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he Federal Government says the weapons, arms and ammunition purchased by the administration of former president, Goodluck Jonathan, to fight the war against Boko Haram insurgency, were substandard and expired.
The government maintains that the weapons procured by the Jonathan administration couldn’t have been responsible for the string of successes recorded by the military in the past few months.
Jonathan had in a recent interview with French television station, France 24, stated that the Nigeria armed forces were prosecuting the Boko Haram war with the weapons acquired by his administration.
However, in a statement issued in Abeokuta on Monday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, described the assertion of Jonathan, as unfortunate.
Mohammed said that former President Jonathan has chosen to ‘denigrate the system for the unprecedented feat that was achieved within the first six months of the Buhari Administration – something that he could not achieve in all of six years’.
The minister said the Buhari-led administration owes it a duty to put the record straight, ‘especially because the issues raised by the former President are of public interest and borders on national security’.
“The weapons, munitions and equipment which the former President said he bought were refurbished and lacked the basic components and spare parts. Additionally, the ammunition bought for both high calibre and small weapons have mostly expired, incompatible with weapons and grossly inadequate.”
“It is pertinent to state that the ammunition he was referring to were back loaded because they explode within the barrel when fired, thus leading to deaths and injuries among soldiers.”
“The situation was so pathetic that soldiers were often transported in Civilian JTF vehicles, civilian vehicles, trailers and water tankers when going to the theatres of operation. The revelations on the sorry state of things in the past, which have emanated from the investigative panel so far, point clearly to the kind of legacy bequeathed to this administration by the past government.”
“That explains why troops remained largely static and were unable to effectively deploy to completely rout the Boko Haram terrorists in all their known enclaves. The high level of casualties sustained by our gallant soldiers was most unprecedented and cannot be compared to any known military operations in recent times, all because of the terrible state of affairs suffered by the military under the Jonathan Administration.”
“It is also clear, as has been shown so far by the outcome of the panel probing past arms deals, that the purchase of substandard weapons apparently resulted from the massive corruption that enveloped the deals, the kind of horrifying graft that saw the purchase of refurbished choppers that lacked rotors, or fighter jets that could not be deployed to the theatre of war because they were not up to par.”
“The needless loss of lives of many of our gallant troops, resulting from the lack of standard weaponry and low morale in the past, is not a matter to be trivialized under any circumstance.”