Security Expert, Capt. Umar Aliyu has said that the $9.3m that was supposed to be used to purchase equipment and infrastructure for the Nigerian Soldiers cannot purchase any weapon asides “cutlasses”.
He said the fact that the money was impounded in South Africa created the “suspicion that its for money laundering than the purpose of purchasing weapons because they are very expensive”.
Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s Saturday Sunrise, Capt. Aliyu stated that one armored personnel carrier was more than the amount that was seized and could not that the amount could only buy the AK 47 which was already in used.
Giving a background, Capt. Aliyu explained that since 2009, about 11 billion Naira had been used in arms purchase. “That has gotten us no effect yet. Convert $9.3m to Naira which is less than two billion Naira, what exactly do u want to do with two billion that 11 billion did not do.
He insisted that the money is not enough to purchase arms.
A Security Expert, Dare Ogunlana, said that $9.3 that was impounded in South Africa did not have any document backing it. He said that it was only the second $5.7b that had document backing the purchase of equipment.
The security expert, also insisted that the money use for the procurement of these arms aren’t enough.
A security expert, Mr Ladi Thompson, on Saturday urged Nigerians to always remain alert, security conscious and report any strange movements or items to the nearest security agency.
Speaking during Channels Television’s weekend breakfast show, Sunrise, Mr Thompson noted that the bomb blast in Abuja shouldn’t have come to any Nigerian as a surprise.
He said “if anybody was surprised by the bombing in Abuja, it would mean that that person has refused to face the reality of what we have on ground in Nigeria.”
He argued that security operatives were using an inferior tactic in solving the insurgency and bringing the culprits to book. “I would have preferred the Federal Government to diagnose the problem properly and also brace up the nation for the reality on ground, instead of empty promises that cannot be backed up”, he said.
Also speaking on the programme, a public affairs analyst, Mr Dare Ogunlana, noted that there were different approaches to fighting terrorism but noted that using brute and military forces has never solved an insurgency.
He went memory lane to mention the case of Hamas-Hezbollah in Lebanon, stating that “there is no way you can deter them; the only thing you can do is to deter their supporters.”
He berated the inability of the security apparatchik to arrest those behind the insurgency, maintaining that the Boko Haram members have succeeded in confusing Nigerians to engage in the blame game instead of dealing with the insurgency head on.
Mr Bala Zakka also joined the discussion. He noted that the Boko Haram group were out to carry out a vision to “render the country lawless and the government powerless and irrelevant” and have decided “to apply all kind of forces to dislodge any form of human and material on their way to achieve that.”
He warned that though “the foot soldiers (insurgents) have been indoctrinated using the weapon of propaganda and radicalism, the masterminds are sound, educated and probably very strong people in terms of finances and intelligence.” He also warned that negotiation should not be used as a form of bringing the insurgency to an end.
The explosion that occurred on Wednesday, June 25 at a shopping mall, Emab Plaza, Aminu Kano Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja was the third deadly explosion in the Federal Capital Territory, in two months. The explosion killed no fewer than 21 persons and injured 17 others.
Eyewitnesses said that the bomb was placed in front of a taxi at a point where taxis drop passengers going into the plaza. Those affected were, taxi drivers, fruit sellers and passers-by.
The security operatives, however, have arrested two suspects for the blast and they have been taken for interrogation.
The Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, said the Abuja bomb blast occurred simultaneously with another bomb explosion in Mubi, Adamawa State, adding that the insurgents’ attempt to intensify the spate of bombings and killings in parts of the country was calculated to distract and intimidate the President and his government as the 2015 elections draws nearer.
Also in Kaduna, not fewer than 123 people were killed by Fulani gunmen in the continued onslaught on some villages in Sanga Local Government Area, on Wednesday, June the 25. While on Monday, June 23, 38 persons were killed in night raids on two villages, with several persons injured.
Security experts, Ona Ekhomu, Dare Ogunlana and Captain Umar Aliyu (Rtd), on Saturday discussed the issues surrounding terrorism in Nigeria, examining the agitations concerning the capability of the Nigerian military to rescue 234 abducted schoolgirls, combat and overcome the Boko Haram insurgency, the suspicions over foreign aid provided by America and other countries and alleged corruption in the Army.
Mr Ona Ekhomu, who commended the on-going search and high level investigation, said the Army should be assessed based on progress made since the foreign experts arrived, noting that there was no progress made before then.
“The security problem is the unknown location of the girls. You have to find them first making rescue a secondary activity,” he said, adding that technical help from foreign assistance will help locate the before the soldiers are sent in for the rescue.
On suspicions that the foreign assistance given by the international community, especially America was an excuse to take over the country’s military apparatus, Ekhomu said the Americans are not to take control of the security apparatus and the Nigerian military is in the driver’s seat.
He stressed that the foreign experts were offering technical help which Nigeria lacked.
On his part, Dare Ogunlana, said “we have everything, that capability of stopping the insurgency and conducting the search” for the missing girls but regarded it as unwise to reject the offer of the international community.
He insisted that the nation had failed, for so long a time, to put the right peg in the right hole, question the Army on how it spends the security vote and deal with alleged corruption within the Army.
He however maintained that the various issues concerning the Army would not affect the search but added that some level of dialogue with the insurgents would be needed for the rescue mission to succeed.
“If we want to get these girls alive, it is important also to use diplomacy,” he said.
He called on President Goodluck Jonathan to be mature in tackling the issue of terrorism. “As a Commander In Chief, you have to be able to motivate your men”.
Meanwhile, Captain Umar Aliyu (Rtd), commented on the shooting of a General Officer Commanding by his subordinates, disclosing that the incident did happen.
According to him, there were internal battles in the Army that the Americans cannot fight, an example of which is the act of mutiny by the soldiers.
Contrary to Ekhomu’s belief that shooting was an emotional outburst from the soldiers and was not as a result of corruption and ill-treatment in the military, Aliyu said the foot soldiers, who are at the end of the event chain, made a statement by shooting at their commander.
“The soldiers may be tried for mutiny but the commander has questions to answer,” he stated, noting that the soldiers were being shortchanged and their welfare not taken care of adequately.
“Those boys need to have better toys to fight with but they don’t.” he said, maintaining that the government may keep running away from the issues, but there are a lot of things that need to be in order at the Defence Ministry level.
On the attacks by villagers against Boko Haram members, Aliyu said it was evidence of citizens losing trust in the government and warned that such a trend has its downside.
A Security Expert, Dare Ogunlana has said that Nigerians are losing confidence in the soldiers carrying out the rescue mission on the 200 girls that were abducted from Girls Secondary School, Chibok.
Mr. Ogunlana stated that there is communication gap between the Soldiers and the government, comparing Nigeria to other advanced countries, especially the recent missing Malaysian Airline; he said the president of the country has been giving day to day update of the rescue efforts. “We need someone to give us hope, because what Boko Haram wanted was to make Nigerians lose confidence in the soldiers”.
Speaking on Channels Television’s Saturday breakfast programme, Sunrise, Mr. Ogunlana noted that it is lack of confidence that is making the mothers of the girls insist on going to the forest to look for their daughters. “This tells us that they are fast losing confidence and trust in soldiers, Army, Police and other security operatives”.
He also sympathized with President Goodluck Jonathan on the tension and pressure he is facing in order to bring the abducted girls back and therefore urged Nigerians to help in any information that will be useful.
For a 52 year old man who survived a plane crash, was hospitalized for 10 months, arrived in Nigeria following a 17 hour flight, Danbaba Suntai of Taraba state is fit to assume his duties as governor, according to the former Commissioner for Information, Emmanuel Bello.
“How fit do you want him to be? As strong as Mike Tyson? As fast as Usain Bolt? Mr Bello asked, adding that no amount of evidence will please those desperate to be in power.
He said this during an interview on Sunrise, adding that the governor had been deemed unfit to continue as the leader by certain individuals as a result of their desperation for power and not out of concern for his health.
For those comparing Suntai to late President Musa Yar’adua, Bello explains that an accident is different from a terminal sickness. “Danbaba gets stronger by the day,” he said.
The former commissioner who was sacked upon the governors arrival, after months of assuring the people of his return, said he felt vindicated by the turn out of citizens of the state, who were dancing on the streets in celebration for Suntai’s return.
He said the crowd which welcomed the governor and the people of Taraba who were out on the streets, dancing, gave him the vindication he wanted since he had been the one assuring the citizens of the governor’s return.
He denied allegations that the crowd was paid to welcome the state’s leader, adding that, you couldn’t have paid that kind of crowd to come out.
“No one stayed in their house that Sunday. Everybody was out in the sun and they were dancing on the street”. He said.
He said he felt vindicated and happy until the governor fired him alongside the entire cabinet.
Attributing the crisis in the state to a tussle for power by certain individuals, Mr Bello stated that “the inside problem is the issue of power. The fact that there are desperate people” ready to work against the evidence they are given.
However, contrary to Mr Bello’s solid stance in favour of the governor, the Deputy Editor (Politics) of Daily Independent newspaper, Mr Habib Haruna disclosed that a report by a Nigerian journalist on vacation in America stated that the governor is “not too well”.
He added that the video of Suntai addressing the state does not convince him, as well as many others, that the governor is of sound health.
Reacting to the brouhaha, a public affairs analyst, Dare Ogunlana said “in the last 16 years, power industry has been one of the most lucrative industries” and “people will do everything possible to protect survival”.
He stated that “politicians are serial liars” and are ready to throw “their integrity, their morality into the dustbin for the sake of survival”.
Mr. Dare Ogunlana, a security expert has said that the various insurgencies in northern Nigeria and Niger Delta have awakened the government to see the error of their ways; describing the Boko Haram and MEND groups as a ‘blessing.’
Speaking on Sunrise, he said that President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to handle the situation of the Boko Haram insurgents differently because the country is now in the democratic dispensation.
However, he also blamed politicians who “wanted to seize power” for the making illegal weapons available to thugs; a problem for which Nigerians are now paying the price.
He described terrorism as a generational struggle stating that it will continue to exist as long as there is injustice, corruption and bad governance.
“I made a statement recently that even Boko Haram, MEND is a blessing. If not for the fact that we have Boko Haram and MEND, our government will not know that what they are doing (the stealing and everything underdevelopment), they will not know” they have to do it right. Mr. Ogunlana said.
He also said that “because of Boko Haram, you can see a lot of almajiri schools… a lot of things are going on” in the North.
He added that “because of MEND and Boko Haram, we have been able to identify that we don’t even have Police.”