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Why We Can’t Defeat Boko Haram –Army Chief Writes President Jonathan



In a desperate letter to President Goodluck Jonathan and
Senate President David Mark leaked to SR by an insider, a
Commanding Officer stationed in Nigeria’s northeast has
detailed several troubling issues that are plaguing the troops
combating Islamist terror group Boko Haram in the region.
The officer stated that massive corruption, lack of resources
and troops motivation has militated against the quest for a
successful campaign to end Boko Haram’s deadly reign of
terror in the land.
The top military officer’s expose which he claims would lead
to a threat to his life forewarns that if his pleas continue to
be ignored by President Goodluck Jonathan, both the
Nigerian Army and the country will soon crumble under the
His clear warning: “If all issues raised in this letter are not
urgently addressed, the Nigerian Army will soon be history
and by implication there will be no country called Nigeria,”
the officer gravely states. “No country without a strong
army will survive.”
Below is the full text of the Commanding Officer’s letter
addressed to President Jonathan:
1. Sir, I am constrain to write you this letter which I consider
it a matter of more than great importance for me to inform
you and put to record issues that are happening in the North
East (Operation Zaman Lafiya). I choose this medium to
write you this open letter because I have written similar
letter but no action was taking which I believe some forces
have blocked it are now after my life. Sir I have served in 7
Division as staff officer and presently I am the commanding
officer of 103Bn in the field. My combined wealth of
experience as a staff officer and now commanding officer
are the disturbing fact that necessitated me to write you this
letter. While as a staff officer, I was among those who
believed that the commanders in the field are not doing well.
But presently, as a commander in the field, I found out that it
is not the fault of any commander that the defeat of the so
called BOKO HARAM (BH) has not been achieved.
2. First and foremost sir, the Nigerian Army is poorly
equipped in the North East, if all the battalions are well-
equipped as required; it will not take the Army more than two
weeks to flush out the BH. Presently there are four units in
my location here in KONDUGA including 21 Armoured
Brigade HQ. If all the units are provided with all their
requirements, we can advance and flush out BH out of North
East. Mr. President sir, the Nigerian Army is well-trained and
capable of defending our nation. It has demonstrated the
capacity to even successfully enforce peace in other
nations. Why not in our own country Nigeria?
3. The fact about NE operation is that we are poorly
equipped, understaffed, high corruption from Army
Headquarters down to battalion level. Commanders see it as
opportunity to make money. My predecessor has
complained of the same problem. Instead of ASA addressing
the issue raised by him, the army authorities decided to
Court Martialled him. All the units in NE are understaffed,
but on payroll their strength are complete just to collect
more allowances than what each unit is supposed to. The
commanders see it as a personal money making venture
rather than taking care of men and equipment. This ugly
trend led to loss of many officers and soldiers and thereby
having adverse effect on the moral (sic) of troops. Majority
of soldiers in the operation area wear mufti (civil cloths)
under their military uniforms in case there is an attack and
the troops cannot withstand the BH, they found it easy to
disguise as civilians to enable them escape. This is not the
traditional practice in the NA. Though it is lack of adequate
equipment and poor administration from the higher authority
that resulted to this ugly trend by our troops
4. Sir, another bad and unprofessional act is that soldiers
don’t take to orders from their superior officers because they
have lost confidence/trust from them. The case of former
General Officer Commanding 7 Division Major General A.
Mohammed is enough evidence to show that all is not well
in the Nigerian Army. It will interest you to note that worse
cases has been recorded before that of the former GOC and
more are still happening, but nobody is ready to investigate
the root cause of problems facing the troops in the field.
5. This brings me to a recent occurrence which is my main
purpose of writing this letter. As I mentioned earlier, due to
the failure of the authority to address issues that I made
mentioned, when a unit is attacked and overran by the BH
not because the soldiers are unable to fight, but lack of
weapons, ammunitions and communications equipment, the
soldiers on many occasions will ran away, and a
commander cannot stand and fight alone as a result of this.
Presently seventy percent of commanders in the NE are
facing Court Martial due to the reasons mentioned. We the
commanding officers are very worried over this
development. This is because we many soon find our self as
victims of this maladministration from our higher
6. There is no sincerity in this operation; this is because the
present acting GOC has never visited any location outside
Maiduguri town not to talk of principal staff officers in Army
Headquarters or even the COAS. But we keep on hearing all
sorts of lies that Generals are leading the fight against BH.
These are facts that can be confirmed from officers and
soldiers in this operation including those in the 7 Division
Headquarters. The GOC is so afraid that even with the
Divisional Headquarters; he doesn’t go out and always
locked himself inside his office. Infact it is a common
knowledge among officers and soldiers in this operation that
the acting GOC is here to make his money and earn his
promotion to the detriment of the operation. The completion
of his mansion at No 8 Gwamna Road in Kaduna which the
GOC ignorantly disclosed that when he completed it, will be
among the best houses in Kaduna, has turned to be a
subject of discussion among troops.
7. The former 21 Armored Brigade commander is facing
Court Martial today because the acting GOC does not want
to see him and his garrision in Maiduguri town simply
because of the huge monthly allocations from the Borno
State government to the brigade garrision. He wanted to be
collecting his money by using 7 Div Garrison, but in reality 7
Div Garrision does not have troops to claim such money. It
is worthy to note that the GOC received 33,000litres of AGO
and PMS each, 600 bags of rice monthly from Borno State
government. All these items are diverted for his personal
8. Recently the newly appointed 21 Brigade commander lead
3 units to flush out the BH, that operation was successful,
almost 300 BH were killed, weapons and vehicles were
recovered from them, in the process the troops exhausted
their ammunitions from the Div, the GOC simply replied that
there was no ammunition this made all the troops to
withdraw back to KONDUGA.
9. Presently more than 3000 officers and soldiers are either
killed in action, deserted, captured as POW or on AWOL. But
due to lack of proper administration the army directed that
their salary should be stopped. This affect the families of
those that are either genuinely killed in action or captured as
Prisoners of War. It has also affected some of the troops
that are still participating in this operation.
10. Mr. President sir, if all issues raised in this letter are not
urgently address, the Nigerian Army will soon be history and
by implication there will be no country called Nigeria. No
country without strong army will survive. I decided to write
you this letter because the life of officers and soldiers
trusted in my care are no longer save. My life is also at the
stake because the NA authority as usual will say I have
communicated directly to you as the Commander in Chief of
the Armed Forces and may sanction me. As a citizen of this
country and a commander in the operational area, with all
the points I have mentioned in this letter, it is clearly that the
Military authorities have failed the country, as such they
should be held liable for their misdeeds.
I have consulted seasonal constitutional lawyers if writing
you this letter will be an offence, but they said it is my
constitutional right to inform the C in C about what is
happening in the NE and within the military which if not
address will affect the survival of Nigeria.

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