October 15, 2019

847 soldiers killed by Boko Haram ― Ndume

Ndume, army

Mohammed Ndume

By Nwafor Sunday

As the Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Senator Ali Ndume, on Tuesday alleged that a total number of Eight hundred and Forty-Seven (847), soldiers were killed and buried in the Military cemetery in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

Ndume had reported that 840 Nigerian soldiers were killed by Boko Haram terrorists from 2013 till date, noting that other soldiers killed by the same insurgents, and were buried in other military cemeteries are not inclusive.

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His words as reported by TheCable “If he says so, then he should substantiate. What is his source? Let him provide it”.

Meanwhile, Ndume has faulted the N100 billion budgetary allocation to the defence sector.

He said this while briefing newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had on Oct. 8, presented the 2020 Appropriation Bill of N10.33 trillion to a joint session of the national assembly.

Out of the figure, the defence got an allocation of N100 billion.

Ndume, who represents Borno South Senatorial District, said that such an amount was insufficient to tackle insurgency in the country.

He said with the recent visit of the committee members to some parts of Borno, they observed that there was “a recent resurgence of insurgency in the North-east.”

“The summary of it is that we are in a war. When you are in a war situation and you are budgeting N10.33 trillion and you are allocating less than one per cent to defence, that does not show that you are serious about it.

“Defence, not army, is allocated N100 billion. That is less than one per cent.

“I was hoping that it is 10 per cent. So when I did the calculation, it is less than one per cent.

“Following that is the issue of a humanitarian crisis that follows insurgency.

“Right now, we have an increase and surge in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps, where they are moving from unsafe zones to what they think is safe zone and that is putting more pressure on the government,” he said.

According to him, so far, the international community that are not affected, they are just helping us, have so far donated 547 million dollars; that translates into over N140 billion.

“While the Nigerian government that this thing is directly affecting is budgeting N38 billion for the North East Development Commission (NEDC).

“If in the budget of N10 trillion, more than half of it or even if half of it should go to secure the country, it is worth it.

“This is because if we are not secured, all the infrastructure will not work,” Ndume said.