Borno elders demand probe of military funding over Boko Haram

Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima

Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima

THE Borno Elders Forum (BOEF) has urged the Federal Government to constitute a high-powered Judicial Commission of Inquiry to probe the supply of arms and ammunition to the military on fight against Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East sub-region of the country.

The elders’ demand was contained in a statement by the Chairman of BOEF, Ambassador Usman Galtimari and made available to newsmen in Maiduguri.

He said the commission could unravel the “remote and immediate causes” of Boko Haram terror group having an upper hand over the Nigerian Army for about six years.

The statement reads in part: “Besides urging the Federal Government to raise this panel of inquiry, members of this forum make the following demands from government, United Nations (UN) and the International community.

First, a National Judicial Commission of Enquiry under an incorruptible judge from preferably the southern Nigeria be set up to ask the immediate past President questions on why his administration refused to provide the military with the required functional and superior equipment; while our sons and daughters were exposed to mass murder, severe injuries and grave destructions of our communities.

“If the former administration is found wanting, it should be charged for genocide against the people of Borno State or at least criminal negligence at the International Criminal Court of Justice.

“The retired Chief of Defence Staff (CODS) should also be asked why he kept silent when the military under his command was not provided with the right equipment,” adding that he had the option of speaking or resigning as he ought to have done in order to draw attention of the world and saved tens of thousands of lives of Borno people.”

Other demands made by the forum yesterday include a list of citizens of Borno State killed from the time the issue of military capacity became in question, is compiled and relations of those killed are fully compensated for the death of their loved ones as a result of criminal negligence.”

The statement added: “A list of soldiers sent on missions without being properly equipped and exposed to death at different battle fronts in Borno State is also compiled and that they are specifically celebrated with their survivors fully compensated since their bread-winners died not just in combat but out of negligence of those in authority.

“The President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in constitutional collaboration with the National Assembly considers the need to set up a Presidential Armed Forces Capacity Monitoring and Evaluation Unit which could be directly supervised by the President, Commander-in-Chief in order to at all times, have accurate data of the capacity of Nigeria’s Armed Forces, monitoring military procurement and hardware and their deployments, so as to avert future discrepancies unless if of course, there is already an established system of this nature.

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