Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd), the National Security Adviser, has stated that he was quoted out of context in the reports on his interview with BBC Hausa service over the alleged missing billions approved by President Muhammadu Buhari for purchase of weapons.
He denied saying that the funds were missing. What he actually said was that the president allocated funds for the purchase of weapons, but the weapons are yet to be here. Adding that he doesn’t know where they are.
Monguno did not accuse the ex-Service Chiefs of diverting the money, but he said he doesn’t know where the money is. May be the weapons are still on their way to Nigeria.
The NSA had stated that the huge amount of money approved for the purchase of weapons under President Buhari could not be accounted for.
According to Monguno, when the newly appointed Service Chiefs took over office, they could not find the weapons that their predecessors (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) were supposed to have purchased.
“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,” he stated on Friday during an interview with BBC Hausa.
“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 further stated that President Buhari has ordered the new service chiefs to end insurgency within the shortest time possible.
On whether there is an option for 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.”
In a statement issued by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) to clarify the reports in the public, he said; “The attention of the Office of the National Security Adviser has been drawn to some media reports regarding Armed Forces equipment during an interview with the BBC Hausa service.
“We would like to state that the NSA was quoted out of context as he did not categorically say that funds meant for arms procurement were missing under the Former Service Chiefs as reported or transcribed by some media outlets from the BBC interview.
“During the interview, the National Security Adviser only reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to deal decisively with insecurity and stated President Muhammadu Buhari’s continued commitment to provide all necessary support to the Armed Forces, including the provision of arms and equipment.
“In the interview the National Security Adviser clearly informed the BBC reporter that Mr President has provided enormous resources for arms procurement, but the orders were either inadequate or yet to be delivered and that did not imply that the funds were misappropriated under the former Service Chiefs.
“The NSA also informed the reporter that, Mr President is following up on the procurement process as is usual with contracts relating to military equipments, in most cases the process involves manufacturing, due diligence and tedious negotiations that may change delivery dates.”
“All Security and Intelligence agencies are working together to bring an end to insecurity with the full support of Mr. President and Stakeholders including the media and civil society as part of a whole-of-government and a whole-of-society approach to address our security challenges.”
Ogbodo ThankGod is currently the Managing Director/CEO/Group Chief Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He was the Chief Editor at NaijaBuzz.News before his new top leadership role. Ogbodo has years of experience in the Nigeria Media Industry and has co-founded some media companies. He is the founder of Ogbodo Solution Nigeria and 1Push.Ng. He loves playing football and is a strong supporter of Lionel Messi who he describes as the greatest footballer of all time.