officer is a sad officer who will never give his best because of low morale. It is quite easy for these neglected officers to join forces with Boko-Haram in desperate need for survival [5]. Many of them have been court-martialed for sabotaging the fight by running away on sighting the sect members. I don't call that sabotage I call that ‘being witty.' What else is expected of the soldiers when they have seen how their injured colleagues were completely abandoned by the military? It's even worse when a soldier dies in active service, and his family is abandoned without a befitting burial and care for the family left behind in the course of active service. I don't regard this scenario as "corrupt practice" in any way - I call it ‘self-defence' a right which the vulnerable field officers are entitled to [6].

Helping Boko-Haram in the sale of cattle gotten from rustling is what I call ‘corruption.' I also call the Leakage of sensitive operational information to Boko Haram ‘corruption.' In 2016, the Theatre Commander of operation Lafiya Dole confirmed the arrest of thirty persons helping Boko-Haram sect to sell rustled cows [31]. Of these persons, four were from the military which comprises- a Captain in charge of a Battalion, a lieutenant, Staff Sergeant and a Guard Commander [32]. After the attack on a military location in Gashiga in 2016, Military Spokesperson stated that a total of 32 persons were in custody for allegedly sabotaging the on-going military operations in Northeast [33].

Political Corruption and Insurgency

The fight against insurgency in Nigeria has no doubt been undermined to a large extent by the military and police in conflict hotspots like the Lake Chad Basin, the Middle Belt, and the Niger Delta [34]. Political corruption is a manipulation of policies, Institutions, and rules of procedure in the allocation of resources and financing by political makers who abuse their position to sustain their power, status and wealth [35]. The two interesting dimensions to this type of corruption from Nigeria’s perspective is the connection of the former Governor of Borno state-Ali Modi Sherriff to Boko-Haram as its major financier and the claims by the former Coordinating Minister of Nigeria’s Economy and Finance Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala that due process was not followed in the appropriation of Abacha’s loot that was released to the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) for arms procurement.

Major terrorism incidence that require funding include coordination with the military command system-Commander, Administration, Intelligence, Operations, and Logistics [36]. However, It is important to keep in mind that terrorism cannot be defeated by military efforts alone [36]. In October 2012, Shuaibu Mohammed Bama who was one of the top ranking commanders of Boko-Haram sect was arrested by the joint military task force in the home of a PDP Senator who also doubled as his uncle. Surprisingly, the senator, Ahmed Zanna denied that Shuaibu was arrested at his residence and insisted that he was captured at the home of the then governor Ali Modi Sherrif. Senator Ahmed Zanna's claims then opened up the floodgate of accusations and counter accusations. Each of the parties in refuting the allegations also accused each other of sponsoring the sect. The State Security Services later released Senator Zanna while Shuaibu remained in detention without any formal legal charge initiated against the duo [37]. This precariousness made it obvious even to the cuckoo that Boko-Haram was budding with the help of prominent politicians at the state and national levels.

The youths in venting their displeasure and anger with the outcome of the case trooped to the house of the then ANPP chairman Alhaji Mala Othman where they succeeded in setting the house ablaze on the claims that he was also part of the sponsors of the sect. Several subsequent attempts were made to burn down the Governor’s residence on the allegation that he (Sherrif) and Othman are joint sponsors of the sect to no avail [8,38]. As sated earlier, the late Alhaji Foi a former Commissioner in the state used his position in government to provide an enabling environment for the sect before his impromptu demise [39]. The arrest and arraignment of Senator Ali Ndume in 2011 and 2013 on an allegation of sponsoring the sect makes the speculations in the public domain that Boko-Haram snowballed into a full-fledged terrorist group based on ostentatious political squabble in Borno state more credible. One of the reasons Senator Ndume was arrested was because the spokesperson of Boko Haram, Ali Sanda Umar Konduga, also known Al-Zawahiri, was arrested at his house. Ali Ndume who stood trial on a four-count charge has since been discharged and acquitted because no prima facie case was established against him [39].

DasukiGate scandal also comes under this category; it is pertinent to keep in mind that most corruption in arms procurement takes the form of bribes or kickbacks. In return for being awarded the contract, often as a result of having selection criteria manipulated in its favor, the supplier company pays bribes to officials involved in the decision-making process. The report that indicted Dasuki and other top military chiefs and politicians shows that the ex NSA awarded fictitious contracts to his cronies, family and associates to the tune of $1.7 billion for the procurement of explosives, arms and ammunition, fighter jets and helicopters that were never delivered [39]. On the other hand, the Central Bank management was ordered by the NSA to transfer the sums of USD 132 million and EUR 9 million respectively to the accounts of a Nigerian company, Societé d'Equipements Internationaux (SEI), without any contract awarded to justify the transfers [40]. At the moment, no one knows for sure the exact amount that was misused/laundered in the DasukiGate deal as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC) in 2016 reported that the actual cost of the arms deal transaction amounted to $15b which meant that the initially investigated sum of $2.1b was just a constituent part of the entire transaction [41].

In the recent hearing of the case against Raymond Dokpesi the chairman of DAAR Communications Plc. in March 2018, the Prosecuting counsel told the court that Dokpesi was paid two hundred billion, one hundred and two million nairas for a contract he never executed [42]. Dasuki is insistent that Jonathan ordered him to make all the necessary approvals regarding arms procurement [43]. Jonathan says he has never heard of that sum of money and wondered where it came from [44]. Some persons have also tried to get the former Minister of Finance, and the Coordinator of the Economy Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala entangled in this web for being an accomplice and disbursed funds in the most unprofessional manner, but she has since responded by releasing a memo which is now in public domain. The memo was a proof that she advised that due process is followed in the procurement of arms since she is not a member of the "National Security Council" and will not be in any of its meetings to justify the funds released to the NSA's office [45].

Consolidated and unabated corruption in Nigeria's defense sector has shown to have dire consequences in the frontline. Transparency International's report shows that the conspicuous type of corruption in the military has been the continued use of "security votes,” these are opaque slush funds given to certain federal, state, and local officials totaling over $670 million annually. At the federal level, the number of security votes tucked into the federal budget increased from about thirty in 2016 to over 190 in 2018, and their total value increased from ₦9.3 billion ($46.2 million) to ₦18.4 billion ($51 million). Unaudited, in cash, and exempt from standard procurement rules, most security vote expenditures almost certainly are lost to corruption [46]. Despite sharp increases in ad hoc defense spending since 2011, operations in the northeast remain hampered by equipment, machinery, and pay shortages. So far, details of the transactions that ensued in DasukiGate are still unfolding. There don't seem to be any comprehensive list yet on the number of persons implicated so far, but a total of about 36 military officers were named in the reports, as well as many government and business figures. The EFCC report also named 241 organizations as recipients of money from Dasuki [47]. However; reports are yet to emerge on secured convictions concerning DasukiGate, though many trials have commenced.

There are also cases of food items donated to IDPs by charitable organizations being diverted by disgruntled elements for their selfish gains. While reports on extremely malnourished Nigeria children in IDP camps continued to dominate news waves, these food items continue to make their way into the open market. Camp Managers have been accused of these sharp practices, the arrest of four police officers for diversion of relieve materials in Adamawa recently underscores the spate of this form of corruption [48]. There are presently series of petitions against the Director General of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and public hearings instituted by the House of Representative Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness where it was revealed that there was over five billion nairas (N5,000,000,000) contract scandal under the management of current DG NEMA Maihaja. He is presently responding to allegations of how he spent over four hundred million nairas (N400, 000,000.00) Demurrage on donated Chinese Rice. He was also accused of awarding contracts to fake companies that are not qualified for business engagements in Nigeria which included N1 .6bn Flood Victims Fund for 16 States and N3.1bn Food Intervention for victims of Boko Haram in North-East [49].

Conclusions

It is clear from this presentation that Nigeria’s security sector is one of the most corrupt in the world [50]. Nigeria as the giant of Africa is renowned for leading ‘peacekeeping missions’ within the West African Sub-region. It also constitutes an integral part of Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) where it was said to have committed around 70% (about $4b) to ECOMOG operations that helped bring back peace to warring African nations. Nigerian also emerged 5th in the ranking of African nations with the highest military strength behind South Africa in 2018 [51,52]. These statistics make it hard to fathom why this highly respected and rated military base has continued to suffer unquantifiable embarrassment and humiliation in the fight against Boko-Haram. Why is the military suddenly finding it difficult to replicate its exploits in Liberia and Sierra Leone?

As pointed out in this paper, the answers to these questions are not farfetched. Corruption is no doubt one of the major factors responsible for escalating insurgency by the Islamist sect, and until the multifaceted hydra-headed corrupt practices identified in this paper are dealt with decisively, the actual objective of winning this war may remain a far cry. This calls for concern since the poor tend to be at the receiving end of the adverse effects of corruption. This is because public policies and public resources are for their benefit [53]. For example; most of the people that have lost their lives in the course of Boko-Haram's insurgency are the masses who look up to the government for protection as against the elites who spend whatever it takes to fortify their security and that of their loved ones.

It is excellent news though that Nigeria's outlook improved in the recent Global Terrorism Index (GTI) ranking but more has to be done in ensuring that the safety of every Nigerian and alien's resident in Nigeria is guaranteed by the government. Unfortunately, most of the corrupt practices identified in the fight against insurgency from the past regime are still prevalent in the present dispensation but determining the cause of a problem is the first step in addressing it. Now that these expose' has been made, the onus is on the government to fashion out practical ways of combating the menace holistically. This is necessary because Corruption corrodes the social fabric of the society. It undermines people's trust in the political system, in its institutions and its leadership. A distrustful or apathetic public can become yet another hurdle to challenging corruption [54,55].

Entrenching the core principles of accountability and transparency from the top military hierarchy will go a long way in checkmating this menace. Senior management officers will have no choice but to act honestly upon the realization that they are being monitored. The National Assembly also has a significant role to play in this fight by ensuring that its oversight of military operations are in the best interest of Nigerians by acting in utmost good faith because they owe it a duty to the electorate. In other words, they mustn't compromise the confidence reposed in them by the voters. Furthermore, the welfare of junior officers that mortgage their lives daily in the course of this fight must be considered a priority. The soldiers can only deliver on their mandates when they are motivated. Poverty and deprivation are wicked and are some of the reasons many junior officers have decided to join forces with Boko-Haram thereby escalating the crises [12].

References