Nigerian Military Is Underfunded, Lacks Modern Equipment To Fight Insurgents—Ndume

Chairman, Senate committee on Army, Senator Ali Ndume, has said the military is underfunded and lacking in necessary modern equipment to fight the insurgents.

Speaking on the  motion he moved that later led to the call for the sack of the service chiefs on Tuesday evening, Ndume said his intendment of his motion was misconstrued.

He, however, said he wanted to draw the attention of the Senate to the plight of the military, but was surprised after returning from where he went to pray that another motion to sack the Service Chiefs has been moved by Senator Francis Fadahunsi.

“ My intention when I moved the motion was to draw the attention of the senate to the plight of our military and to commiserate with them over the loss of their men to the insurgents. But when i went to pray, before I return, another motion has been moved, calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the Service Chiefs. I think the call for the sack was misplaced.

“ The army is underfunded. I know that because I’m an insider. Less than one percent of the N10.7trillion budget was allocated to the defense. This is grossly inadequate. The constitution in section 42 says the duty of government is security and welfare of the people. 

“ In term of modern equipment, we are not there at all. If they have drones, some of them that were killed in an ambush recently would’ve died. No bomb detectors to clear land mines. And that’s why some army were killed in Damboa recently. I think we need to equip our military. Why we were celebrating three helicopters recently, a very small country bought 13 of the same helicopters. Fifty percent of the meager budget was released about two weeks ago. Why not hundred percent?” 

“The military is overstretched. They are fighting insurgents in the north east, bandits in the north west  and kidnappers in the north central, while some were deployed to the south south to protect the pipelines. With about 200,000 soldiers. This is grossly inadequate.” He said.

Ndume explained that truly the appointment and sack of the Service Chiefs is the prerogative of President Buhari and not through the motion of the senate.

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