31st July, 2015
Many Nigerian soldiers, most of whom have been condemned to death, have been vindicated by the confession of the immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh, who on Thursday said that he headed a security force that was ill-funded and ill-equipped, a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Moshood Oshun, has said.
Oshun, who represents lagos Mainland Constituency 2 at the House, said with the confession by Badeh, it was now clear that Nigerians had only been living by the grace of God rather than any reliance on the military.
He also called for the probing of how huge funds running into trillions of Naira meant for security, particularly the fight against the Boko Haram sect, was expended over the years.
Badeh, who was pulled out of service on Thursday after 38 years in the military, had listed different reasons why he could not quell the Boko Haram insurgency.
Apart from revealing that there were fifth columnists in the military who leaked military strategies and operations to the sect members, Badeh also accused former governments in the country of adhering to foreign influences and advice to reduce the military strength in number and equipment.
He also said he led a military that lacked relevant equipment and motivation to fight an enemy that was invisible and embedded with the local populace.
“First, I would say Badeh’s confession is a confirmation that many of those who headed various portfolios in the Goodluck Jonathan administration lacked the competence to fit into their various offices.
“There are several questions to ask concerning his attempt to seek public sympathy.
“What will Badeh say about what happened to the huge allocations to the fight against Boko Haram yearly for the five years that Jonathan was President? He complained that military officials lacked requisite training and had low morale to fight insurgents, but is five years not enough to have put things right?
“If he knows that he was heading a military that was so seriously challenged, why did he continue to send soldiers on a suicide mission? For those who complained about poor equipment, why were they sentenced to death for telling the truth?
“Knowing about all these challenges, how did he advise the President he worked with on the best solutions to adopt? Why is he now crying after being forced out of office?” Oshun queried in a statement.
The lawmaker said there was nothing new in most of the things Badeh said because Nigerians had constantly complained about the challenges and expected Badeh and his “co-travellers” to resolve the crisis.
“Instead, they deviated from the calling and helped the previous government to further politicise the miltary and de-focus a military that was hitherto an international pride.
“Today, there are hundreds of soldiers languishing in prison for complaining that they were not properly equipped to fight Boko Haram.
“Remember we have also lost a whole number of fine and resourceful soldiers of different ranks because of incompetence on the part of their superiors including the service chiefs.
“Unfortunately, when security officials stormed the home of Sambo Dasuki, former National Security Adviser to former President Jonathan, some Nigerians and even the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, cried fowl and witch-hunt.
“The current government must investigate how the military attained this sorry state, how funds were utilised in the fight against Boko Haram and immediately review the system to boost morale.
“Above all, thers shoulf be no sacred cow. Anyone found culpable should be made to dance to the music,” Oshun said.