Disunity among service chiefs affecting Boko Haram war – Report
A top military source has alleged that the disunity among the service chiefs is affecting the war against Boko Haram.
According to Punch, the source, a Major-General, said that the senior officers no longer accept new ideas.
“The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. (Abayomi) Olonishakin, has no control over the service chiefs. He summons meetings and the service chiefs don’t come.
“The indiscipline has reached a level that the service chiefs now bypass the CDS and the Minister of Defence and write letters directly to the President. The service chiefs even attended Mr President’s campaign launch recently. This is not the military I (have) spent 33 years serving. You don’t break the chain of command.
“On several occasions during our security meetings, if you bring up an alternative view, you become an easy target for those in power. These service chiefs have stayed for too long and are now bereft of new ideas.
“From the order we were given, Boko Haram is not supposed to occupy an inch of Nigeria’s territory. The strategy they decided to use was to spread our men thinly across the border so that we can boast that no territory is under Boko Haram.
“What we should have done is to allow Boko Haram have a particular territory which we can identify and then we would unite our men on one front and form a wall. We would then attack the insurgents head on. Our men are just being killed because they are thinly spread,” the source added.
Fears of mutiny
Punch also reports that a fears that the soldiers in the trenches might revolt anytime soon because of the inability of the military authorities to provide them with quality weapons.
Another officer who spoke to the daily said “I can tell you without mincing words that many of us, officers, are afraid because the soldiers can revolt anytime from now. You will recall that some soldiers of the 21 Brigade in Sambisa Forest last year went on the rampage, revolting against their superiors.
“Such rebellion only happens when the officers lose the trust of their men. The soldiers have been complaining about lack of weapons and welfare but their demands are being ignored. Always remember that whenever there is an attack, if 40 soldiers are killed, only two officers will be affected. This is because the soldiers are the ones at the battlefront.
“If they feel they are being led to their death, they will rather revolt and save themselves rather than die. As it is, we are fearful of what may happen. We don’t want a Bangladeshi Rifle Revolt in Nigeria like it happened in 2009 in Bangladesh where soldiers killed 57 officers.”
Another source also revealed that the “United States Africa Command had not been giving Nigeria the much needed Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance.”
“In the past, AFRICOM would provide us with intelligence and then the Nigerian Air Force would bomb terrorists’ strongholds.
“However, this arrangement seems not to be working anymore. What AFRICOM has been doing is to boost security in Niger Republic in order to prevent terrorists from getting their hands on uranium.
“It may seem they do not trust Nigeria with intelligence anymore,” the source added.
Over 100 soldiers were killed when members of the Boko haram sect attacked a military base in Metele, Borno state on Monday, November 19, 2018.
Some soldiers who survived the deadly attack cried out to President Buhari to probe the quality of weapons procured by the military authorities.
The soldiers alleged that they were provided with obsolete weapons, which they said are grossly inadequate to effectively confront the insurgents.