A security expert and retired Army Colonel, Chinedu Ohunda has alleged that the military hierarchy are benefiting from the Boko Haram insurgency, adding that there was a plot by the federal government for the 2019 general elections not to hold because of their failure to perform in all areas.
Ohunda stated this during a live Radio programme while reacting to the latest Global Terrorism Index (GTI) which ranked Nigeria as third most terrorized nation worldwide, monitored by the Tide in Port Harcourt.
He questioned the federal government’s claim of releasing one billion dollars to fight insurgency in the North East, saying, “Our bases are being routed, overrun by this same insurgents and you say you have released one billion dollars.
“Where is the money? This is translated to N365 billion which means one billion naira is being spent on a daily basis. And you are telling me to keep quiet. I will not keep quiet at my age and level, at my status, I will not keep quiet.
“When I speak I try make Nigerians know what is really happening because the government, the military are economical with the true. They do not want to tell people what is happening because they are using the Boko Haram war as a monetary venture running into billions of dollars.
“It has been alleged by the United Nations, by Sahara Reports, by Amnesty International that the government is paying huge sums of money to Boko Haram to release the so called Chibok girls, to release the Dapchi girls and so on.
“It is an allegation by some of these international organizations. If they are paying money why will they not tell Nigerians that they are paying money? Anytime they pay money that is when this people (Boko Haram) will restructure, come back with new equipment, come back with fully loaded with equipment and so to rout our troops.
“So why are they lying to Nigerians. Whatever they are saying, are they truthful with what they telling Nigerians? These things happen both in Liberia and Seraleone and Bakkasi where I fought wars,” he said.
The security expert however said if they are applying dialogue, that option should be exhausted, saying, “Not all wars are won by the barrel of the gun. So whatever the case is let Nigerians know what is happening.
“Look at the Srilanka case, look at the Afghanistan case, when a government tells you they have won, they have defeated the insurgents, you have defeated the terrorists and at the end of the day you are not arming your men which you have translate one billion dollars to purchase weapons, missiles and equipment and nothing is happening.
Asked how the insurgency connects with next years’ general election, he said, “Let me tell you something. It is plot by the present government not to hold elections because in the coming days and so many areas in Adamawa, Yobe and Borno may not have the chance of carrying out elections and that is just the truth,” Ohunda alleged.
He further said there were other problems “that are accruing that will make this election not to hold because they have made a clandestine plan not to hold an election because they have failed in all ramifications.
“But let us watch out for how the insurgency will rise or slow down because the men on the ground are under strength, they (the troops) do not have equipment, their equipment are obsolete,” he stated, noting that the troops must be properly equipped to contain the dreaded sect members and boost the morale of the soldiers.
“It is not a conventional warfare. Let them (the federal government) purchase the right equipment. Invest in intelligence. Let them also make sure that the moral of the troops are raised. They should pay them their allowances as at when due. Because their morale is so dampened. It is so low that they cannot not fight any war.
“The army should be proactive, not being reactive. They should carry the war to Boko Haram. It is not just sitting down and wait for Boko Haram to attack you. Most times the cooperation between the Army and the Air Force is not been coordinated. There must be synergy,” he said.
The security expert further said that calls by stakeholders to change the security chiefs have met deaf ears, adding that there was a lack of cooperation between the Army and the Air Force, making it difficult to tackle the sect.
According to him, “Then there has been calls by international organizations, by stakeholders in Nigeria to change those in power. That is essentially those at the higher ranking in the military. Because there is no synergy, no cooperation, no collaboration between the army and the air force, the army and the Navy to see how they can forestall the situation,” he said.
Ohunda however expressed happiness that Federal Government has directed both service chiefs to go to Borno together. “That is the chief of army staff and the chief of air staff. There is a deliberate plan not to support each other,” Ohunda alleges.
By: Dennis Naku
APC, PDP Bandy Words Over Buhari’s Fresh Loan Request
The ruling All Progressives Party (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have argued over President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for approval to borrow $4 billion and €710 million to fund the deficit in the 2021 budget.
Recall that the president made the request in a letter he addressed to the National Assembly on Tuesday.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in reaction to the development, cautioned the NASS against approving the request, saying it could set the country’s debt profile skyrocketing without a feasible repayment plan.
With the approval to borrow $8.3 billion and €490 million loans by its legislative body barely two months ago, Nigeria’s debt profile risks reaching over N40 trillion.
“More alarming is that the debts that APC is hanging on Nigerians are for nebulous projects whose scopes, utilities, locations and contractors are largely vague; a development that validates apprehensions of a huge swindle on our nation at the expense of innocent Nigerians, including generation yet unborn.
“Our party holds it as an act of wickedness that individuals who know that they will be leaving office in less than two years will be accumulating debts instead of seeking ways to reduce the liability they have brought upon our nation.
“The APC knows it will not be around after May 29, 2023. That is why it is pushing our nation into a deeper economic quagmire with foreign loans, which are largely diverted to the personal pockets of their corrupt leaders,” the opposition PDP said in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Tuesday.
But responding to the PDP’s criticism, the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Wednesday, said the loans are for “the good of the country” and well-being of the citizenry.
The ruling party also accused the opposition party of looting foreign loans obtained during its 16 years rule rather than spending on infrastructure and economic growth as, according to it, Mr Buhari-led government is doing.
“It was in PDP’s era that loans to fund power generation, purchase arms and ammunition to fight a raging insurgency were misappropriated and diverted to fund PDP activities; and the borrowed money ultimately found its way to the pockets of cronies, friends and family members of administration officials. Nigeria is still servicing a $460 million loan taken from China to fund a phoney Abuja Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) contract awarded in August 2010.
“Nigerians should also reflect and recall that the PDP had in its 16 years of misrule pushed the country into a dark ditch of insolvency, and a period in which most state governments could not pay workers salaries, not even the minimum wage, or settle contractors’ bills and cater for patients in hospitals, to name a few,” the APC interim National Secretary, John Akpanudoedehe, said.
A’Ibom Gov Signs Anti-Open Grazing Law
Akwa lbom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, has signed into law a bill to prohibit open rearing and grazing of livestock and provide for the establishment of ranches in the state.
The Speaker, Aniekan Bassey, with the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Uko Udom (SAN), presented the bill for signing on Wednesday at the State Executive Chambers, in the Governor’s Office, Uyo.
The governor, after signing the bill into law, stated that the new law was no respecter of persons irrespective of status or calibre.
He instructed relevant authorities of government to ensure that the law was implemented and enforced to the letter with strict compliance, stressing that, culprits must be brought to book accordingly.
The new law will promote modern techniques in animal husbandry, prevent the destruction of farms by wandering cattle while reducing clashes and killings between herders and farmers in the state.
It will also promote international best practices in livestock administration, regulation and control in the state, among other things.
The state Assembly passed the bill on Tuesday, and the Speaker, Aniekan Bassey, directed the Clerk of the House, Mrs Mandu Umoren, to communicate the decision of the House to the Governor for his assent.
Also at the Executive Chambers, the Speaker who was accompanied by the Leader of the House, Udo Kierian Akpan, and the Clerk of the Assembly, Mrs Mandu Umoren, to the signing ceremony witnessed the inauguration of two C\committees by the Governor.
The committees are the Akwa Ibom State Gender Based Violence Management Committee, chaired by the First Lady, Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel, and Akwa Ibom State Road Safety Management Committee, chaired by the Deputy Governor, Mr. Moses Ekpo.
NASS S’East Caucus Moves To Reconstruct Federal System
Members of the South East Caucus of the National Assembly have resolved to join hands with other patriotic Nigerians across regional, religious, political, and ethnic divides to reconstruct a federal system where the rights, happiness, and prosperity and those of unborn generations are guaranteed.
Making their feelings known in a communique issued at the end of an extraordinary meeting held at the Apo Legislative Quarters, Abuja last Wednesday, the law makers said the topic of the meeting centered on review of developments in the South East, particularly the security situation in the region vis-à-vis the sit-at-home orders by members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB) and the detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
“We expressed solidarity with our people of the South East over the marginalisation of the region in the scheme of things within the Nigerian commonwealth. The Caucus feels the pains of our people and their quest for equity, justice, and protection of their lives and property in every part of the country. The Caucus, therefore, resolved to continue to fight for a level-playing ground and an enabling federal system where Ndigbo are able to develop their homeland at their own pace and equally pursue their happiness and actaulise their enormous potentials in every part of the country, unmolested.
Reviewing the sit-at-home orders by the IPOB and the mayhem some nefarious elements have seized the opportunity to visit on the lives, properties, and psyche of the people, the Caucus equally reviewed and rued the incalculable economic losses and hardships these have brought upon the region.
They, however, condemned in strongest terms the disruption of the ongoing Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination in some parts of the South East, particularly the incident at Comprehensive Secondary School, Nkume, Njaba Local Government Area of Imo State, where the English examination organised by the West Africa Examination Council, WAEC, on Monday, September 13, 2021, was ruthlessly scuttled by armed men, who chased away the students, teachers, and examiners before setting ablaze motorcycles belonging to the teachers.
“This is certainly not who we are as a people. On the contrary, we are a people, who have always cherished and encouraged learning from the ages. We are a people that fully appreciate the place of education in the liberation and enlightenment of the human mind and the socio-economic and political emancipation of a people”.
The South East legislators equally condemned in strongest terms the incessant killings in the South East, adding “This must stop immediately. We call on the security agencies to unravel the culprits behind these wicked acts and ensure that they are brought to book to serve as a deterrent to others.
“ Noted with delight that IPOB has called off the Monday sit-at-home order and resolved to ensure that nobody uses them as façades to bring ruination on Igbo land.
“ Call on our people to go about their lawful businesses and enjoin our governors and the security agencies to rebuild confidence in our people by not only ensuring the security of their lives and properties, but also ensuring that our people feel safe as they undertake their legitimate businesses.
”Elaborately discussed the issue of Mazi Nnamdi and resolved to intervene. To this end we resolved to set up a committee to constructively interface with relevant stakeholders, the Federal Government and its relevant agencies towards finding a political solution. We will keep Ndigbo abreast of developments in regard.
“Appeal to our people not to allow anyone to destroy the South East region. The post-war South East was not built through government patronage, but largely by the sheer determination and sacrifices of our people, who refused to resign to fate or bow their heads in defeat.
“It is in Igbo land that you easily find hospitals, schools, roads, and other social amenities built by individual or communal efforts of the people, home and abroad, through the instruments of the town unions and other community organisations such as the age grades, Umuada, etc.
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