A security analyst and retired Commissioner of Police (CP), Lawrence Alobi, has said the refusal of some western countries to sell weapons to Nigeria may be due to a lack of trust with the leadership of the country.
In an interview with Daily Trust, on Thursday, Alobi said some of the many factors why they deny the sale of weapons is because our leaders lack integrity.
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He noted that western countries, although want to do business and sell weapons, also look at the moral content of their actions.
Also speaking to Daily Trust, Ben Okezie described as unfortunate how western countries are refusing to sell arms to Nigeria, adding that they must have noticed corruption in the system.
He said they might have noticed that the arms are getting into the wrong hands, noting that Nigeria must sort out issues of integrity in the system.
Daily Trust reports that the challenges in the fight against terrorism include lack of adequate supply and restocking of weapons and ammunition.
In the past, attempts to purchase weapons from the United States of America (USA) were difficult.
In an instance they refused to sell weapons because of alleged human rights abuses by the military.
However, recently the military has succeeded in purchasing weapons and ammunition from countries in Eastern Europe and Asia, through a government-to-government purchase system.
The federal government had appealed to the world powers not to be weighed by unsubstantiated arguments to deny the country vital platforms and weapons to fight insecurity.
Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed who made the appeal on Thursday when he featured on the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja confirmed that some world powers had refused to sell to Nigeria vital weapons to advance its fight against insurgency.
Mohammed said: “For more than two to three years now, we have paid for certain vital weapons that they have not released to us and they even refused to give us spare parts.
“I think our appeal to them is that they should please help Nigeria to provide us with these sensitive platforms so that we can fight insecurity more effectively.
“I want to use this opportunity to say that the international community can help us better than they are doing right now. To fight terrorists we need platforms and weapons.
“When the international community is weighed by unsubstantiated arguments to deny the country of vital platforms and weapons to fight insecurity, you cannot turn round to accuse the country of not fighting terrorism,’ he said.
The minister said for Nigerians to fairly assess the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in the fight against insecurity, they should compare where the country was pre-2015 and today.
He said to better appreciate what the government is doing in the area of security, people should take a global survey to understand that unrest, terrorism and mindless violence cut across the globe.
“People should recognise the fact that today; people have weaponised the issues of religion and ethnicity. We are dealing with extremely unreasonable people, whether in the Northwest or in the Northeast.
“They should not forget that we are fighting a non-conventional war and at the same time, these people have contacts everywhere,” he said.
Mohammed said besides kinetic deployment, the government is equally using a non-kinetic approach to tackle insecurity like the economy and social intervention programmes meant to empower and engage the youths.
Attempts to reach the Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, to confirm weapons deficit in the military were unsuccessful as he did not respond to a text message sent to him.
Meanwhile, the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) had said the Boko Haram terrorist group has introduced the use of child soldiers to resuscitate its declining influence in the Lake Chad Basin.
The MNJTF is an effort by the Lake Chad basin states – Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria – to pool resources against the Boko Haram insurgents threatening all four countries.
The joint force has carried out periodic operations, often involving troops from one country fighting in the country next door.
The Chief of Military Public Information for MNJTF, Col. Timothy Antigha, disclosed this in a statement issued from N’Djamena, Chad, on Thursday.
Antigha said the recruitment of child soldiers by the terrorist group was its new strategy following the recent mass surrender to the military by its fighters.
“This recent employment of child soldiers is as a result of frustration caused by several operational losses, leadership crisis, as well as disillusionment among their fighters and the subsequent surrender in their hundreds to the MNJTF.
“The focus on children is because they are easier to manipulate and indoctrinate than adults within the region who can now see through the veil of deceit.
“Arising from this latest atrocity by Boko Haram, the MNJTF urges parents, local authorities, religious and traditional institutions to be vigilant and promptly alert security agencies of any overt or covert attempts to recruit their children and wards,” he said.
He said information on the disturbing development was brought in by intelligence sources and corroborated by concerned individuals and groups some days ago.
He added that the Boko Haram terrorists further confirmed the development when they posted pictures of children dressed in military fatigue and holding assault rifles in a video released during the last Sallah celebrations.
According to him, the recruitment of child soldiers is the latest in a retinue of brutal and inhuman tactics deployed by Boko Haram since it began the futile attempt to cause mayhem and overthrow constitutional and social order.
“Earlier, Boko Haram had engaged in the mass abduction of schoolgirls, sexual enslavement of women and mass murder of innocent civilians,” he said and advised youths to be mindful of promises of power and influence, economic prosperity and spiritual growth by the sect following the disillusionment and surrender that have depleted their ranks.
“The stories of hardship and evil within the terrorist organisations as revealed by all surrendered Boko Haram fighters should be sufficient notice that Boko Haram and ISWAP have nothing good to offer anyone.
“It would be recalled that the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict forbids the recruitment and use of children in armed conflicts.
“The protocol states, among others, that; “Armed groups distinct from armed forces of a country should not, under any circumstances, recruit or use in hostilities anyone under 18.
“It is against this background that the MNJTF is drawing the attention of the United Nations, its relevant agencies and other stakeholders to the latest acts of inhumanity and desperation by Boko Haram, and urges severe condemnation and other necessary action,” he said.
The MNJTF, he maintained, will continue with activities that are focused on the protection of children and other vulnerable groups within its area of operation.