By Banimore Emmanuel
Chad as a country has its annual budget pegged at $7bn, but the Nigerian military has the budget of $2.41bn, with the Chadian military spending on $300m last year. Chadian troops some weeks ago suffered a huge setback when Boko Haram terrorists killed more than ninety soldiers. Ever since then they’ve stepped up their assault and inroads in lake Chad area against the terrorists, killing over hundreds of Boko Haram members severally, prompting leader Shekau to console members not to retreat.
One of the attacks was fronted by Chadian president Idris Deby, as reported by Sahara Reporters. Today, April 6, the president has visited injured members of the Chadian army as a result of the recent encounters with the insurgents.
The efforts of the army also led to the seizure of one of the largest ammunition cache that belonged to the Boko Haram. Dissidence unintended, Tukur Buratai actions have been far from commendable. Last month the Nigerian military lost seventy members in Borno when troops in the area were ambushed by the insurgents. While it’s acknowledged that the Chadian military transitioned into the conflict when the Nigerian military pushed the insurgents back into the Lake Chad area in a renewed offensive, and it’s understood that the Chadian military isn’t stretched yet, recent gains by the French country is an indication of underperformance from our side. Recently, the Nigerian military dismissed a general who, in the footage, decried FG’s stance on military funding and complained of less sophisticated, old antiquated weapons. But he isn’t the only soldier to have voiced out the corruption and underfunding.
The Metele attack by Boko Haram which led to the death of over 60 Nigerian soldiers, which was attributed to the sudden breakdown of two armoured tanks, was exposed by five soldiers who were also dismissed. . Mutiny within the military bracket isn’t unprecedented. In 2015, a group of Nigerian soldiers refused to ply the Maiduguri-Biu road as instructed by a commander, due to heavy fortification by the insurgents and deemed the command “a suicide mission”. While such actions may be deemed unprofessional and against military secrecy, it paints a perfect picture of the internal and administrative inefficiency of the Nigerian military: less funding, lukewarmness, disorderliness, corruption and rhetorics.
But Buratai isn’t the only culpable figure, FG and NASS are all blameworthy. N2.41bn as the military budget is considerably low, but NASS’s failure to ensure timely disbursement by the FG, efficient spending by the military, and also failed to get Buratai brief the NASS consistently may be seen as catalysts for the deficiencies. Mounting maximum pressure on Buratai may have been productive. Idris Deby’s recent gesture may be seen as one of the primary impetus absorbed by the Chadian military that led to the recent success, unfortunately, president Muhammadu Buhari isn’t even close. But nothing will be said to elaborate.
Nigerians are the judge. While the military itself may attribute the inability to stop Boko Haram from raging to low funding, Chadian military’s successes is a negation of the attribution, even with less military funding, though they fight the insurgency on a lower scale. The blameworthiness isn’t confined to one of the players, but all are culpable for the deadlock against insurgency.