According to Hope For Nigeria, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff of Nigeria, have applauded former President Goodluck Jonathan who bought many long distance ranged assault weapons for the Nigerian troops while in office, andblamed President Muhammadu Buhari.s non commitment to the needs of the troop as the reason for the increasing number of death experienced by the troops against Boko Haram in recent months.
Lt Gen Buratai confirmed that he re-hired South African mercenaries sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari when he assumed office in May 2015, as they are experienced and have sophisticated arms to combat Boko Haram. This was part of the successes recorded in the wee days of 2015, Burutai said.
The Chief of staff added that, while President Buhari is a better military strategist, Burutai said all the President needed to do was build on Jonathan’s successes and Boko Haram would have been history.
“The truth is that from September to November this year, we have lost so many troops that can’t even be accounted for.
“Prominent amongst those lost are Maj DS Erasmus and 8 soldiers – 25 Sep 2016 due to IED / ambush along Bama – Banki road.
“Lt Col K Yusuf and 83 soldiers missing in action on 16 Oct 2016 when Boko Haram attacked troops location at Gashigar.“Lt Col M Abu-Ali and five soldiers were [neutralized] on 4November 2016 on their way to reinforce troops at Mallam Fatori.
“On 5 November 2016, two soldiers were [neutralized] at Kwada during Boko Haram attack on troops location.
“One soldier was wounded while another two were declaredmissing in action.
“In another attack in Kangarwa on 6 November, one soldier was [neutralized] while four other soldiers were wounded in action.
“Goodluck Jonathan bought Vickers MBT tanks, T-72 tanks and Shilka guns. These weapons unleashed disastrous blows on Boko Haram.
“But they’re all worn out and the President has allowed our troops to continue using degraded arms to fight Boko Haram.
“The major cause of casualties on troops at the moment is poor equipment state.“One battalion of 700 men use just 2 night vision googles. Just two! Aside from this, the battalions are split almost inhalf. “Some battalions have just 400 men in action. How can they withstand the Boko Haram hordes? “Remember a soldier without equipment is at best inefficient and machines without man are almost useless.“This points to the need for adequate equipment in the theatre to minimize casualty rate in the theatre.“We mainly rely on AK 47s. Boko Haram members use superior weapons a-times. “Unfortunately, our long range support weapons like the AA GUNS, mortar tubes, artillery weapons like shilka guns etc, are scarce. “The upper hand we achieved against Boko Hara, started in February 2015 due to the arrival of T-72 tanks in the theatre. “Chadian troops also assisted in mounting pressure on Boko Haram terrorists at the same time. “But the President disengaged all of them without shoring up weapons for the troops.
Their moral is down.“Poor weapons, low morale, non-payment of their allowances, no promotion and all that is making the Armyloose the battle.
“The president has to sit up and do the needful,” Burutai said.