God Will Continue to Punish Nigeria Until Nnamdi Kanu is Released

Nnamdi Kanu
When the dust settles over the numerous calls for separation and restructuring in Nigeria, the world will know that it all started with the arrest of Nnamdi Kanu. Fortuitously, Retired Major General Muhammadu Buhari’s public approval rating was 80% in October 2015, the same month he illegally kidnapped Nnamdi Kanu. Ever since, Buhari’s personal political standing as well as Nigeria’s economic well-being has nose-dived to 30% approval rating as at July 2016. As Prophet Nwoko had predicted, “Heaven will strike if Nnamdi Kanu is not released.”
We recall that on the 14th of October 2016, agents of Buhari known as the Department of State Services (DSS) trailed Nnamdi Kanu to his hotel in Lagos as he was on transit to Biafraland and arrested him. After several physical abuse and torture, he was flown to Abuja for further torture and physical abuse.  Desperate to jail Nnamdi Kanu, the DSS raised several trumped-up charges which were summarily dismissed by the courts. Both Magistrate and High courts issued orders for the unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu but Buhari’s DSS refused to obey the court orders.
On the 30th of December 2015, Buhari boasted to the global viewing audience that Nnamdi Kanu will never be released. In the meantime, as Biafrans in Biafraland gathered to pray for the success of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu, in the legal battle against the DSS, Buhari ordered his military and other security agencies to open fire at them, which resulted in the death of scores of Biafrans. Recently, on the 30th of May 2016, Buhari in conjunction with the governor of Anambra state—Willie Obiano, deployed the Nigerian Army from Onitsha military barracks who shot and killed over 200 unarmed peaceful Biafrans that gathered to commemorate the day Biafra was formally declared (49 years ago) as well as remember the fallen heroes of the war of genocide levied on Biafra by Nigeria and Britain.
Between the illegal detention of Nnamdi Kanu and the massacre of Biafrans on the 30th of May 2016, Buhari has steadily and continually engaged in ethnic cleansing of the Biafran people. His killing spree on Biafrans and the despoliation of the Biafran environment plus the refusal to obey court orders on the release of Nnamdi Kanu were harbingers to the emergence of diverse freedom-fighting groups which Buhari and his acolytes nicknamed militants. One of these freedom-fighting groups is the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA). The NDA has dealt a devastating blow in the oil and gas industry and for which hydrocarbon production has plummeted.
The political environment in Nigeria has remained unstable. Nigeria has developed irreparable fault lines engendered by Buhari’s inept partisan governance style and his non-observance of the ethos of democracy and the rule of law. Both Executive and Legislative arms of government are confused, unproductive, and antithetical to democratic objectives. Instead of Buhari to carry out reflexive praxis on the many issues bedeviling the country he claims to be the president of, he is busy beating war drums and enjoying his pastime which is the slaughter of innocent Biafrans. Unknown to Buhari, the root cause of the aforementioned political woes facing his country is the illegal incarceration of Nnamdi Kanu and the flagrant disobedience of court orders related to the unconditional release of Mr. Kanu. As a matter of fact, the call for restructuring wouldn’t have happened if not for Nnamdi Kanu’s well-articulated and relentless pursuit of Biafra and Buhari’s dictatorial nature of interfering with the judiciary.
Meanwhile, the social spectrum is also badly hit by Buhari’s lack of basic understanding of how democracy works and the need to subject himself to the law of the land which he swore to uphold and obey under Schedule-7 of Nigeria’s Constitution. Several thousands of lives have been avoidable lost to terrorist attacks coming from Islamic fundamentalists of Northern extraction under the protection of Buhari. From Borno to Benue and from Potiskum to Port-Harcourt, several lives have been cut short courtesy of a dysfunctional security and law enforcement system. People are now walking and looking over their shoulders and around them while thanking their creator for sparing every minute of their lives. This was not the situation prior to the illegal incarceration of Nnamdi Kanu.
The jet speed with which the economy of Nigeria descended into the abyss since the illegal incarceration of Nnamdi Kanu has been unprecedented. Readers should take time to review the economy of Nigeria before and after the illegal arrest of Nnamdi Kanu. Today, the only income-generating resource (Crude oil) for Nigeria is at all-time low. Even the Managers of Nigeria’s finances have openly confessed that Nigeria will not be able to execute 50% of planned projects because of the activities of militants who are all in unison in their demand for the unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu. As a matter of fact, the investors in oil and gas in Nigeria should blame Buhari for the activities of NDA and other militants because if Buhari had released Nnamdi Kanu there would not have been the destruction of oil and gas pipeline and facilities nor would there be any momentum or impetus for other separatist groups to emerge. If the present trend continues Nnamdi Kanu would have succeed in destroying Nigerian economy as militants will not stop blowing up pipelines until one of their key demands are met which is his release. In particular, the militants’ demand for the unconditional release Nnamdi Kanu is 7th item on their list of demands and the question bothering everybody’s mind is why Buhari and his government have chosen to downplay demand #7 when that is the only opening available to them to make meaningful human contact with the militants.
Religious bigotry has reached a crescendo in Nigeria under the presidency of Buhari especially since the illegal incarceration of Nnamdi Kanu. There have been beheadings of Christians by Islamic fundamentalists, lynching of non-Muslims by Boko Haram members, and outright mass-murder of Shiite Muslims by Sunni-practicing members of Buhari’s armed forces. Buhari deployed Boko Haram members to Biafraland to rampage and massacre Christians especially members of Indigenous People of Biafra under the leadership of Nnamdi Kanu. Buhari did this with the sole aim of stifling the quest for the restoration of the nation of Biafra.
The Judiciary has been completely compromised and put under the direct dictation of Buhari from the time Nnamdi Kanu was illegally arrested. Most Judges now pander to the whims and caprices of Buhari for fear of being dismissed from service or killed in a mysterious manner. The shenanigans going on in the court room of Justice John Tsoho speak for itself. The independence of the Judiciary is now an unknown phenomenon in Buhari’s Nigeria.
Nigeria is truly in a very big mess from the time the DSS illegally arrested and unconstitutionally detained Nnamdi Kanu. The reputation of Nigeria and that of Nigeria’s assumed president (Buhari) is in tatters and got worse from the time Buhari illegally arrested and detained Nnamdi Kanu. There is a bleak future for Nigeria as long as Buhari continues to keep Nnamdi Kanu in captivity.
Nigeria is already on a cliff-hanger and just a tiny strand is what remained for it to descend into irredeemable catastrophe. Like Somalia under Siad Barre, Nigeria under Buhari is sliding into the abyss because of the stubbornness or some would say suicidal tendencies of one man. As Somalia collapsed into a failed state and terrorist heaven today, so will Nigeria follow suit because of the antics of Buhari. Nnamdi Kanu’s illegal detention and Buhari’s disobedience of court orders have negative implications for the stability of West African region as well as crude oil price stability globally. It has been confirmed form reliable sources in Nigeria’s Presidential Villa that 60 percent of calls to Aso Rock from overseas is about Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB, Niger Delta Avengers, and the collapsing economy.
The European Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America must take notice that there will surely be another war in Nigeria with far more deadly consequences worse than that of Somalia and Sudan combined. The only way this prediction can be avoided is to ensure that Buhari obeys court orders by releasing Nnamdi Kanu unconditionally. Anything short of unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu in accordance with the court orders will make Nigeria current political instability snowball into anarchy and at the very end, Nigeria as we know it now will never be the same again. The ball is in the court of the international community to make the right decision of requesting Buhari to release Nnamdi Kanu unconditionally and the time to make that decision is now.

Is Washington Finally Getting Fed Up With Turkey?

What started out like a budding relationship between Obama and Erdogan, has now gone way beyond simple agitation.  The coup in Turkey may have put the final nail in the coffin for what was supposed to be an American backed drive to rule the Middle East.

Early in Obama’s tenure, he believed that Turkey could become the lynchpin to US policy in the region.  That was 7.5 years ago.  Today’s relation is fraying at the seams and with months to go before Obama’s departure, the tightening of Erdogan’s rule following the “coup” may push it over the cliff.

Erdogan has essentially used the failed coup to purge the government and country of non-loyal forces.  Although the USA supports a stable and strong Turkey, Erdogan using it as leverage to strike back at opponents is worrisome to the Obama administration. “We will certainly support bringing the perpetrators of the coup to justice, but we also caution against a reach that goes well beyond that,” Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday. “We also firmly urge the government of Turkey to maintain calm and stability throughout the country, and we also urge the government of Turkey to uphold higher standards of respect for the nation’s democratic institutions and the rule of law.”

With Turkey getting the cold shoulder from the United States and of course near isolation by Russia, this puts it in a very difficult position with little or no wiggle room.  This is what makes Bibi’s continued acceptance of the Israel Turkish reconciliation deal so strange. Why would Israel want to throw Erdogan a life vest?

“Israel and Turkey recently agreed on a reconciliation process between them. We assume that this process will continue without any connection to the dramatic events in Turkey over the weekend.” Bibi Netanyahu said yesterday.

The question for Israel is, how long will it wait to jump onboard the anti-Erdogan bandwagon? Afterall, if Obama and Putin can agree on the need to corner Erdogan, it pays to pivot alongside them rather than being left the only one still committed to some irrelevant deal.


Can the Turkey-Russian War Break the Alliance System?

Are we in 1914 or 2016.  Sometimes with all of the alliances it’s hard to tell.  Then again when it comes to Syria there are some outliers that might just throw the alliance system out the window. With the war in Syria on the verge of turning into a much wider conflict it is important to understand how all the sides are stacked.

Russia, Iran, Syria, Armenia

The Shiite-Russian alliance has been steadily growing for some time. The pervading assumption has been Russia’s need for a Mediterranean port being behind his support of Assad.  With Turkey’s downing of the SU-24, Putin’s calculus has changed.

Long an opponent of Turkey’s expansionism, Putin used the SU-24 incident to turn the screws on Turkey’s Erdogan. Armenia, a close ally of Russia is being beefed up as a potential launching pad for attacks against Turkey.  Besides its alliance with Russia, Armenia has historical redresses with Turkey going back to the 1915 Armenian Genocide.

Iran and the Syrian government’s forces have become Russia’s ground troops in taking back the strategic Western part of the country. Russia has avoided a repeat of its Afghanistan debacle by using the Shiite armies to do its work. Besides that, the Shiites are giving Russia real geopolitical leverage against the region’s Sunni powers.

Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Gulf States

What makes the stakes so high in Syria, is the exacerbation of the Sunni-Shiite conflict.  With Russia in full concert with the Shiite led countries, the Sunni states like Saudi Arabia and Turkey see no other choice but to go into the fray.  The reasoning is simple: the Shiites with a resurgent Russia need to be stopped now or risk being too formidable once their gains are entrenched.

The Sunnis are 90% of the Islamic world, but the growing Shiite crescent creates a real strategic nightmare for them, effectively cutting the Sunni world in two and, of course, controlling key oil routes that will have a very real effect on future regional control.


Although conventional wisdom insists that NATO would issue the game changing Article 5 in the case of a Turkish-Russian war, it is not at all clear NATO will pick a side. Europe is very much dependent on Russian gas during the winter.  They are also trying to tamp down the off again on again conflict in East Ukraine and need Russia to help them.  As for Obama and the USA, getting into a war with Russia and the Shiites on behalf of Turkey and the gulf states is not something they want.  

With all of that being said, a full out war between Russia and Turkey will have large consequences for energy control, economy, and refugees.  NATO may have little choice but to jump into things on behalf of their most disliked member, Turkey, even if the gamble proves to be a negative one.

Greece, Cyprus, Israel

With Greece, Cyprus, and Israel’s new found partnership in energy, technology, and security all three of them are loath to pick sides in what is fast turning into a geopolitical typhoon.  Greece and Cyprus are arch enemies of Turkey and it is no surprise that Greece has made it clear that they see Russia as a friend and potential partner.  This of course puts Israel into an uncomfortable position.  At one hand, Israel has been seeking what is known as a neutral foreign policy for decades and, on the other hand, is still very much in the orbit of Europe and the USA.  

With Russian overflights of Israeli airspace increasing daily and new trade avenues opening up with the very countries aligned with Russia, it should no longer be surprising what side the government in Jerusalem picks. Then again, that would put it on the same side as its arch enemies, Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah.  Russia insists it has them in check, but trusting Putin has never been a good idea.

Of course, Bibi and Israel rather stay out of it and continue trading with all parties equally, but remaining neutral may no longer be an option.


The King of Jordan has vacillated between the West and Russia.  In many ways for the same reason Israel has. Surrounded by ISIS and Al Qaida, King Hussein’s rule is the most tenuous in the Middle East.  Assurances for his family and his throne’s safety are key.  If Russia can promise protection, then Jordan may very well switch sides.


Kurdistan has always been hard to read. Typically speaking, the Kurds (split between Turkey, Syria, and Iraq) have done their best to pick partners that would be willing to help them advance their independence agenda. In this case, Russia seems most willing to help defend and enhance Kurdish objectives; mainly because the Kurds are the single biggest domestic threat to Turkey.

If a Turkish-Russian war does materialize then the Kurds are Putin’s most important weapon.  They give Putin a Turkish domestic constituency primed for a violent uprising.  In addition, they are a formidable fighting force situated along the length of Turkey’s entire Southern border.  Coupled with the fact that Iraqi Kurdistan is oil rich makes them the lynchpin Putin needs.

What’s Next?

Full on war between Russia and Turkey and their respective allies seems almost certain at this point.  The question is: when? That depends much on Turkey’s actions in the next few days.  If the Turkish army continues to shell Northern Syria and even sends troops in then Russia will act. Russia will claim they have no choice but to capture the Bosphorous Straits, in order to defend against a Turkish closure to Russian vessels. At that point, the key actor to look at is NATO.  If they enter on the side of Turkey,  Russia will send their army into Ukraine. Once that happens all bets are off.

Iran and the USA: Partnering for Destruction

In the shifting sands of the Middle East, old alliances are crumbling and new ones are forming.  Nowhere do we see the evidence of this in the support the American government is giving Iran over Saudi Arabia in the growing feud between the two countries.

True, the American administration is playing it cool, but already the think tanks that lay various trial balloons have been working over time.  

“Saudi Arabia is in serious trouble, and they know it,” Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group, told Business Insider on Sunday.

Bremmer added on Morning Joe that “I don’t know what legitimizes this regime [Saudi Arabia] going forward.”

The chorus is growing to let Saudi Arabia stew and in a sense the regime there understands it and that is exactly why they are ratcheting up the pressure. One of the arguments for going neutral or even subtly supporting Iran against Saudi Arabia is that eventually the theocrats in Persia will melt away and when they do Iran fits in far better with a future American foreign policy than Saudi Arabia.  

Whether or not there is some legitimacy to this is not the point, what the world is witnessing is a pendulum that is swinging so fast that it threatens to destabilize the remaining normative countries in the region.  This storm that is brewing between Iran and Saudi Arabia will almost certainly lead to a disastrous conflict that can and will bring in nations from around the world.

The Future is Now

Israel will have to act in a careful, but at the same time determined manner. Unfortunately the present leadership has allowed the threats to build up around Israel’s borders and may actually be much further in a corner than they want to admit.

Look for the next few months to be extremely volatile in the broader Middle East as countries jockey position before the opening shots of a much broader conflict.

Turkey and Israel, Friends Again?

We live in a strange world.  As the American uni-polar world collapses, alliances are born and others fall away. Partnerships are formed based on near term survival, without consideration for the long view.  Turkey, by all estimates was heading into the dustbin.  Surrounded by Russia to the North East, Iran to the South East, and a resurgent Assad to the South with Russia behind him, Erdogan, the Sultan not to be was cornered. Russia supplies most of Turkey’s gas. Without Russia’s gas, Turkey would collapse due to a lack of energy.

Israel an Energy Leader

Israel rushed through the gas deal this week, not only because of the new energy alliance with Greece, Cyprus, and Egypt, but because of the secret deal now reveled to the World. Turkey would be given a life line and pulled out of its corner and Israel would act as the senior partner in the relationship.

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Leadership requires making decisions even if they are unpopular. Erdogan is not a nice guy.  He slaughters Kurds and denies his country’s role in the Armenian genocide, but Israel is in a different place now and chose to offer Turkey the lifeline it needed.

Two Viewpoints

There have been two pervading viewpoints int he defense establishment in Israel.  One is to work with Russia and embrace Assad in order to return stability to the Middle East. The other is to build relationships that will counteract Iran no matter the cost of stability and Russian tactical considerations.  The Turkey move, means the latter won out.

What of Greece and Cyprus?

Greece and Cyprus need Israel far more than it needs them.  The returning to ties with Turkey is a cold one, brought on by Jerusalem’s concern about Iran and Syria coming out of this war in a clearly unstoppable manner. Strengthening Turkey in a non-emotional way provides a push back to the Shiites. None of the maneuvers we are seeing are the products of long term strategic planning.  The post USA Middle East is too new to learn where the lines will be drawn.

Out of Putin’s own Playbook

Israel agreed to the return of relations with Turkey only because of the gas pipeline Turkey is willing to lay for Israel. By becoming the major gas provider to Turkey Israel holds the upper hand in the relationship. Mess with Israel and Turkey loses its gas. This has been Putin’s strategy with Europe for years.

A Dangerous Path

With Russia preparing for a possible war with Turkey and their tactical partnership with Iran, throwing a way out to Erdogan puts us in an uncomfortable situation. Putin clearly views Erdogan as enemy number one.  Israel helping him does not bode well for our relationship with Russia.  It could be there was never anything to talk about with Putin and that Jerusalem decided to move forward before Putin and company decided to put the Jewish Nation into a more uncomfortable spot. Whatever the reason, the new gas partnership puts Israel on the side of those counties Putin dislikes. In the coming weeks Israel will have to go out of its way to play down the deal or potentially face the wrath of Putin and his forces.

Cornering Israel…

With Kerry getting Obama to back off insistence on Assad’s ouster, the world continues its slide into geopolitical chaos.  Of course at first glance, Assad offers the kind of stability Syria needs and it was precisely trying to oust him which caused so many problems.

For the USA who is on a not so slow retreat, allowing Russia, Iran, and Syria to provide stability to the region seems logical.  The problem with this sort of stability is that Israel’s arch enemies will maneuver themselves into strategic positions along side the Jewish state.  Assad might bring stability, but that means Israel will be under serious threat.

Can Russia be Trusted?

I have written extensively on the fact that Russia does not want to upset the stability in the countries that are in fact most stable. It is clear Putin is not trying to put us into a tight spot, but he has some conflicting partnerships: Assad, Iran, and Israel. It is true the deconfliction mechanism lets us destroy heavy arms bound for Hezbollah, but the idea that Assad’s permanence means Iran gets to stick around is not something any of us want to see.

The prevailing thought is that Putin will hold the Ayatollahs on a short leash.  There is something to this, but the prospects of an emboldened Iran are not good.

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We Are Expendable

At the end of the day, the world is search of some sort of order. It is true we are light in a dark region, but nations can be erratic in times of chaos. Right now the transition is only beginning and Israel is doing its best to hedge its bets on who will come out on top.  It is clear Russia makes a great case on why we should move into their orbit, but if they cannot reign in Iran then it may be far more dangerous than going it alone.

Some Positive Developments

Despite many of the troubling signs flowing from the chaos in the Middle East, Israel’s ability to have a working relationship with Russia and covertly helping the Kurds to move their oil show we have some versatility in grappling with the complex challenge we find ourselves in.  By rolling with the changes and making partnerships based on strategic value, Israel can make it through one of the most chaotic times the Middle East has seen.

Putin on the Move

It is clear that Putin sees his mission to exterminate ISIS as well as the Syrian opposition to Assad.  To Putin they are one and the same. This entails Russia successfully destroying Turkey’s supply lines to their ISIS allies. Right now Russia is doing this in the Western part of Syria by obliterating the Turkmen bases in the Kızıldağ district on the border of Turkey.  After Kızıldağ the next logical place for Putin to focus on would be the remaining supply route from Turkey into Syria and that would be from the border of Turkey and Syria near Jarabulus a Syrian city that has a population 11,500.  The road from there leads South along the Euphrates River to the Islamic State’s capital of Raqqah.

Jarabulus Google Maps

If Putin and Syrian ground forces continue to advance against both ISIS and the Turkish supply lines, ISIS will be crippled, leaving only Iraq as a solid territory under their rule. Yet, that too could be under fire soon as the Iraqi government has asked Russia to step in and kick Turkish forces from Northern Iraq.

If Russia succeeds with the help of Syrian and Iranian ground forces, Turkey will end up with an emboldened Kurdish presence to its South as well as a generational setback to Erdogan’s grand designs to be the neo-Sultan of the Middle East. The Sunni World would be in upheavel and the Middle East and the bulk of the world’s oil supply would be held by Russia and the Shiites (save for Saudi Arabia).

Closing the Bosphorous is Turkey’s Only Recourse

Below is the relevant text from the Montreux Convention Articles 19, 20, and 21 of agreed upon in 1936:

Article 19.

“In time of war, Turkey not being belligerent, warships shall enjoy complete freedom of transit and navigation through the Straits under the same conditions as those laid down in Article 10 to 18.”

“Vessels of war belonging to belligerent Powers shall not make any capture, exercise the right of visit and search, or carry out any hostile act in the Straits.”

Article 20.

“In time of war, Turkey being belligerent, the provisions of Articles 10 to 18 shall not be applicable; the passage of warships shall be left entirely to the discretion of the Turkish Government.”

Article 21.

“Should Turkey consider herself to be threatened with imminent danger of war she shall have the right to apply the provisions of Article 20 of the present Convention.”

We are all aware by now that Turkey has been slowing down Russian vessels and with that a Russian warship had a soldier standing on it with a shoulder guided missile in plain site. According to the above treaty Russia broke article 19 and Turkey very well may use that in the coming days to close the straits.  Putin will have to reopen them by force setting the stage for a broad war against NATO. Erdoan is banking on NATO stepping in.  Putin believes they will at the most make a token gesture out of Europe’s fear of having their gas cut in the dead of winter.

Of course Obama and the USA are stuck between two converging realities.  With the ISIS attack in San Bernadino last week, Obama would be hard pressed to defend Turkey given Russia’s proof that Erdogan has been assisting ISIS and then again not defending Turkey would mean that Russia and Iran would be in control of much of the Middle East and the Black Sea with Russia having an acute ability to dictate the future of Europe.  Right now Obama seems frozen or pre-occupied in order to turn the domestic situation to some sort of advantage for his agenda.

Iran Filling the Void in the Syrian Golan

While Russia makes moves to flatten Turkey and their aspirations, Iran is using their tactical pact with Russia to take over the positions ISIS and Al Nusra once had in the Syrian side of the Golan. Israel’s leaders have made bellicose statements, but Iran stands undeterred as their pincher move is rapidly set up. Israel has one move and that is to strike now while Russia is involved in the North, but that brings another set consequences. The die is cast. The next moves on the chessboard of the now expanding Syrian conflict is Israel’s and Turkey’s.

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