25 November 2018

Nigeria: Despite Buhari's $1bn Approval for Arms, Soldiers Lament Obsolete Weapons

A few months after President Muhammadu Buhari approved $1billion for the purchase of military hardware for the use of the Nigerian Armed Forces, some Nigerian troops have released a video deploring the poor state of their equipment.

In the five-minute video seen on Saturday, a soldier, while lamenting that dozens of troops had died in a recent attack, showed the burnt shells of several tanks and vehicles in the Metele base, which was attacked by the Boko Haram on November 18.

"See the weapons they bring here. These are not working," he said.

"These are outdated vehicles, they are not working. They just keep them here for formality," said the soldier.

"Imagine, they are killing us every day. The situation is getting worse."

This is coming barely four weeks after the Army celebrated on its Twitter account the delivery of high-grade ammunition.

"The Nigerian Army has received a shipment of various ammunition to further enhance its operational capabilities and combat efficiency," the army tweeted on October 30.

In April 2018, Buhari announced the approval of $1bn for the purchase of military hardware.

Buhari also in April approved the withdrawal $462 million from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) for the procurement of 12 Super Tucano aircraft for the army from the United States.

However, the soldiers said despite huge resources released by the government, the Nigeria military only supplies them with obsolete weapons, "that can't stand any good fight with Boko Haram."

They were heard saying in the video that their commanders are using them to "make money" by deploying war tanks that have outlived their usefulness.

The Soldiers had in June protested being redeployed to a battlefront in the remote Lake Chad region after fighting Boko Haram jihadists for years without relief.

The release of the five-minute video underscores growing desperation among Nigerian troops.

The recent attack on the troops claimed several lives, while the Army did not release the number of casualties, reports have it that at least 44 soldiers were killed among whom was a lieutenant colonel.

Although the Nigerian Army and the president reacted to the killing five days after the attack, the army is, however, yet to speak on this video by the soldiers.

The military has, however, said in the past that it was committed to the welfare of its soldiers and was doing its best to provide the best weapons for them.

Nigeria

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