Speaking at the group’s sit-out, a member of the BBOG and the Chairman of Chibok community in Abuja, Tsambido Hosea-Abana said if these Service Chiefs, especially, former Chief of Defence Staff Alex Badeh and former Chief of Army Staff Kenneth Minimah, knew that Nigeria’s defence lacked equipment and morale to fight Boko Haram, why did they not say so instead of deceiving Nigerians that the military was well-equipped for the task.
He also wondered what happened to all the equipment the military said they bought recently to fight the Boko Haram insurgents and called on the Federal government to look into the issue critically so as to ensure that whoever deceived Nigerians is made to face the full wrath of the law.
The immediate-past Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh recently alleged that when he assumed office as the CDS, he headed the armed forces that lacked the relevant equipment and motivation to fight an enemy (Boko Haram terrorists) that was invisible and embedded in the local populace.
Badeh made the allegation pointing out that the decision of certain countries (which he did not name) to deny Nigeria weapons to prosecute the war against Boko Haram, added to the challenges the military faced.
Again, the immediate-past Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minimah recently expressed regrets that the nation toyed with the health and vitality of the military through inadequate funding.
He appealed to the government to create the right environment for recruitment, training, equipping and kitting of military personnel.
However, following allegations of lack of equipment to fight Boko Haram, the immediate past National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), said the administration of ex-president Goodluck Jonathan bought sophisticated equipment in the last one year to fight insurgents in the Northeast.
He said the weapons assisted the military to recover many local government areas that were occupied by Boko Haram terrorists.
He listed some of the military equipment as Alpha jets, APCs, MRAP vehicles, advanced artillery pieces, assorted arms and ammunitions, highly sophisticated surveillance drones, T72 and carried out modifications of F7 supersonic jet fighters.
Dasuki said: “The armored tanks have comprehensive nuclear, biological, chemical (NBC) protection/sensor system, just as we deployed Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles that we bought and could withstand Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attacks and ambushes. The vehicles had protected our troops from the land mine threats.
“We are glad that we also provided assorted Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) to transport troops to the battlefield. They are armed for self-defence and to provide protection from attacks from shrapnel and small arms fire.
“All these were acquired in the last one year after years of frustration by Western powers who denied us the equipment and sabotaged our efforts to acquire same from other sources which are reasons for some delay in delivery.”