Boko Haram: Nigerian military disputes account of meeting with Senators

Service Chiefs
Service Chiefs

The Nigerian military has rejected an account of a meeting between the Senate leadership and military chiefs, as provided by the senate president’s office.

The service chiefs led by Chief of Defence Staff, Abayomi Olonishakin, had on Wednesday met with Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and other leaders of the legislative body behind closed doors.

After the meeting, Mr. Saraki’s spokesperson, Yusuph Olaniyonu, issued a press statement, saying that the service chiefs briefed the Senators on “various challenges faced by the military, particularly the state of their equipment which they said required serious upgrading and restocking”.

He added that the officers also complained that their vote in the 2015 supplementary budget had not been released, thereby hampering their ability to fund their operations.

“Other issues that came up for discussion was the need to continuously increase the personnel in the three branches of the military and the hindrance posed by the procurement process which they said is very slow,” Mr. Olaniyonu said.

However, in a statement signed by the acting Director, Defence Information, Rabe Abubakar, on Friday, the military denied providing such details to the lawmakers.

“As far as the military is concerned Boko Haram insurgency is within the ambit of what the Nigerian Armed Forces can handle,” Mr. Abubakar, a Brigadier General, said.

The statement read, “The story which claimed that Service Chiefs decried inadequate equipment and non-release of 2015 military votes as the reason of continued insurgency is equally scurrilous and calculated to diminish the armed forces. The story is false and far from what happened when the service chiefs visited the leadership of the senate.

“But for avoidance of doubt, the visit of the military leadership to the senate president was purely a closed-door meeting aimed at intimating the senate about the level of successes recorded in the onslaught against Boko Haram and to assure the National Assembly and all Nigerians that the military is winning and will soon see the end of this menace called Boko Haram.”

The statement added that newspaper captions, following Mr. Olaniyonu’s account, “are inappropriate and misleading designed to further confuse the general public about the situation in the North East”.

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  • David Musaed

    Hehehehhehe some people are just born liars. Thank GOd the military reacted swiftly to the false reports. God bless Nigerians and Nigeria.

    • The facts

      Well, very soon they will come say the truth. We’ve been here before when we were told that Boko Haram has more weapons but the military denied it. Eventuality soldiers refused to fight and the whole truth later surfaced.

    • share Idea

      The service chiefs briefed him about their successes (and avoided speaking about challenges…) – Nigeria we hail thee

  • FreeNigeria

    Saraki and cheap publicity.

  • Uwadiegwu

    Nigerian Armed Forces chiefs have been made lapdogs by the illiterate President Bokohari. Why are they afraid of speaking the truth or deny their own statements but for the fact that they are afraid of the illiterate one.

  • Malchine

    Truth is a very scarce commodity in Nigeria, worst in Aso Rock.

  • uduakomiri

    I don’t understand this disclaimer by the service chiefs. I dislike the guy saraki for his arrogance, and the fact that everything he touches simply dies from his polluted touch. However, on this one, I must stand with the senate (no matter how much I detest these senate!). I do not see anything the senate said that misrepresents what we already know about the Nigerian military. It is obvious the military lacks modern equipment, we bought a dozen or so 1970s T72 tanks yet poorer, and a smaller country like Ethiopia bought the same T72 tanks in large numbers, about 2000! And the version that Ethiopia purchased are better than ours, their have proper ERA, and is able to use precision guided surface to surface missiles, upgraded firing systems, improved battle awareness, night fighting capabilities, auto cannon etc. So imagine how devastating it would be if Ethiopia attacked Nigeria? They’d roll in into Abuja after a few hours of fighting. What about our air force? Well, it is no news that the only jets we currently have to defend Nigeria is alpha jets, if you don’t know, these jets are 1960s-70s era jets which many countries refuse to fly because it is currently used by many enthusiasts in Europe and America. Nigeria which once owned MIG 21s and Jaguars in the 1970s and 1980s, yet in this age, our air force flies Alpha jets and j7s which are like driving 1965 Volkswagen beetle in 2016! Our military chiefs should stop behaving like politicians, and for once, they should shut up and allow someone else to say the truth as it is about the decay in the Nigerian military.

    • Sir Demo

      You are right, completely right. But with the poor revenue now, where is the money required for a total overhaul of our weaponry comes from?

      • ed

        From recovered money.

      • abodes_124

        Buhari has proudly announced a bulging war chest of 2 trillion naira by bringing all federal government money into the TSA account. The treasury was not so much empty as not properly trawled through in the first place. Jonathan and co appear not to have stolen us as blind as we feared. So money is no longer the problem.

    • justice uloko

      You have said all. Our military service chief and some senior officers are too corrupt to think of better equipment for this nation. .the military officers in Nigeria Armforces are animals.

  • Nwokolo

    Why was the Meeting a “closed door meeting” in the first place? One expected a joint statement approved by both parties if not they would have had an open meeting. Just a distraction though.

    • muazu wali

      You should know Saraki by now. Dubious, cunning, always suspicious of anything good. Saraki is afraid of his own shadows. He thinks he should preempt the military by issuing doubtful and misleasing lies. As I said many times Nigerians like Buhari nigerians have a disdain for politicians at least the current crop of dishounarable Nigerians.

  • muazu wali

    What do you expect? The palace of a crook is always peopled by shameless crooks. The Senate President is known to represent everything is bad and unacceptable. He selects and appoints his.personal staff .accordingly. Nigerians can nor lpnger be received by his pranks.

    • ed

      Please

  • MC

    “The story which claimed that Service Chiefs decried inadequate equipment and non-release of 2015 military votes as the reason of continued insurgency is equally scurrilous and calculated to diminish the armed forces. The story is false and far from what happened when the service chiefs visited the leadership of the senate”

    And so, the propaganda and lies that brought APC to power in the first place takes a detour and this time it’s to demonize Jonathan. But the Military, just like the Judges, refused to take part in APC’s dirty machinations. APC-led government has done nothing so far other than propaganda and selective war on corruption. The reason? They lack creative people due to presence of too many old people who don’t see any good in the youths. Their aim? To actualize a one-party system. Goodluck Jonathan actually requires fiery PRO’s otherwise these guys would bury him on the pages on newspapers.

    • abodes_124

      Pardon the use of an impolite word but arse licking is a conditioned reflex in Nigerian officialdom

  • utolason

    The Nigeria military isn’t known for being forthright in giving out information. They are renowned for denying the obvious. If the 2015 budget was released to them, which money was Dasuki playing Father Christmas with? I have seen the antiquated guns and military vehicles they are using to fight to fight Boko Haram on YouTube. For those who haven’t them, please view some of their videos posted on YouTube.

  • International games

    Let us be clear of some basic tenets of Democratic Civilian rule.No matter what the Political leadership puts out, the Military hierarchy cannot publicly counter them. They MUST speak through the spokesperson of the Ministry of Defense. A CIVILIAN. Let us try to get this Democracy thing right.

  • ed

    Thou shall not deceive thee self. The Nigeria military continue to operate in a vacuum of lies about everything.
    Boko Haram Bomb explosion are called military practice. The numbers of victims in Boko Haram attacks were always minimize. The hundreds of Shi’ite Muslim killed in Zaria are yet to be admitted.
    Boko Haram was defeated last year?. This year we’re recording success in the Boko Haram war. The weapons were generally accepted to be antiques. An insult to any respected military outfit. Airplanes that are over 50 years old, but that fact must not be made public. Protecting false image is dangerous.

    • abodes_124

      In any normal country the service chiefs should be forthright and proud to press their case for more and better equipment as well as more funds at any time. That is their job to fight their corner. But no. Everything is perfect now, they are well resourced to the brim , in fact they are getting more than they need but if this government per chance changes tomorrow they will come out with a different story of how they were starved off funds , given shoddy equipment etc. That is Nigeria for you. That is why we are where we are.

      • ed

        You’re 100% correct.

  • Omotolaaraujo

    The military talks from both sides of its mouth. It would be better if they never commented. They cannot be trusted at all.