Nigerian Soldiers Fighting Boko Haram Protest Poor Equipment, Unpaid Allowances
The decay within the Nigerian military has again been highlighted after soldiers in Operation Lafiya Dole – unit charged with fighting Boko Haram terrorists, protested their posting to a location in the Theatre of Operation, Channels TV reports.
Nigeria has been fighting Boko Haram Islamist militants since 2009 when the group first asked that Nigeria’s circular constitution be replaced with its extreme version of Sharia law.
According to sources at the Maimalari barracks, the soldiers besieged the headquarters of the Theatre Command in Borno State, shooting sporadically into the air on Thursday night following their deployment.
They cited non-payment of allowances and poor equipment as reasons for their rebellion.
Some of the soldiers who spoke under anonymity recall how a whole unit that went for reinforcement when Marte was captured last month, perished under superior firepower of the enemy forces.
Nigeria’s war against Boko Haram has always been hampered by allegations of corruption and mismanagement. In 2015, former National Security Adviser under the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan was remanded in prison after $2 billion budgeted for arms purchase went missing.
More recently, the current National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, said no less than ₦1 billion that was released for the procurement of arms cannot be accounted for by both the outgoing and incoming service chiefs, he said they are in the dark on the whereabouts of the funds or equipment.
The NSA told BBC Hausa Service in an interview: “No one knows what happened to the money, but by God’s grace, the president will investigate to find out where it went or where the goods went.”