More Weapons, Aircraft Coming for Battle Against Boko Haram, Says Buhari

Nigeria is expecting to take delivery of military weapons and aircraft from Jordan, China and the United States to reinvigorate its anti-terror war, President Muhammadu Buhari said yesterday.

The president at a virtual meeting with the Security Committee of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), represented by one governor from each of the six geo-political zones of the country, however, urged Nigerians to be patient and not to expect a dramatic change in the ongoing efforts to combat insurgency because fighters and pilots to operate the new weapons and aircraft must first be trained.

Buhari also dismissed assumptions that Boko Haram was better equipped and funded than the armed forces, saying that the military has greater resources to fight the terrorists even though they may need more.

During the meeting, the governors demanded security bailout from the president, citing the $1 billion they allowed him to withdraw from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) to procure weapons as a justifiable reason for their demand.

In a related development, Zamfara State Governor, Mr. Bello Matawalle, has accused politicians of being responsible for the insecurity facing the country, saying they cause it to advance their political interests.

Buhari’s meeting with the governors was also attended by service chiefs and other heads of security agencies.

The three-hour meeting came barely 24 hours after Buhari presided over a security meeting attended by North-east governors and security chiefs where the governors implored the president to equip the police in the North-east to bridge the gap in the military’s handling of the war against Boko Haram.

A statement by presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, said the governors told the president about their contributions to fight insecurity by giving the federal government the nod to withdraw $1 billion from the ECA.

The governors, therefore, urged the president to appreciate their gesture by giving “security bailout” to the 36 states to enable them to address the enormous security challenges confronting the states.

The statement added that during the submissions of the governors, coordinated by NGF Chairman and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, the governors listed factors fuelling insecurity in the country to include: poverty, unemployment, the trust deficit between the military and civilians as well as the inflow of small arms into the country.

“In their submissions anchored by their Chairman, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, and Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State, the governors highlighted the problems of poverty, unemployment, trust deficit between the military and civilian populations and the inflow of small arms into the country.

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