A member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Mohammed Monguno, has said President Goodluck Jonathan and the armed forces have vindicated Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, for raising the alarm that the military lacked the right equipment to fight the Boko Haram terrorists in the North-east.
Monguno stated this yesterday while reacting to a statement asking the spokesmen of the president like Dr. Doyin Okupe to apologise to the governor for not taking the right steps in securing the release of 219 female students that were abducted at Chibok.
Monguno, currently representing Monguno, Marte and Nganzai federal constituency in the state, also said the spokesmen should be humble and courageous enough “to tender an open apology to the people of Borno State.”
The lawmaker said: “I was particularly drawn by the lead story in the national newspapers published last Friday, June 6, with a headline, ‘Military Ware Issues Being Handled, Jonathan Says’.”
As contained in his statement, Monguno said the president admitted in the report that he “was tackling the problems of inadequate equipment for the military, which to every Nigerian, is clear admittance of the first alarm raised by Shettima some time ago and which led to unwarranted attacks on the governor by spokesmen from the Presidency and indeed the president himself during a media chat.”
He, also, referred to a report by the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, while briefing the national leadership of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that the military was lacking the right equipment to contain the Boko Haram fighters.
He said Dasuki’s comment had not been disputed, noting that even before the president admitted, the head of the Nigerian Army’s account and budget, Major General Abdullahi Muraina, was quoted by the media on May 22 at a news conference in Jaji, Kaduna State, to have lamented that the Army was being poorly funded
He said there were other reports that the military had complained to the Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, that there were instances where they were being frustrated by officials of the federal government which caused hindrances to accessing funds.
The lawmaker noted that all the instances raised above pointed to the fact that Shettima was right and that the military was not well equipped and motivated, which he said, had vindicated him.
He added that it was therefore necessary for the president to realise that Shettima meant no harm “to the federal government when he spoke months back given the fact that he was the one whose people were and are still being killed with communities, public and private property worth billions being destroyed daily.”
He, thus, canvassed the need for the federal government “to support the Borno State Government that has spent over N10 billion of its own limited resources to fund military operations, whereas it is the central government’s exclusive constitutional duty to finance security in Nigeria.
He called for a concerted effort to secure the northeast, free abducted schoolgirls in Chibok and end the unfortunate insurgency, which he said, had led to a toll of deaths, destruction and perpetual fear in many parts of the country.
He urged Nigerians to remain committed to prayers for peace and in community policing of their neighbourhoods.