FG Slams Jonathan For Buying Substandard Weapons For Military

Jonathan and troops

The federal government has accused the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan of procuring substandard weapons for the military to fight Boko Haram insurgents.

The government was reacting to statements credited to Jonathan that the weapons being used by the military in successfully routing the insurgents in recent times were bought while he was president.

In a statement issued Monday by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, the government said that the substandard weapons bought during the Jonathan era could not be responsible for the string of successes recorded lately by the military in the fight against terrorists in the North east.

Mohammed described the former president’s statement as unfortunate and unsubstantiated, adding that the weapons bought during the last administration were largely refurbished

”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,” he stated.

”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,” he further said.

The minister observed that apart from substandard weapons, the military also lacked operational vehicles and other equipment needed to fight the insurgents until President Muhammadu Buhari came into power and redressed 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,” Mohammed stated.

    ”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.”

    Further expressing disappointment at Jonathan’s comments, Mohammed said that killing of Nigerian soldiers arising from their use of substandard equipment and low morale “is not a matter to be trivialized under any circumstance”, adding that it has taken credible and dedicated leadership shown by the new administration to turn things around.

    ”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 minister said.

     

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