Nigerians have often wondered why, just when it seems our gallant military forces are about to snuff out the Boko Haram insurgents, they make daring resurgences.
One of such bloody comebacks was the sacking of Dalori town on the outskirts of Maiduguri, Borno State on Sunday, January 31, 2016. Dalori, which is one of the areas often referred to as “liberated and safe”, witnessed a dusk invasion by the terrorists, who killed nearly one hundred people and razed the community, to the groud Other targets within Maiduguri and parts of Adamawa State were similarly hit within the same period.
In spite of the recent claims and counter-claims by former President Goodluck Jonathan and the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, of providing the equipment for the recent successes against the terrorists, the military high command has told the Senate that they are still poorly equipped to contain Boko Haram.
This is contrary to the recent claim by the Minister, who, after accusing the “past administration” of buying substandard weapons and expired ammunitions, said that the Buhari regime has provided the required equipment.
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, had invited the Military Chiefs led by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Lt General Abayomi Olonishakin, for a parley after the Dalori massacre. The CDS also disclosed that the 29 billion Naira, which the National Assembly hurriedly approved as supplementary budget in November last year for military equipment has not been released.
We are surprised and disappointed that, almost nine months into the life of the Buhari regime, the issues of poor equipment and delay in the release of funds for the military still subsist. Coming from an administration that had promised during the campaigns to eliminate Boko Haram within three months, we are surprised that the insurgents are still able to invade communities.
It would seem that little lesson has been learned from the initial shoddy handling of the war on terror by the Jonathan administration, which enabled Boko Haram to grow from a ragtag band of anarchists to one of the world’s deadliest terror groups.
It is surprising that the Federal Government has continued to allow the war on terror to remain an issue for political brickbats between it and the expired Jonathan administration. We condemn this, and call for immediate release of approved funds and procurement of appropriate weapons for the early defeat of Boko Haram.
We commend the Senate for wading into the matter, which exposed the seeming laxity on the part of the Executive, thus justifying the principle of checks and balances in our democracy.