‘Jonathan’s arms can’t defeat B’Haram’
• PDP flays Buhari over statement on judiciary
The Federal Government yesterday alleged that former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration procured sub-standard weapons for the military to prosecute the war against terrorism.
It argued that the weapons purchased by Jonathan’s administration, therefore could not have been responsible for the string of successes recorded by the military in recent times.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in a statement by his Special Assistant, Segun Adeyemi described as unfortunate and unsubstantiated the statement credited to former President Jonathan attributing the recent successes in the war to the weapons allegedly bought by his Administration that were delivered after he had left office.
However, opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party yesterday condemned President Muhammadu Buhari’s comments against Nigeria’s judiciary describing those comments as blackmail.
The party however, urged the judiciary, as the last hope of the common man, to continue to assert its independence and not allow itself to be deterred from upholding justice and the rule of law, no matter the pressure.
While inaugurating a 16-man caretaker committee for the Imo State Chapter of the party in Abuja, PDP’s acting National Chairman, Uche Secondus, said the judicial community and in fact, all discerning Nigerians were shocked by the release credited to the Presidency on Sunday wherein President Buhari was quoted to have described the judiciary as the ‘major headache’ of his administration.
According to the PDP, “This statement is a direct affront on the statutorily guaranteed independence of the judiciary and more worrisome is the fact that a President of a country had to tie back already settled judgments of the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, in cases involving him, as a benchmark of his assessment of the institution of the judiciary at the moment.”
“While we express worry at the attacks on the judicial arm of government, we are aware that they are intended to blackmail and stampede the judiciary to deliver judgments against the PDP in various pending cases involving our party and some of our leaders in the courts.
Still speaking on Jonathan’s claim on arms purchase, Alhaji Mohammed said the present administration owes it a duty to put the record straight, especially because the issues raised by the former President are of public interest and borders on national security.
He added, ‘‘the weapons, munitions and equipment which the former President said he bought were refurbished and lacked the basic components and spare parts. Additionally, the ammunition bought for both high caliber and small weapons have mostly expired and grossly inadequate. It is pertinent to state that the ammunition he was referring to were back loaded because they explode within the barrel when fired, thus leading to deaths and injuries among soldiers.”
Lai Mohammed claimed that the troops also lacked the much-needed lift and operational vehicles and other equipment, which they needed for an effective prosecution of the war, until the present administration ameliorated the situation.
The situation was so pathetic that soldiers were often transported in Civilian JTF vehicles, civilian vehicles, trailers and water tankers when going to the theatres of operation. The revelations on the sorry state of things in the past, which have emanated from the investigative panel so far, point clearly to the kind of legacy bequeathed to this administration by the past government.
That explains why troops remained largely static and were unable to effectively deploy to completely rout the Boko Haram terrorists in all their known enclaves. The high level of casualties sustained by our gallant soldiers was most unprecedented and cannot be compared to any known military operations in recent times, all because of the terrible state of affairs suffered by the military under the Jonathan administration,’’ the minister maintained.