Political Elites Sponsor Boko Haram To Protect Personal Interest – Security Expert

Channels Television  
Updated April 23, 2014

Chigozie UbaniA Security Consultant, Chigozie Ubani, on Wednesday gave a different perspective to the funding system of the dreaded Boko Haram terrorist group, stating that influential businessmen who have businesses in the affected region and members of the political elite may be funding the group by buying protection from them.

Ubani, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said that although he believed the government was making efforts tracing the source of the group’s funds, the government was not employing all avenues possible, to tackle the situation.

“I’ve refused to say they are not doing anything, but there are certain things I expect this government to do (or to have done), and that is the issue of funding,” he said, citing the strategy used by the United States of America, after the 9/11 terrorist attack.

According to him, the U.S government crippled Osama Bin Laden’s financial capacity, which helped in limiting his power before he was killed.

“I am very sure that our people are tracing these funds but why is it so difficult, he asked, also noting that the contributions being made by the political elite come to play in the whole situation.

Politicians and some Nigerians have accused some governors and members of the political class of funding the terrorist group, however Ubani explained that the funds given by these people may not be to promote their activities but to protect their own interests and buy “their own bullet vests.”

He stated that those funding the group were doing so in trying to protect themselves and “in trying to be seen as not being against them”.

“These things happened in the days of kidnapping in the South/East when influential people were unknowingly funding kidnapping in the South/East…in trying to buy safety for themselves, they fund criminality.”

Mr Ubani further called for an investigation into the activities of influential businessmen and politicians who may be behind such funding.

“There are big institutions and businesses in the north…these institutions are running. No one is attacking them. There owners should be looked upon, and see what relationship they have with these criminals.”

Ubani also suggested that the manufacturers of the Hilux vehicles being used by the insurgents should be questioned and an enquiry made into the chain of distribution, in order to find out where the vehicles are being purchased and the person responsible.

Ubani believed that the chassis number of the Hilux (utility) vehicles used by the insurgents in a video that went viral online can be used to find out where they were bought and from whom.

“How do they get these vehicles and why is it a herculean task for us to trace them to the man who purchased and donated?”

The terrorist organisation was reportedly motivating new recruits with the sum of $300 dollars but Ubani suggested that the government could make the sum unattractive to the recruits.

On measures the government needs to take to fix the porous borders, Ubani advocated that the borders should have been mapped and fencing commenced.

He however warned that certain interests would fight against such a move, noting that the Lamido of Adamawa had disclosed that the State was much larger than the boundary had set.