…Account for $1bn arms fund – Ohaneze
…CSOs, Ezekwesili, Fayose, Okupe kick
By Mike Odiakose
President Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling All progressives Congress,
APC came under heavy attack at the weekend over the killing of over
seventy soldiers by suspected Boko Haram members in Metele, Borno
state last week.
Reacting to the gruesome murder of the soldiers the apex South East
socio-cultural group, Ohaneze Ndigbo challenged President Buhari to
account for the $1 billion (USA) purportedly spent by the government
for war againt Boko Haram.
Ohanaeze made the demand, in a statement issued by its deputy National
publicity secretary, Mazi Chuks Ibegbu, at the weekend.
According to Ohaneze Ndigbo, “These soldiers complain of poor weapons
and lack of proper welfare, so where are the billions the federal
government claim to be spending in the war against corruption, which
of course, politicians and religious and fundamentalists created.”
These dying soldiers are children, brothers, sisters cousins and
friends of people. They must not be allowed to be dying like flies in
the North East.
“And my worry is that we are busy politicking while these young men
and women are sacrificial lambs of a war they hardly know the cause.
And top officers make a lot of money out of this war, while some
politicians and military chiefs would even want the war not to end to
continue fattening their deeply leaking pockets.”
Also reacting to the Melete massacre, a non-governmental organisation,
Advocacy for Advancement of Peace and Harmony in Africa Initiative,
ADAPHAI, took the APC to the cleaners and attributed the poor welfare
and ammunition available to Nigerian troops in the North East to
The group, in a press statement signed by its National Coordinator,
Comrade Sulaimon Suberu, said contrary to what APC preaches as its
stance against corruption, the party by the scenario that currently
played out at the front line, nurtures corruption like a baby.
It maintained that soldiers are now made to “fight with their flesh in
lieu of weapons”.
According to the group, the issue of confronting well armed insurgents
with obsolete weaponry, despite the huge resources allocated to
security in the 2018 budget remained a pointer to the fact that the
ruling APC was either not in control or deceiving Nigerians.
“The massacre of patriotic Nigerian soldiers in Metele, Borno state
not only exposed the bastardized and corrupt Nigerian security
architecture, it also portrayed the APC government as erratic and
“How can you expect Nigerians to trust a government that talks with
the speed of light and act with a speed slower than that of snail, a
government that speaks with two sides of its mouth?
“This is the government that widely announced to Nigerians that Boko
Haram insurgents had been technically defeated, and that they were
being uprooted from their major abode in Sambiza, but unfortunately,
all these claims have been turned out to be a sheer falsehood.
“Instead of experiencing relative peace in the front line states, the
reports coming from the zone is scary and discouraging, a total
opposite of what the Federal Government is dishing out to Nigerians;
this is indeed pathetic.
“It is more disturbing when the bane of success in the fight against
insurgency is endemic corruption on the part of the military authority
under the nose of a government whose acclaimed greatest achievement
has been the war against corruption”, the statement said.
In her own reaction, the presidential candidate of the Allied Congress
Party of Nigeria, ACPN, Oby Ezekwesili, berated President Buhari for
not being an effective Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.
“The president has not been an effective Commander-In-Chief of the
armed forces. He has not been! We cannot have any group whatsoever by
whatever name feel this level of freedom to operate in our territory
without the decisiveness of action that would end these monumental
tragedies that we face all the time,” Mrs Ezekwesili said.
“I don’t know about titles. I know about productive and effective
leadership. You can bear any title you wish but what I am interested
in is, has the president been an effective Commander – In -Chief? I
think if we put this in a public debate, the majority of Nigerians
will say no…”
Also reacting to the killing of the soldiers, immediate past Governor
of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose slammed President Buhari for his slow
reaction to the attack by Boko Haram insurgents.
Fayose in a post on his Twitter page queried the late response of the
president after days of killings.
According to him, “Nigeria and its people must reject a
Commander-in-chief who will wait for four days to express shock over
the brutal killing of over 100 of his soldiers. His time is up!
“If it were to be issues concerning his reelection bid, he will be
aware immediately and deploy necessary agencies of govt, but on the
killing of over 100 of our soldiers by Boko Haram, our President was
not aware until about 7 pm today and they said he was shocked! His time
He, therefore, urged Nigerians to reject Buhari’s re-election bid in 2019.
In his own reaction Doyin Okupe, a former aide to ex-President
Goodluck Jonathan urged President Buhari to stop prophesying over the
killings by Boko Haram and take charge.
The former presidential Spokesman called on Buhari to hit back at the
terrorist group like a ‘General’ not a ‘Pastor’
Okupe in his Twitter page said: “A Commander-in-Chief does nor
prophesy in WAR. He takes charge and repositions troops for
reappraisal attacks. PMB hit Boko Haram like a General, not a Pastor.”
“The electorate needs to answer this: Has your life been better or
worse since 2015 and is it likely to change? If no. vote out PMB in