Over 70% of military weapons end up with Boko Haram

Boko Haram weapons

One source disclosed that over 70 per cent of the weapons and other military equipment procured by the federal government to fight the insurgents end up in the hands of the Boko Haram forces.

He said routine pictures from operations released by the military often show officially branded vehicles as “recoveries” from the insurgents.

The situation, sources say, has become a huge headache and dilemma for the top echelon of Nigerian security architecture.

“There is now a big debate going on for and against deployment of more weapons. It is a dilemma because you cannot afford to have ill-equipped troops but the big question is of what use is procuring more weapons when we know that most of it will end up in the hands of the insurgents,” a source said.

Another intelligence source said, “I won’t be able to put a percentage on the quantity of arms and other equipment that the terrorists have snatched from our military and other security agencies.

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“However, it could be within the range of 50 per cent now compared to 2012-15, where it could be said to be about 65 per cent. These were failures of commands and the lack of patriotism and professionalism.

“Failure of commands is due to inexperience on the part of some of the commanders in the field because when confronting the terrorists, most of the commanders lack the desired field experience to turn the tide against the well organised, motivated terrorists, due to their religious ideological training and drugs the influence.

“Most of our troops, due to the nature of the recruitment process, training and equipment shortcomings, are always willing to take to their heels and abandon all arms/ammo at their procession,” he said.

Two security sources told Akelicious that the Air Force’s renewed vigour is helping in boosting the morale of ground troops as fighter jets are sent on missions even at night when there is overwhelming attack.

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The Air Force is also expected to launch a convert unmanned aerial vehicle with a capacity to carry out solo missions on targets very soon.

On his part, public affairs analyst, Abubakar Mohammed Kareto, said Boko Haram insurgents had in the past few months displayed some worrisome caches of arms and ammunition stolen from military formations even after the troops had claimed such attacks were repelled.

“We may not completely rule out the possibility of Boko Haram getting their weapons from Libya and other war ridden African countries, but it is glaring that each time Boko Haram and ISWAP overpowered a military base, they seize caches of assault rifles and hundreds or thousands of rounds of ammunition they could use in later strikes. This has fuelled their bloody rebellions for over a decade now.

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“The video released by ISWAP on the recent attack on Damasak have exposed the fact that the vehicles used for the attack were seized from police and the army.

“We have also seen the recently released pictures by Boko Haram of seized vehicles from the military in Dikwa,” he said.

On how to turn the tide against the terrorists, Kareto said, “preventing unexpected battle losses is almost impossible for peace operations; we have seen many instances in Mali, Somalia and other terror ridden places.

“But they (Nigerian Armed Forces) must do more to ensure that arms and ammunition are not diverted or lost through other means, such as abandonment, illicit transfers, corruption and poor management of recovered material.

“The Nigerian Army can also strengthen the security around its military-bases to prevent infiltration by Boko Haram.”

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