The military has disclosed that it lacks modern and sophisticated weapons to fight Boko Haram, days after the sect launched deadly attacks on Dalori village in Borno State.
In a meeting with the leadership of the Senate on Wednesday, February 3, service chiefs led by the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonishakin, complained that N29 billion appropriated for security in the 2015 supplementary budget had not been released to them nearly two months after it was approved by the National Assembly.
The army authority said the situation is undermining its ability to fund their operations.
The revelation is coming as a surprise and contrary to claims by the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed, that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration had supplied the military with new weapons to contain the Boko Haram.
Mohammed also said the weapons procured by the former president Goodluck Jonathan government were expired and refurnished. He stated that the military would not have come this far with its fight against the terrorists if they were only using arms bought by the immediate past administration.
He said this in reaction to Jonathan’s statement in an interview with France24 that the present government is still using the weapons procured by his administration to fight insurgency.
However, at the meeting between the senate and the military, other issues discussed were the need to continuously increase the personnel in the three branches of the military and the hindrance caused by the procurement process which they said was very slow.
A statement released by the Office of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki read in part: “The leadership of the Senate and chairmen of committees relating to security agencies yesterday (Wednesday) held a meeting with heads of the military to review the developments in the fight against the insurgency in the North-east zone particularly in the wake of the recent vicious attack on Dalori town in Borno State
“At the closed-door meeting which lasted for about two hours and was presided over by the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, several issues tailored at further empowering the security agencies to win the war against the Boko Haram insurgency were discussed in a frank and open exchange between the two sides.
“The need for regional support for the fight against the insurgency in the North-east by the neighbouring countries, resettlement of internally displaced persons (IDPs) back to their traditional homes, the issue of intelligence gathering and sharing among the various agencies”.
Others present at the meeting included, the deputy senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, Senate Leader Ali Ndume, Majority Whip Francis Alimikhena, Chairman, Senate Committee on Navy Isa Hama Misau, and his colleague in the Committee on Air Force, Duro Faseyi.