By Emeka Okafor
Large chunk of money approved by President Muhammadu Buhari under the immediate past service chiefs to procure ammunition for the fight against insecurity in the country is said to missing, the National Security Adviser, Major-General Babagana Monguno (rtd), has disclosed.
Monguno said both the money and the weapons the approved money was supposed to buy cannot be accounted for by authorities of the Nigerian military.
The National Security Adviser, who however did not state the exact amount, spoke on Friday in an interview with BBC Hausa service, stressing that he cannot say if the money was embezzled by the former service chiefs.
The former service chiefs are; ex-Chief of Defence Staff, Abayomi Olonisakin; former Chief of Army Staff; Tukur Buratai, former Chief of Naval Staff; Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas; and former Chief of Air Staff, Sadique Abubakar.
The former service chiefs were appointed by President Buhari non-career ambassadors following the voluntary resignation from service.
Monguno said the failure of the security personnel to get adequate weapons is a setback to the fight against insecurity.
The Nigerian Governors’ Forum, according to the retired army general, were already asking questions as to the whereabout of the money or weapons, Daily Trust further reported.
“It is not that we are not working to end the security challenge in the country. The president has done his own part and allocated huge amount of money to purchase weapons but they are yet to be here. We don’t know where they are.”
“I am not saying that the past Service Chiefs have diverted the money, but presently we don’t know where the money is”, Monguno stated.
On whether investigation has commenced on the issue, the NSA said: “I am sure the President will investigate this. As I am talking to you now, even the Nigerian Governors’ Forum has started questioning where the money is. So, I assure you that the President is not playing with anything that has to do with the people.
“I can’t say the money was stolen but we didn’t see anything and even the new Service Chiefs said they didn’t see the weapons. It is possible the weapons are on their way coming. Maybe from America, England and other places but as at now, I didn’t see anything and the Service Chiefs too didn’t see any weapons too.”
He said President Buhari directed the new Service Chiefs to end insurgency within a short period of time, adding that the president is committed to ending insecurity.
On whether the federal government will dialogue with bandits, he said “You can only dialogue with people that stick to promise and will not deceive people and the government.
“Those people are not in good position to dialogue with them because they are not worth it. People are insisting we must dialogue while they are not good people that you can dialogue with. They only want to continue killing people and government will not tolerate that.”
He added that government has to show them that it is strong enough to fight them.