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Boko Haram: Borno Elders Tackle Badeh, Want Ex-President Jonathan Probed

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BEVERLY HILLS, August 04, (THEWILL) –  The immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, may have stirred the hornet's nest with his recent statement that he presided over a poorly-equipped army.

Apparently unaware of the implication of his statement at his pulling out ceremony recently, Badeh had tried to justify the inability of the army under his command to deal decisively with the Boko Haram insurgents, saying the army under him was quite ill-equipped.

But a group, the Borno Elders Forum (BEF), Tuesday , faulted Badeh over the statement, saying he must be brought to book for deliberately sending thousands of ill-equipped soldiers to war against Boko Haram.

The group also accused former President Goodluck Jonathan of criminal negligence and genocide against the people of Borno, asking the Federal Government to probe Jonathan for not equipping the nation’s military well enough to tackle the Boko Haram insurgents.

In a statement signed by its chairman, Ambassador Usman Gaji Galtimari, the group noted that Badeh's confession had lend credence to what the Borno State governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, was saying that the military was inadequately equipped to tackle Boko Haram.

The statement read: “The Borno Elders Forum found Badeh’s comments very revealing, an eye opener, a precursor to judgement day and extremely disturbing.

“As Chief of Defence Staff under His Excellency, former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, Alex Badeh was not just the most senior serving military man and head of all serving military men in Nigeria, he was also in the best position to know the state of affairs regarding the provision of military supplies and motivation of troops.

“To our very rude shock, it turned out on Thursday, coming from an authoritative mouth, that indeed the Governor was absolutely right after all. He has been vindicated by no less a person but the then Chief of Defence Staff who was the symbol of the Nigerian Armed Forces.”

The elders therefore said the Federal Government, the United Nations and the International community should hold the Jonathan administration responsible for criminal negligence.

They are also demanding the following , among others that : “A National Judicial Commission of Enquiry under an incorruptible judge from preferably the Southern Nigeria be set up to ask the immediate past President questions on why his administration refused to provide the military with the required functional and superior equipment whereas our sons and daughters were exposed to mass murder, severe injuries and grave destructions of our communities

“ If the former Government is found wanting it should be charged for genocide against the people of Borno State or at least criminal negligence at the International Criminal Court of Justice.

“The retired CDS retired should also be asked why he kept silent when the military under his command was not provided with the right equipment. He had the option of speaking or resigning as he ought to have done in order to draw attention of the world and by that he would have saved lives of Borno people.

“ A list of citizens of Borno State killed from the time the issue of military capacity became in question, is compiled and relations of those killed are fully compensated for the death of their loved ones as a result of criminal negligence.

“ A list of soldiers sent on missions without being properly equipped and exposed to death at different battle fronts in Borno State, is also compiled and that they are specifically celebrated with their survivors fully compensated since their bread winners died not just in combat but out of negligence of those in authority.

“ An unreserved apology is tendered by the immediate past President and his service chiefs to the people of Borno State, especially those lost relations and also to Governor Kashim Shettima for all the humiliation he was made to suffer for telling the truth about capacity of the military at that time.

“ The President Muhammadu Buhari administration in constitutional collaboration with the National Assembly considers the need to set up a Presidential Armed Forces Capacity Monitoring and Evaluation Unit which could be directly supervised by the President, Commander In Chief in order to at all times, have accurate data of the capacity of Nigeria's Armed Forces, monitoring military procurements and hardwares and their deployments, so as to avert future discrepancies unless if of course, there is already an established system of this nature.

“ The current service chiefs should learn from their predecessors by building on their successes and avoiding their mistakes with regards to refusal to tell the nation the true situation of things where political leaders fail to meet critical needs of the military on matters of national security.”