President Muhammadu Buhari has said that Nigeria is expecting to take delivery of military weapons and aircraft from Jordan, China, and the United States to help in the fight against the insurgents, Boko Haram.
The president disclosed this 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 on Tuesday.
Buhari during the meeting, appealed once again for Nigerians to be patient with his government 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.
The President used the opportunity to dispel commonly held assumptions that the terrorists in the Northeast had far more weapons and money than the government, stressing that what is left of them are “mere scavengers desperate for food, raiding shops and markets, and killing innocent persons in the process.”
He also expressed concern that in spite of the fact that borders with neighbouring countries had been shut, bandits and terrorists continued to have access to small weapons.
These terrorists are in the localities. How is it that they are not short of small arms?” he queried the security and intelligence chiefs.
According to Buhari, “We have said enough on the need for them to rejig their operations. I am glad that there is better synergy and cooperation which are very important. I have directed the Service Chiefs to meet among themselves in-between the National Security Council meetings. The services have resources; yes, they need more, and mobility, and are doing their best, but there is a need for better gathering and interpretation of intelligence. Our intelligence-gathering must be improved.”
The President informed the Governors of the imminent shipment of military weapons and aircraft from Jordan, China, and the United States, but again asked for patience on the part of the public because the new weapons and aircraft must be manned by trained fighters and pilots who must first receive appropriate training.
Buhari also expressed satisfaction with the level of support from neighboring countries in the war against terrorism.
The President also expressed satisfaction with the level of Naval activity in the Gulf of Guinea, using newly-acquired equipment, but demanded that hard-to-reach areas of Lake Chad where Boko Haram terrorists have found new havens, as well as the forests now inhabited by bandits, must be accessed and rid of nefarious elements.
“The Chief of Defence Staff has spoken about their study of the forests and their potential danger to security. We must make sure we follow the bandits and terrorists, but there must not be deforestation in view of the climate situation,” Buhari said.