© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Boko Haram: Presidency, Defence silent over Buhari’s termination of military contractors
THE Nigerian Presidency and the Nigerian Defense have refused to make comments on allegations by a military contractor Eeben Barlow who alleged that Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari stopped military contractors in 2015 amidst interests from the United States of America.
Barlow, a South African military contractor and chairman of ‘Specialised Tasks, Training, Equipment and Protection International’ revealed this during an interview with Al Jazeera.
He explained that his private armies had already helped secured towns in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states in northern Nigeria.
During the interview, Barlow said the mission was in three phases, one is to cut a dividing line across North Eastern Nigeria, isolate Boko Haram into two defined areas and then wipe them out one after the other.
“But the then-incoming President, Muhammadu Buhari, was heavily supported by a foreign government, and one of his first mission as President after May 2015, was to terminate their contract,” he added.
When asked to name the foreign government, he said it was the United States of America and they had funded President Buhari’s campaign in 2015.
The ICIR contacted the spokesperson to President Buhari over Barlow’s allegations, he responded that the question should be passed to the Ministry of Defence.
“It’s about the South African Mercenaries, please speak to Defence, they should be of assistance to you,” he replied via a text message.
Efforts were also made to speak to the Defence Headquarters but for 12 hours, The ICIR enquiry was ignored by the officer responsible for providing public information.
Acting Director of Defence Information, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu was contacted at exactly 6:04 pm on Tuesday evening and as at the time of filing this report he is yet to respond.
Meanwhile, the opposition party, People’s Democratic Party also in a press statement challenged the All Progressive Congress to respond to Barlow’s allegations.
“The PDP challenges the APC to respond to reported allegation that its administration terminated the nation’s counter-insurgency operations to satisfy foreign interests, leading to escalated violent attacks and bloodletting in various parts of the country, particularly in the north”, part of the statement read.