By Jerry Ochada Ajogwu
CUPS – Citizens United for Peace and Stability, is everything but what it claims to be because nothing from its antecedents hints at unity and neither has it shown any propensity for peace or stability. If anything, the man around whom the entire contraption revolves, Dr. Idris Ahmed, has repeatedly engaged in acts that confirm CUPS and himself, being its solo operator, as the activist wing that operate under cover to sustain the Boko Haram terror group.
The social media handles of CUPS, more accurately the social media accounts of Dr. Idris Ahmed, read like the bulletin boards of insurgents and sociopaths that have axes to grind with the remaining population of Nigeria, the government and all the agencies that represent it. In other countries, the content of these handles or accounts would easily be credited as being the official position of groups like Boko Haram, indigenous People of Biafra – IPOB, and other elements that are resolute on causing the country hurt.
Although Ahmed’s sycophantic fans, always eager to massage the oversized ego of a man addicted to self-worship are always on hand to suck up to his toxic post, one of them, Abdulrasheed Bello asked a question on his most recent post. Bello wrote “Your antagonistic behaviour against the military is not in any way helpful to anti_ terror campaign in your area mallam idris.(sic)”
The post titled “Corruption in the Army Exposed: A Brave Soldier from Operation Lafiya Dole Writes President Buhari an Open Letter,” was another in Ahmed’s long running to achieve on social media what his terrorist colleagues in Boko Haram have died trying to do on battlefields, depressing the morale of soldiers fighting the counter-terrorism war. He has therefore committed boundless intellectual resources to chipping away at the credibility of the military in a way that the institutions and their leaders look bad before the troops.
In the said open letter, several claims have been made that should be immediately investigated. This investigation should be as open as possible and by openness the idea is to not restrict such fact finding to only what happens within the military but to ensure that consequences go beyond the forces. If for instance it were to be established that Ahmed and CUPS orchestrated fake reports to malign the military he should be made to answer for his actions. Where the reverse is established he should be tasked as a citizen to more meaningfully contribute to making things better as opposed to doing damages in the name of activism.
But given CUPS/Ahmed’s trends and the tone of the letter there would not be much surprises.
First, the letter referred to incidents and casualties that have never been reported even by pro-Boko Haram platforms that have been adequately financed to report just such military losses. What are the chances that CUPS is able to blindside its sister platforms by getting exclusive access to such information? Secondly, the pictures of the “horrible” meals allegedly served to troops are presented in manners that hinted at manipulations – the closest hint of context in the photographs was the sandy ground (if that is assumed to be the looks of a desert floor); there are no other markers to indicate the meals were served to troops – why are we looking at only the close shots of one person’s portion, could meat have been plucked off the food just before the pictures were taken, could the pictures have been staged in Ahmed’s ancestral compound?
Whatever the case maybe, it is most irresponsible for Ahmed, who is hiding in the United Kingdom, to pen a letter to the President as nameless “Patriotic Soldier” who claimed to have taken the bull by the horn yet hunker behind a dubious unanimity. He is the author of that letter to the president and from his antecedent as the one that coordinates the activities of Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria this is a new front to attempt undoing the military under the cover of activism while terrorists over run the country.
His CUPS is overflowing with lies and the intention is none other than depressing troops morale for Boko Haram, which includes creating the impression that soldiers are willing and fully sharing damaging information with terrorists by colluding with him.
Assuming troops that are really colluding with Ahmed by sending him pictures, such soldiers should be mindful of the perils they subject not just their brothers in arms but also themselves to. From the comfort of his Coventry pad, Ahmed can easily get the foreign franchises of his terror network, which have the wherewithal to analyze communications like pictures from the theatre of operation for digital markers that would give away troops locations. It will pay such soldiers to revisit their timelines to see the relationship between when they sent pictures/messages to CUPS/Dr. Idris Ahmed and the Boko Haram ambushes they have recorded.
Contrary to being used as whistleblowers as Ahmed would make them believe, they have been made unwitting spies for Boko Haram while the mobile devices they sent their messages on are ready made bugs and trackers that place more information in the hands of Boko Haram than they can imagine. Ahmed is the conduit for these leaks even though he presents to them as an activist. They would therefore do well to severe relations with him as every single one of his actions serve purposes other than the ones he pitches to the world.
For troops that find themselves in dire straight on account of poor welfare, they should explore the existing feedback mechanisms that have been put in place by the current leadership of the services in recent times.
Furthermore, the military leadership must rise up to the occasion to address the kind of lapses that create opportunities for the Ahmeds of this world. It was recently revealed – by a CSOs coalition that the budgetary releases are no being made by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, as at when due. If this development is truly impacting troop morale the military leadership should openly demand that the ministry pays up before characters like Ahmed succeeds in using lies to roll back the progress made in the anti-terror war.
Ochada is an editor at THE NIGERIAN, writing from Abuja.