An NGO, Patriots for the Advancement Of Peace and Social Development (PAPSD), has urged President Muhmmadu Buhari to immediately institute a probe of the alleged missing $1 billion arms purchase funding, calling on both the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to beam searchlight on the allegation.
This is as controversy trail the claims by the NationO $al Security Adviser (NSA) retired Major General Babagana Monguno, that the $1billion funds meant for the purchase of arms to sustain the fight against insurgency under the leadership of the ex-service chiefs was missing.
Mongonu had in an interview with BBC Hausa Service claimed that funds meant for the purchase of arms to strengthen Nigeria’s anti-terror war got missing under the leadership of the ex-service chiefs, however following criticisms from powerful forces in the Presidency, forcing the NSA to recant and amend his assertions.
The NSA had since stepped back from that position, saying instead that he was quoted out of context.
Duing the BBC interview, the NSA clearly said: “No one knows what happened to the money but by God’s grace, the president will investigate to find out whether the money was spent and where the arms went.
“It is not that we are not working to end the security challenge in the country. The president has done his own part and allocated huge amount of money to purchase weapons but they are yet to be here. We don’t know where they are.
neither the money approved by Buhari for arm purchase nor arms was met on ground when the new service chiefs assumed office. The fact is that preliminary investigation showed the funds are missing and the equipment is nowhere to be found. When the new service chiefs assumed office, they also said they did not see anything on ground.”
The office of the NSA corrected tha TV the position does not imply that the money was missing.
However, PAPSD in a statement released on Sunday in Abuja by its Executive Director, Dr Sani Abdulahi Shinkafi, opined that “the National Security Adviser, NSA Babagana Monguno has once again proven his incapacity to perform and has by divine providence exposed his selfish agenda at the most difficult and challenging time for Nigeria.
Shinkafi instead insists that managing security related crisis goes beyond polemics adding occupants of such high office as NSA has to be measured in their comments.
“We call on President Buhari to immediately direct the EFCC and ICPC to investigate the alleged missing money without further delay as the allegation cannot be swept under the carpet because Nigerians would want to know what happened to the huge resources allocated to the fight against insurgency and the procurement of arms and ammunition” he added.
He pointed out that “NSA Monguno has become a huge liability not only to the Buhari administration but to many innocent families that were victims and casualties of his gross ineptitude and ambition. His clear and open indictment of the former Service Chiefs regarding the purchase of arms even though he is also living in a glasshouse has left the Presidency with no option than to engage in a damage control strategy that may not work.
Shinkafi attributed the escalation of activities of banditary in the northwest and North Central states of Niger ,Kaduna and Zamfara has direct bearing on the allegation that the country has no lethal resources to wedge the war against banditary.
“We have as a result seen an escalation in abduction particularly in Niger and Kaduna states with the military clearly unable to prevent it. Monguno has dismissed the option of dialogue and engagement and the use of kinetic and none kinetic approach as recommended in a communique issued by the Northern Governors Forum during their meeting in Kaduna because of the desire to get President Buhari’s approval of $1 billion for the purchase of arms even though previous approvals could not end banditry and insurgency.”
“NSA Monguno is not capable of executing this important tasks and the earlier the government realized that they cannot succeed with an NSA that has multiple interests at the expense of innocent blood the better for its legacy and the society that are being ravaged by attacks every day” he said.
Shinkafi noted that “Mongonu’s reckless statement has been sending very wrong signals as his response during the said interview to the claims of Governor Matawalle that President Buhari has approved the deployment of additional 6000 troops to Zamfara state was in very bad taste.”
“The NSA knows very well that a sitting Governor is not likely to make such claims if the President did not actually approve it more so as such announcement is coming from an opposition Governor. The best an opposition Governor will do in such circumstances if it is not true is to further indict the APC federal government but not to give it a credit of approving such large troops. For the NSA to expose the deficiency of his government to categorically say that he as the NSA is not aware of the approval of additional troops to Zamfara even if it is true is most unfortunate.”
“It shows clearly that while Governor Matawalle as an opposition Governor is being careful and protecting the image and action of the government, a serving NSA who supposed to be diplomatic and systematic in responding to issues that directly affects his government is obviously lacklustre and unprofessional may be because of certain grudges he has with either the Zamfara Governor or its people.
“Governor Matawalle’s insistence on the use of carrot and stick is now more understandable owing that the approach has brought relative peace to the state. Through the initiative of dialogue Zamfara people can freely travel and go to farms now while attacks and killings has reduced by more than 70 percent. The Governor probably knows very well as we do that the option of force alone cannot end banditry, kidnappings and killings in his state”, he declared.