Contrary to assertions by Air Chief Marshall Alex Badeh, the former Chief of Defence Staff, the immediate past National Security Adviser Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) on Thursday affirmed that the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan acquired sophisticated weapons which helped the Nigerian Armed Forces recovered many local governments that had been occupied by Boko Haram terrorists, especially in the past one year.
Badeh had during the pull out ceremony organized for him last week asserted that the reasons why the armed forces was able to defeat Boko Haram, the insurgent group whose terrorist activities in the Northeast part of the country have led to death of over 50,000 Nigerians by some accounts was because the soldiers lacked the relevant equipment and motivation to fight the terrorists.
The former Chief of Defence Staff who was sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari on 13, July also pointed out that refusal of some countries to sell weapons necessary to prosecute the war against Boko Haram worsened the problem for the military.
But Sambo has allegedly been under investigations over the management of funds budgeted for purchase of armaments during the immediate past administration of President Jonathan which Badeh also served contradicted the former CDS in an interview he granted PRNigeria, a website which the military regularly uses to publicize its activities.
Sambo who was sacked the same day as Badeh was quoted on the website as listing some of the sophisticated equipment bought for the military in the last one year of Jonathan’s administration to include Alpha jets, APCs, MRAP vehicles, advanced artillery pieces, assorted arms and ammunitions, highly sophisticated surveillance drones, T72 while the country also carried out modification of F7 supersonic jet fighters to fit the purpose of the fight against Boko Haram insurgents.
“The armored tanks have comprehensive NBC protection 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 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 of the equipment and sabotage our efforts to acquire same from other sources which are reasons for some delay in delivery,” PR Nigeria quoted Sambo as saying.
The website also quoted the former NSA as saying that some other arms already paid for by the previous administration are due to be delivered soon. “It was unfortunate that some elements are frustrating the efforts as we even had to query some suppliers for delay in delivery of arms and ammunitions,”
Sambo also to PRNigeria that some of the equipment acquired were used to recover more than 22 local governments under Boko Haram terrorists and ensured that Shekau did not disrupt the 2015 election as he had threatened.
“Not only did we ensure that the elections were peaceful, Shekau has never spoken to threaten anyone again since then,” said the former NSA.
“In attempt to rubbish individuals for whatever reasons, political or otherwise, we should be careful not to rubbish sensitive institutions and their personnel that might still be in active the service.
“It is unfortunate that some elements hide under the cover of anonymity in the media to rubbish some of the sacrifices we made. They should the take the courage to come out publicly by identifying themselves with their baseless allegations, ” Sambo said in obvious reactions to allegations of mismanagement of billions of naira budgeted for the purchase of weapons when he was in office.