Boko Haram: Nigeria soldiers release video, lament obsolete weapons, accuse commanders of corruption

By Editor on 24/11/2018

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Buratai, Chief of Army Staff
Buratai, Chief of Army Staff

Some soldiers in the Nigerian Army deployed for the anti-Boko Haram operations have allegedly accused top commanders of leading them to ‘Boko Haram slaughter’ armed with obsolete weapons while diverting the funds meant to procure better arms.

According to Premium Times, the soldiers made these allegations in a hazy video, taken from a camera phone, on Friday, November 23.

The newspaper reports that an army officer in Borno alleged that many of the soldiers in the reported video were killed in the latest Boko Haram attack on Metele.

The allegation has not, however, been verified. In the reported video seen by Premium Times, the soldiers claimed their top commanders are using the Boko Haram war as an enterprise to enrich themselves at the expense of their lives. According to inside military sources cited by the newspaper, the video was made shortly after troops prosecuting the Boko Haram war in the northern part of Borno state suffered a devastating attack at their location in Metele village on Monday, October 8.

The military reportedly admitted the attack then but downplayed the tragedy saying the situation had been contained and terrorists pushed back. On Sunday, November 18, the Boko Haram terrorists launched a deadly attack on the same location, leaving scores of soldiers dead and many still reportedly missing.

The Nigerian Army on Friday, November 23, five days after the attack, released a statement admitting the latest attack but kept silent on the official casualty figure. The Army is, however, yet to speak on the video released by the soldiers and its spokesperson could not be reached at the time of this report, the newspaper states.

Meanwhile, the Defence Headquarters reportedly announced last week that it had taken new delivery of military equipment, boasting of a tough time ahead for insurgents. However, the video allegedly released by the aggrieved soldiers showed them displaying most of their war vehicles which they claimed were not only obsolete but unserviceable.

 

The soldiers said despite huge resources released by the government for the purpose of buying modern armament for the troops, the Nigeria military only supplies them with obsolete weapons, “that can’t stand any good fight with Boko Haram.” They were reportedly heard saying in the video that their military commanders are using them to “make money” by deploying war tanks that have outlived their usefulness. “We are Nigerian soldiers dumped here in the middle of the desert.

See how the Nigeria military is treating us. This place has just been attacked; see our fellow soldiers how they are burnt alive inside Hilux vans. They are using us to make money; why is it so? Are we not human beings?,” the soldiers reportedly said in the video. The soldiers also reportedly claimed that the Boko Haram attackers also went away with some high calibre motorised weapons like multiple rocket launchers, called 40-Barrel; one of the world’s deadliest war weapon officially known as BM-21.

“This is the place the Boko Haram came to take away 40-barrel,” the soldiers allegedly continued. “Look at how MRAP (mine resistant ambush protection) vehicles were destroyed. If RPG can penetrate MRAP, is it we human beings that it cannot destroy?” The soldiers, who were reportedly deployed to Metele shortly after the October 8 attack, said about 147 of them were on the ground at the time they were shooting the video.

“We are 147 soldiers deployed here now, and they want to come and waste us. We will not accept that. Our blood is not meant to be spilt here; we are going to report to the federal government that we are using old war vehicles.” They reportedly called for the federal government’s intervention: “The federal government should come to our aid, these people (commanders) said we are nothing but zombies who don’t know our rights. But what they don’t know is that we are millennium soldiers, learned soldiers, not Oluyole (fake); we are not 63 NA soldiers, we are not 79 NA soldiers; most of us are graduates here.” Meanwhile, there is reported palpable tension over the seizure of 40-Barrel by the Boko Haram terrorists.

A soldier with expertise on ballistics told Premium Times that the 40-barrel in the hands of the terrorists is a tragedy waiting to explode. “It does not only deliver 40 missiles to a range of 20km, rather, when a full blast of 40 warheads are fired, it spreads and covers a lethal area of about 600m x 600m, and on impact, they can produce a substantial fragmentation effect. “Our prayer is that we retrieve the weapon or get its location and destroy it or the terrorists should not have the technical know-how of operating it, because it is highly technical to operate,” said the soldier who reportedly spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier summoned Service Chiefs to an emergency security meeting over the reported killing of some Nigerian soldiers by Boko Haram sect along the Nigeria-Chad border on Sunday, November 18.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reliably gathered that the urgent meeting was necessitated by the latest security developments across the battlefields in the northeast region of the country. A reliable source, who preferred not to be named, confirmed this development to NAN in Abuja on Friday, November 23.

NAN learnt that the federal government pronouncement on the latest victims of Boko Haram insurgency was being delayed because families of the victims were being identified and contacted.

Posted 24/11/2018 9:43:50 PM

 

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