Missing $1bn Arms Funds: Group Urges PMB To Involve EFCC, ICPC

Ex-service Chiefs

Patriots for the Advancement of Peace and Social Development PAPSD, a Nigerian based civil society organization, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately direct the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to conduct a thorough investigation into the allegations over the $1 billion funds meant for the purchase of arms.

The organisation has also called for caution on the part of the NSA to stop playing politics with the lives of Nigerians with his unguarded utterances.

Thefact Nigeria has been tracking the controversies that have continued to trail the claims made last week by the National Security Adviser NSA to the President, Major General Babagana Monguno (retd), that the $1billion funds meant for the purchase of arms was diverted.

Executive Director of PAPSD, Dr Sani Abdulahi Shinkafi, in a statement issued in Abuja last weekend, noted: “the NSA, Monguno, has once again proven his incapacity to perform and has, by divine providence, exposed his selfish agenda at the most difficult and challenging time for Nigeria.

“Perhaps that explains why late Abba Kyari did not allow the NSA to take full control and powers of security related issues because the tendency of undermining his employer for purely selfish reasons has been manifestly clear. Managing security related crisis is not about ability to fluently speak good English or rhetorics.

“We call on President Buhari to immediately direct the EFCC and ICPC to investigate the alleged missing money without further delay as the allegation cannot be swept under the carpet because Nigerians would want to know what happened to the huge resources allocated to the fight against insurgency and the procurement of arms and ammunition,” he added.

Shinkafi further pointed out that: “NSA Monguno has become a huge liability not only to the Buhari administration but to many innocent families that were victims and casualties of his gross ineptitude and ambition. His clear and open indictment of the former Service Chiefs regarding the purchase of arms even though he is also living in a glasshouse has left the Presidency with no option than to engage in a damage control strategy that may not work.

“The NSA should be held responsible for the current escalation of banditry and kidnappings particularly across the North West. As a security and intelligence chief, his recent comments through the media has not only been reckless but unprofessional and provocative.

“Managing security issues is beyond the display of the usual rhetoric, fluent grammar or open and direct threats to criminals that are largely ignorant of even their own religion and under the influence of drugs.

“What Monguno and his likes succeeds in doing is provocating and instigating the highly armed bandits to go against innocent citizens even as he is fully aware that declaring war at a time you know you don’t have the capacity to fully protect people’s lives and properties, is insensitive, unprofessional and highly irresponsible because the vulnerable public will be at the receiving end of such careless statements. Monguno, as the NSA, has maximum protection.

“We have as a result seen an escalation in abduction particularly in Niger and Kaduna states with the military clearly unable to prevent it. Monguno has dismissed the option of dialogue and engagement and the use of kinetic and non – kinetic approach as recommended in a communique issued by the Northern Governors Forum during their meeting in Kaduna.

“This is because of the desire to get President Buhari’s approval of $1 billion for the purchase of arms even though previous approvals could not end banditry and insurgency. NSA Monguno is not capable of executing this important task and the earlier the government realizes that they cannot succeed with an NSA that has multiple interests at the expense of innocent blood, the better for its legacy and the society that is being ravaged by attacks every day.

“Mongonu’s reckless statement has been sending very wrong signals as his response during the said interview to the claims of Governor Matawalle that President Buhari has approved the deployment of additional 6000 troops to Zamfara state, was in very bad taste”.

Shinkafi continued: “The NSA knows very well that a sitting Governor is not likely to make such claims if the President did not actually approve it, more so as such announcement is coming from an opposition Governor. The best an opposition Governor will do in such circumstances, if it is not true, is to further indict the APC federal government but not to give it a credit of approving such large troops.

“It shows clearly that while Governor Matawalle as an opposition Governor is being careful and protecting the image and action of the government, a serving NSA who is supposed to be diplomatic and systematic in responding to issues that directly affect his government is obviously lacklustre and unprofessional, may be because of certain grudges he has with either the Zamfara Governor or its people.

“Governor Matawalle’s insistence on the use of carrot and stick is now more understandable, owing that the approach has brought relative peace to the state. Through the initiative of dialogue, Zamfara people can freely travel and go to farms now while attacks and killings has reduced by more than 70 percent. The Governor probably knows very well as we do, that the option of force alone cannot end banditry, kidnappings and killings in his state,” Shinkafi declared.

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