By Modupe Shodeinde
Presidential candidate of Peoples Trust in the 2019 elections, Mr Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, has warned that the death of Idris Deby of Chad has the potential to worsen security challenges in some parts of Nigeria.
Olawepo-Hashim who made this known during an interview with journalists in Abuja, said the death was capable of further escalating the security situation particularly in the North East and North West.
He said, “The death of Marshal Idris Deby, until yesterday (Tuesday) President of Chad, is undoubtedly a setback for Nigeria’s national security.
“Deby has been the buffer for Nigeria’s fight against multiple forces of insurgencies in the Lake Chad region.
“Nigeria’s policy experts must of necessity, be very worried now.
“Since the strategic mistake of the overthrow of Gaddafi by some western forces who brought together a motley crowd of Islamists in 2010 and waged war against Libya, the security situation in the Sahel Region has rapidly deteriorated.
“What was clear was that a balance of forces as a result of imported high-grade equipment of war and communication and training have tilted things in support of non-state actors opposed to the various states and governments of the Sahel region.”
Hashim explained ironically, former President Jonathan, who demonstrated zero knowledge of international relations and national security, allegedly instigated a minority group of African states who broke rank with majority of African countries in the African Union (AU) that opposed the invasion of Libya.
“Jonathan supported the invasion led by United States and France who backed Islamists to overthrow Gadaffi. The rest is history.
“The worst that knowledgeable African heads of state feared, have come to the Sahel as the forces of destruction unleashed on Libya continued to sweep through all the states of the Sahel and West Africa as a whole and even to Central Africa.”
Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Burkina Faso, he said, were paying for the tragedy of 2010 in severe insecurity caused by non-state actors who were better trained and better armed.
“Whatever the internal politics in Chad is, Nigeria’s concern must be our national interest.
“This is standard international relations since the treaty of Westphalia in 1641, national security is the primary interest of states.
“Deby’s death has the potential to complicate things for Nigeria in the North-East and North-West.
“Whatever the inadequacies of Idris Deby, he died a true African hero; a courageous African. Many times Idris launched attack from Chad to confront the extremist forces operating in the North-East. He made no noise about it and he claimed no credit. He was a true friend and ally of Nigeria.
“For now, it is time to put on our best thinking cap. It is no longer the time for mediocrity.”