Buratai: Nigerians responsible for 75% of Boko Haram fight

Buratai says the military is only responsible for about 25% of the fight against Boko Haram insurgency.

Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai

Buratai said that only 25 per cent of the war falls within the ambit of the military. The rest, according to him, is for the civil populace to handle.

He made these declarations in Lagos during the 2020 Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Security Meets Business Dialogue.

“We are fighting the mind. So, can the military fight the mind of the people? That is not the job of the military," he said.

"Psychological operation is government- driven facility to reach the minds of the people is within the precinct of the governments.

"Does military have control over religious leaders that preach hate? There is lot of mundane issues that culminated to this problem. And unfortunately, we do not look at these little things that really matter. You see religious leaders addressing congregation violently on social media to instigate violence against other people.”

He urged Nigerians to own the military and other security agencies and support them with information to enable them win the fight against Boko Haram.

He also debunked the insinuation that there was no synergy between the security agencies in the fight against mounting insecurity facing the country.

“It is easy to sit in our rooms and make conjectures even though we are not on the ground. In 2013 the international community issued a warning that foreigners should not go beyond Lagos. But starting in October 2015 they started coming. Can this be achieved without synergy?” Buratai asked.

He also regretted that the country failed to develop the “Ogbunigwe” that was invented by Biafra during the Nigerian civil war and lamented that Nigeria’s allies were denying the country strategic military supplies needed to combat insurgency.

He said: “We all know how the armed forces have been deprived of what it is supposed to have in terms of equipment. There was civil war in this country between 1967 and 1970. Did all our allies support Nigeria as a country?

"Those Nigeria relied upon for the supply of equipment disappointed her. We are experiencing the same thing with Boko Haram. Some of the arms the government has paid for since 2017 and 2018 have not been supplied. As I speak, no pin has arrived Nigeria. Will Boko Haram sleep and wait till our arm arrives? These are the issues," the Army chief added.

He said that during the civil war, the ingenuity of the Biafrans produced the “Ogbunigwe” but Nigeria paid no attention in developing it.

He therefore, called for a detailed research and development to enable Nigeria to produce some of these equipment domestically.

“Honestly, this is the crux of the mater. As Nigerians we must develop our own solutions. In doing this we need help and assistance,” he said.

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