News / Africa

Analyst Sees Nigerian Security Shake-up as Mostly Political

University of Abuja professor Usman Mohamed says President Jonathan may also be trying to solidify his grip on the country's security

Multimedia

Audio
James Butty

A Nigerian political analyst told VOA President Goodluck Jonathan’s decision to appoint new security chiefs is motivated more by politics than security concerns.

Mr. Jonathan Wednesday appointed a new defense chief of staff, as well as new heads of the air force, navy, army, police, and intelligence services.

The move comes days after Nigeria's electoral commission solidified the timeline for next year’s general elections and as Mr. Jonathan signaled to party leaders that he intends to stand for election.

Usman Mohamed, professor of political science at the University of Abuja, said President Jonathan could be trying to solidify his grip on the country’s security ahead of next year’s elections.

“The change, I think, has come about very suddenly and unexpected to the country for two reasons. The first reason is political, and the political reason is stronger than the security reason. For political reason, soon after the president had announced to the ruling PDP [People’s Democratic Party] southern governors that he was going to contest, 24 hours after, we saw change in the service chiefs. That is very significant because of the election that is coming up,” he said.

Mohamed said security concerns might have also influenced President Jonathan’s decision, especially following Tuesday’s attack on a northern prison by a radical Islamic sect known as Boko Haram.

“Due to the attack that was witnessed about three days or four days back in Bauchi by the Boko Haram group, there might [be] need to reposition and strategize his service chiefs. And, perhaps, that brought about this change at a very critical period that we are heading for the election,” Mohamed said.

But, he said Mr. Jonathan’s political opponents may not accept the explanation that the Bauchi prison attack might have led to the security changes, especially since they were made about four months before next January’s general election.

Nigeria, which has had a history of military coups, has not had one for over 16 years.

Professor Mohamed dismissed any suggestion that President Jonathan’s decision to appoint new security chiefs might have also been an attempt to avert any possible military coup.

“What you say does not have any bearing as of now anyway. This is because, if you look back, we have had some constitutional crisis of succession soon after of the death of President Yar’Adua, even before he died, when he was in hospital. And, that time could have been ripe for the military to strike. But, they didn’t strike. So, I think, the issue of a coup is ruled out from the analysis, but it will not be total,” Mohamed said.

He said there has been a disquiet within the ruling PDP about President Jonathan’s decision to run in next year’s election.

“There is serious rancor and acrimony, especially from the dominant north that is looking at the entire contest of the president as a betrayal of agreement that has been there in the PDP,” he said.

You May Like

Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More