Information and Culture Minister, Mr. Lai Mohammed has heaped blames on
former President Goodluck Jonathan, accusing him of purchasing substandard
Military weapons for the fight against Boko Haram.
In a statement issued on Monday by the Senior Assistant to the Minister of
Information and Culture, Segun Adeyemi, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, insisted that
whatever weapons that were procured by the Jonathan Administration for the
military to prosecute the war against terrorism were substandard and could
not have been responsible for the string of successes recorded by the
military in recent times.
He described as unfortunate and unsubstantiated the statement credited to
former President Goodluck Jonathan attributing the recent successes in the
war to the weapons allegedly bought by his Administration that were
delivered after he had left office.
Mohammed said that the present 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, munition 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
”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,” Alhaji Mohammed said.
The Minister maintained that the troops also lacked the much-needed lift
and operational vehicles and other equipment which they needed for an
effective prosecution of the war, until the present Administration
ameliorated the situation.
”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,” the Minister said.
He said apparently 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.
”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,” said Mohammed..