Saturday, 18 December 2010

Nigeria: NaijaLeaks that did not make the headlines

Lost influence despite historical ties

Back to the bottom of the pot scrapes of WikiLeaks on Nigeria, the NaijaLeaks; the ones that did not make the headlines.

In February 2009, a cable was dispatched with concerns about Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) lack of clear policy with regards to Nigeria; this was specified by “citing Nigeria’s significant financial links to the UK, large Diaspora community, and energy potential.Cable Referenced.

Apparently, with the turmoil in the Niger Delta and issues of corruption it was suggested that the HMG’s capacity for political analysis was both “weak and shallow”.

Now, considering the historical ties between Britain and Nigeria, it is interesting that the Americans appear to have more of an insight into happenings in Nigeria and have a better intelligence gathering network embedded in the country.

Terrorist threats in Nigeria

There have been quite a number of religious sectarian attacks and violence in Nigeria, in June 2009, one cable suggests plans for a massive terrorist attack as the text below shows.

¶26. (S//NF) Nigeria - Extremists believed to be planning a massive terrorist attack: (S//REL TO USA, FVEY) Tearline states, "Unspecified extremist groups, suspected to be operating in concert with Nigerian Shi'ites, Salafiya, or Muhammad Yusuf's Nigerian Taliban are reportedly planning to launch a massive surprise attack on some piece of critical infrastructure or against high-profile targets within Nigeria.

Probable targets of this attack include top Nigerian Government officials or security agents. Members of the general public, who might be opposed to the attackers' doctrines, were also believed to be possible targets. This planned attack is reportedly aimed at sparking sectarian clashes across Nigeria."

¶27. (S//NF) DS/TIA/ITA cannot immediately corroborate the current threat with additional intelligence. While no connection can be made between this threat and previous reports, DS/TIA/ITA is concerned about recent activity surrounding extremists associated with the Nigerian Taliban. Cable Referenced.

It goes on to suggest that a Chadian terrorist might be involved and a number of speculative and circumstantial opinions are proffered which is exposed that the time could have had dire consequences for volatile regions under sectarian tensions as well as created diplomatic concerns with Nigerian-Chadian relations.

The Shi’ite connection also links up with the concern about Iranian influence in Nigeria, most especially with news about arms imports from Iran. [1]

Jobs for life for Nigerians

However, it makes such interesting reading that for all the hard and sweaty jobs some Nigerian people rise up for in the early mornings in Europe and America others are living large in Arabian opulence where the external fa├žade of Wahhabist restraint and fundamentalism gives way to a secret debauched and wild partying crowd of sheiks up to unspeakable conduct.

One cable says, It is common practice for Saudi princes to grow up with hired bodyguards from Nigeria or other African nations who are of similar age and who remain with the prince well into adulthood. They are called “khawi,” derived from the Arabic word “akh,” meaning “brother.” The lifetime spent together creates an intense bond of loyalty. Cable Referenced

A lifetime together almost makes one wonder about the supposed closeness and that terrifyingly nasty case of servant abuse that was in the courts in the UK where a Saudi prince murdered his aide [2] who was believed to be a sexual slave.

The darker tanned Bandar Abdulaziz was probably of African origin and though he did not look like bodyguard material, history of Arab being involved in African slave trade and the contemporary situation of hiring them as sexual pleasure units, bodyguards or servants seems to be corroborated by the cable.

I have had offers to work in the Arabian peninsula and really, I have never been fully persuaded especially if the job for life was terminated with a homicide.

Sources

[1] BBC News - Iranian man charged in Nigeria over arms shipment

[2] Saudi prince guilty of servant's murder | UK news | The Guardian

1 comment: