The Federal Government has said the weapons bought by the former president, Dr. Goddluck Jonathan to fight Boko Haram were substandard and could not have been responsible for the recent successes recorded by the military in the fight against the insurgents.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed described the recent statement made by former Jonathan attributing the recent successes in the war against Boko Haram to the weapons bought during his administration as “unfortunate and unsubstantiated.”
The present government therefore owes Nigerians some sort of explanation because the issues raised by the former president were 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 caliber 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 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.”
The Minister added that Jonathan did not understand how credible and dedicated leadership could impact positively on the morale and performance of troops, that explains why the present administration achieved in six months what his administration could not achieve in six years.
“Because former President Jonathan could not understand how credible and dedicated leadership could impact positively on the morale and performance of troops, he 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.”
He further attributed the purchase of substandard weapons to the corruption behind the arm deal presently being investigated.
”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 theater 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.”
Meanwhile, Nigerians have reacted to the statement by the Information Minister. Below are some of their responses: