Senate Pile Up Pressure On Buhari To Procure Modern Fighting Equipment For The Military To Root Out BokoHaram Insurgents In The North East As Maina, Former Chairman, PRTT, Who Jumped Bail Faces Extradition From Niger

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By Stephen Ubanna

Between 2014, that former President Goodluck Jonathan of the then ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP,  declared  a state of emergency in  in the north eastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, to root out BokoHaram insurgents, and now, there have been complaints by the military that they lack  modern equipment, training and motivation to fight the insurgents who are using sophisticated weapons and are well motivated.

A military Commander deployed to the north east to fight the insurgents   reportedly said that they  are using  outdated weapons  and equipment  including the failing Shilka procured  during the Administration of Late President Shehu Shagari  in 1983. This may have exposed  the weakness of the Nigerian soldiers  at the battlefront   to attacks by the terrorists, particular,  the Islamic  State West African Province, ISWAP, who were said to be using  sophisticated weapons.

The Nigerian soldiers , who may have justified why they  have not been  able to defeat the insurgents claimed that  that the artillery mounted  on fighting vehicles  were refurbished and deployed for operation which could not stand  the modern  weapons used  by the Abubakar Shekau’s boys as they were times they packed up  during operations.

 Given that the complaints had been a recurring decimal over the years, the Ahmad Lawan,  led Senate , appears  determined to solve the problem once and fall  by giving Tukur Buratai, a Lt. General and Chief of Army Staff and his boys the type of modern weapons they need to prosecute the fight against BokoHaram.

Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai: CAS,

As a prelude to  doing so,  the Lawan led Senate,  on Tuesday, December 1st, 2020,  called on President Muhammadu Buhari , of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, who rode to power in 2015, on a three-pronged promise of fighting Corruption, revamping the economy and routing BokoHaram insurgents in the north east, toprocure ‘’state- of the- art  weapons and equipment  for the military  to effectively combat  the insurgents.

The Value News learnt this formed part of  the resolutions  reached  after   thorough deliberation  on national security , as it relates to the security challenges in the north east of Borno, where there had been conflicting report of the number of rice farmers killed in Marrabati and Hammayya , both rice producing Communities in Jere local government area of the state.

John Enenche, a Major General and Army Public Relations officer said they had counted 43  bodies as victim of the insurgents attack on the two rice Comunities,  Ahmed Satomi, a member of the Fedral House of Reprsentatives from Kwasheba  community,  representing  Jere Federal Constituency  claimed that 60  rices were murdered by the insurgents while Kashim Shettima, a former  governor of the state and a Senator, Federal Republic of Nigeria, representing Borno Central,  said he has in good accounts that 67 people were killed. The BokoHaram killer squad, who were said to have released a video about the  killing of the rice farmers said 78 of them lost their live. Edward Kallon, United Nations, UN, Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, would not agree with the Borno Federal Lawmakers or the insurgents of the number of deaths in Marrabati or Hammayya villages as a result of the unexpected attack as he revealed  based on their own findings that over 100 rice farmers were killed and several women kidnapped.

Even before the Halloed Chambers Lawmakers took the resolution to ask the Katsina state born Nigerian President last Tuesday, to make provision for modern equipment  for the military in order to prosecute the BokoHaram war in the north east,  the Femi Gbajabiamila, led House of Representatives,  had invited  him   ‘’to brief the Hose  on  the true state  of the security situation of the country’’.

As at press time, the Nigerian President, has not honored the invitation, fueling speculations that the National Assembly and the Buhari led Executive arm of government may be heading  for  friction  as was the case when Bukola Saraki, a former governor of Kwara state was the Senate President during his first term in office. The Lawan , led Senate, may have sent a  signal to the President  that they  are no longer ready to dance to  his tunes  in the name of party solidarity,  as the Lawmakers, who are tired of excuses from the Presidency for still keeping the Service Chiefs in office  had asked him  to replace  them  with officers  with fresh ideas and solutions on how tackle the country’s insecurity.

The Lawmakers who are pissed up with the Service Chiefs non-performance, over the last six years,  were said to have also Buhari, who may have softened up and ready to relieve  the Service Chiefs of their position,  ‘’to restructure  and remodel  the country’s entire security architecture  and investigate allegations of Corruption  and  leakages  within the security architecture’’.

They were said to have also recommended  the recruitment  of the 10,000 civilian Joint Task Force, JTF, to complement the efforts  of the armed forces  and explore  bilateral and multilateral  partnership  with the neighbouring  West African countries of Niger Tchad and the Central African country of Cameroon.

He may  find it difficult to give the order  for the 10, 000 JTF, from the north east to be absorbed into the Army as it may  not tell good of his Administration. If there is need to engage more people into the military, it must be thrown  open to all Nigerian Youths, with no special treatment for any region.

The Nigerian President  may have known that he has to redeem his promise of  wiping out insurgency in Borno state and other parts of the north east  as he has given a matching order to the Service  Chiefs , who Nigerians,,particular, the eldes of Borno state, had lost faith in , to take the counter –terrorist war to the  insurgents camp , not on a on-off  attack but on a continuous basis, until they are defeated. He has also given his words to make more budgetary allocations to the military in order to procure the modern equipment required to match the sophisticated weapons used by ISWAP, particular

. He had also intensified bilateral and multi-lateral Cooperation with neighbouring Niger, Tchad and the Central African country of Cameroon, to prepare the mind of their  Presidents  never  allow the insurgents use their countries as base to carry out their attacks in Nigeria, as they chased out from the country in the renewed onslaught against them. The Nigerian President appears to have won the heart of Mohammadou Issofou, President of Niger and ougoing Chairman of the Authority of Heads of States and Government of the Economic Community of West African states to work with him  to root out the insurgents.

Recall  that the two West African countries had signed a working security agreement.  This appear to be working out as  Abdullahi Maina, former  of the Pension  Reform Task Team, PRTT,  who had been standing trial  over alleged Corruption and money Laundry  but was granted bail at the instance of Ali Ndume, a Senator of Federal Republic of Nigeria, who had signed  aN500 million  bail bond on May 5, 2020, as part of conditions for standing surety for Maina.

Adamu: IGP, Facilitated The Aresst Of Maina, Who Jumped Bail In,Niamy, Niger republic

He was said to have jumped bail, forcing the Abuja High Court to declare him wanted  on November 27, 2020, as Ndume, could not produce him in  Court. This may have speed up the man hunt for him both within and outside the country. The search to locate his hide out may have yielded result as he was arrested  on Monday, November 30, 2020,  in his hide out in Niamy, Capital of Niger Republic  , by the country security operatives, who had been working closely with  the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, and INTERPOL NCB, Abuja.

At press time , he is cooling his head in a detention facility  in Niger, awaiting the completion  of the extradition processes  to Nigeria to enable him  face trial  in pending Criminal proceedings  against him .  That much was confirmed by Frank Mbah, a Deputy Commissioner of Police and Force Spokesperson. Note that he has been standing trial over alleged Corruption and, money laundry and  theft of about N2 billion pension fund.

 Many believe that the arrest of the former Chairman, PRTT,  would give a breather to the Borno state born Senator, who had been a loss about how to locate  his whereabouts, was on Monday,  ordered to be reminded in  Kuje prison , following the refusal of Mina  to appear for his trial..

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