Arms purchase: Calls for probe gain momentum




A top ex-army general has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate the purchase of weapons earmarked for Boko Haram war in the North East.

He said the picture from the war theatre showed that more effort is needed to boost the morale of troops by providing superior weapons to the military.

He said despite the release of $1 billion on arms by President Buhari-led administration, Mines Resistance Armoured Personnel Carrier (MRAP) and helicopter gunships with night fighting capability were not available.

However, some governors have also expressed interest in pushing for how the cash released for arms was spent.

According to the retired military officer who pleaded for anonymity President Buhari ought to have set up a committee of retired military generals to interact with troops in the North East.

“I have been part of Operation Lafiya Dole. You are talking of equipment Most of the equipment you see, like these new artillery guns, were bought some three months ago. And they were not sufficient. In terms of arms, we need to take stock of the budget and the supply. These people long time ago said they can do it and the Buhari administration released cash. The question is: How many MRAP, gun trucks, and tanks did they buy? One might not know the amount of money given out but for the National Security Adviser(NSA), Gen. Babagana Monguno, to have come out to say something, clarifying he didn’t imply the funds were misappropriated, the government should look into what is happening at the frontline because a detailed investigation may reveal where the arms end up.

“The new service chiefs knew what they inherited but they cannot go to the National Assembly to open the Pandora box. By virtue of their office, there are certain things they cannot disclose to the public because they border on national security. The country needs to know if the former service chiefs made reports about missing arms following Boko Haram attacks. The soldiers are demoralised. Within 10 days, we lost more than 30 soldiers. These are people’s brothers, husbands, fathers and friends. The fighting spirit of our men is zero without arms,” the source said.

Queried on the way out, the source urged the President to either call for a comprehensive audit of the Ordinance Corps or raise a committee of retired military generals to interact with troops in the North East.

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