A former British police officer, Vince Onyekwelu, says there is a problem within the leadership and operation of the Nigerian Army.
This, according to him, is a major reason why Boko Haram has remained undefeated.
The ex-British police officer said this on Tuesday during an interview about efforts to end the insurgency on Channels Television’s breakfast programme Sunrise Daily.
“With the current structure we have in the Nigerian Army operations and leadership, I do not see the fight against insurgency ending anytime soonest.
“The lapse within the leadership of the military is a key reason why Boko Haram has remained undefeated.
“The structure, the training, the operation, and then the tough secrecy is enshrined in that people don’t have access to information from the frontlines.
“Let’s just build that kind of resilience that we are here for the long haul. We are not talking about anything ending this year, we are not even talking about anything ending next year,” he said.
Onyekwelu added that Nigerians deserve access to information within the Nigerian Army.
The Nigerian army has repeatedly been accused of rights abuses by some international human rights organisations. Just recently, it was accused by Amnesty International of shielding senior officers who misuse power in the course of prosecuting the Boko Haram war.
The army has consistently denied the allegations and insisted that its personnel in the North-East have been professional in their conduct.
Onyekwelu, however, disagrees with the army and rejected claims it was being targeted unfairly in reports.
He said, “It is not enough for the Nigerian army to continually say there is a plan of attack of calumny against them by the international community.
“It is not good enough for the Nigerian army to be trying to side-step these serious accusations.
“We need to know why there are military officers that are not brought to book, that are not brought to justice to have their day to explain to us what is going on with their abuse of power.
“The bottom line is something is wrong in the leadership, something is wrong in the operation of the Nigerian army, Nigerian lives are being lost, Nigerian soldiers are being killed.”
He further noted that the psychology of the soldiers at the war front remains questionable and urged the authorities to take proactive measures to ensure that Nigeria’s international borders become well-fortified.
The Nigerian Army, however, does not agree with the assertions and allegations about its operations.
Army spokesman, Brigadier General Sani Usman, who was also a guest on the programme, said that the situation in the northeast is calm, though relatively unstable.
“The military is responding adequately to all threats posed by the insurgents within the region.
“Just last week, there was re-strategising and injection of new commanders, so I can rest assure you that the situation is being normalised and becoming stable,” he said.
The army chief also added that all claims regarding officers not being properly taken care of are false. According to him, troops are in good spirit to see the war to a victorious end.