A huge amount of money approved for purchase of weapons under President Muhammadu Buhari cannot be accounted for, Nigeria’s National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Munguno (rtd), has said.
In an interview with BBC Hausa service on Friday, Monguno said when the newly appointed Service Chiefs assumed office, they did not find the weapons that their predecessors ought to have purchased.
The former service chiefs are: ex-Chief of Defence Staff, Abayomi Olonisakin; ex-Chief of Army Staff; Tukur Buratai, ex-Chief of Naval Staff; Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas; and ex-Chief of Air Staff, Sadique Abubakar. The President appointed them as Ambassadors after their voluntary resignation from service.
The National Security Adviser said the failure of the security personnel to get adequate weapons is a setback to the fight against insecurity.
According to him, “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.”
Asked on whether investigation has commenced on the issue, he 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.”
Monguno said the President directed the new Service Chiefs to end insurgency within a short period of time, adding that the president is committed to ending insecurity.