Boko Haram is riding pretty high right now. In the aftermath of its horrific massacre of the village of Baga, which consolidated its control over Nigeria’s northeastern Borno Province, the group has started threatening to take its campaign into neighboring Cameroon, Chad, and Niger, potentially bringing those nations into a region-wide war. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan is probably getting tired of people asking why the army of a country with a ~$520 billion GDP keeps getting walloped by a paramilitary gang, and he’s certainly tired of being criticized for his bizarre lack of attention to the problem. So it was probably with that in mind that, on Thursday, Jonathan’s National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, blamed the army’s inability to do anything about Boko Haram on “cowards” in its ranks. No, really, that’s his story. There’s just one small problem with the way he went about articulating00 it:
“Unfortunately we have a lot of cowards. We have people who use every excuse in this world not to fight,” Sambo Dasuki, the top security adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan, told an audience at the Chatham House think-tank in London on Thursday.
But, he stressed, “there is no high-level conspiracy within the army not to end the insurgency.”
Dasuki denied the army was under-equipped, as critics have asserted, calling this an “excuse.”
Yes, nothing says “why won’t you freaking cowards stand and fight your mortal enemy” like running off to London and whining to the nice folks at Chatham House. Maybe Jonathan and his advisers should spend less time and money rending their garments before Western audiences and more time actually, I don’t know, building a credible fighting force that can stand up to Boko Haram. Just a thought.