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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid