The National Security Adviser to the President, Maj.-Gen Babagana Monguno (retd.), has said some funds meant for the purchase of arms to strengthen the country’s anti-terror war got missing under the leadership of the ex-service chiefs.
The ex-service chiefs are Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin (retd.); Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai (retd.); Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas (retd.); and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar (retd.).
The NSA, in an interview with BBC Hausa on Friday, said, “No one knows what happened to the money but by God’s grace, the president will investigate to find out whether the money was spent and where the arms went.”
The NSA also added that the new service chiefs have not seen any of the arms that the funds were supposed to be used to procure.
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had appointed Buratai, Olonisakin, Ibas and Abubakar in July 2015 but the Commander-In-Chief replaced them in January 2021 after a persistent clamour from Nigerians that he introduce fresh blood in the country’s anti-terror war, especially against Boko Haram in Nigeria’s North-East region.
The new service chiefs are Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor; Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Ibrahim Attahiru; Chief of Naval Staff; Vice Admiral A.Z Gambo; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Isiaka Amoo.
The Punch had earlier reported that the NSA said on Thursday at a State House Briefing in Aso Villa, Abuja, that the President has released a lot of funds for the military to purchase firepower and win the insurgency fight.
Monguno had also said that the Buhari-regime was not interested in dialogue with terrorists, bandits and other criminals as negotiation paints the government as weak and incapable.
The NSA, therefore, vowed that the military, headed by the new chiefs has what it takes to crush the enemies of the Nigerian state without the help of mercenaries.