Malete Massacre: Icca/umunna To Buhari: Sack Defense Chiefs With Immediate Effect
The Igbo Canadian Community Association (ICCA/Umunna) have called on President Muhamadu Buhari to with immediate effect sack the defense chiefs for their failure to adequately protect the lives of combatant soldiers deployed to fight the war against Boko Haram insurgents in the North-East of the country, describing their performance in the war on terror as dismally embarrassing; abjectly incompetent and invariably discouraging to officers and soldiers of the Nigeria Army who are involved in the defense of the country.
The President of the socio-cultural and political group, Chief Ugochukwu Okoro, in a statement
issued in Toronto, Canada by the Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mr. Ahaoma Kanu, said “the recent attack on soldiers and officers of 157 Task Force Battalion, Metele, Borno State on November 18, this year by the Al Barnawi faction of Boko Haram of which videos were circulated online is gravely unfortunate, irreprehensible and totally embarrassing of the armed forces of a country like Nigeria.”
The ICCA/Umunna said that though they share in the pain and anguish that befell our heroic and gallant soldiers who paid the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty and also mourn with the families of the victims of the attack while respecting loved ones during this period of mourning, it is also expedient and necessary that questions need to be asked of how such horrendous calamity occurred and have been happening, stating that the service chiefs should be held responsible for the failures leading to such tragedy so disastrous for our soldiers.
“We boldly say that the Minister of Defence Dan Ali Monsur, Chief of Defense Staff General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin, Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen. T.Y. Buratai, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral IE Ibas and Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar as well as the Director General of the Directorate for State Security, Yusuf Magaji Bichi, should be held responsible for such wanton failures recorded in our armed forced recently.”
“We have seen videos of the attack purported recorded and being circulated by the insurgents and it is disheartening to see the superiority of the weaponry on display used by the terrorist group as compared to those available to our soldiers. Also, we have also gone through videos made by our soldiers in the theatre of war complaining of inadequate arms and ammunition to carry out the ongoing war. They complain of obsolete armoury and weapons, lack of supplies, non-payment of allowances and even unsteady food supply for soldiers in the line of defense which is totally unacceptable and deserving of an investigation.
It is rather worrisome that despite reports that the Nigeria Army received advance notice from the insurgents, inadequate preparation, reconnaissance, intelligence and tactics were not deployed to wade off and prevent the eventuality from occurring leading us to wonder what the Directorate for Military Intelligence (DMI) and DSS are doing.”
The Melete attack left hundreds of soldiers and officer killed with a reported 150 soldiers still missing in action and unaccounted for.
The ICCA/Umunna also questioned how the insurgents were able to have moved unhindered into the military formation without being detected nor intercepted.
“Also, we have learned from reports that Boko Haram fighters disguised in military fatigues of the Nigeria Army and gained entrance and access to the office of the Commanding Officer and this begs us to ask:
How does Boko Haram get their supplies?Doesn’t the NA have channels in communication of movement of troops to its bases?How come despite alleged warnings by Boko Haram nothing was done to consolidate the defense of the base?What response and support did the Nigeria Air force give during the period the attack lasted?”
“It is sad to note that the service chiefs are incompetently handling this war on terror that, according to media reports, officers and soldiers are being killed in the most gruesome of manner with records of soldiers and officers now showing symptoms of Post traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with some committing suicide. This is a development that is very regrettable,” Okoro said.
ICCA/Umunna frowned at the attitude of the service chiefs who have lately become so visibly involved in partisan politics and alleged production of election campaign materials.
“It is unfortunate that rather than be involved in prosecuting the ongoing war on terror and gainfully deploy tactics and strategies to prevent needless slaughter of our soldiers, the service chiefs are shamelessly attending political rallies and hobnobbing with politicians and only come for photo-ops when tragedy occurs.”
“It is tragic and condemnable that the present crop of service chiefs who are supposed to have been retired and made space for more capable officers to take over are only known for giving orders for the army to unleash mayhem on innocent and armless Nigerian protesters who are killed and fired at with live bullets when they are peacefully exercising their constitutional rights of expression as was seen recently when the army killed several Shiite members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) in Abuja as well as harassing and killing members of the Indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB), the most recent happening at Nnewi, Anambra State.”
Finally, ICCA/Umunna called on Buhari to shun nepotism and his tendency to always give appointment to a section of the country but look inwards to select competent men and officers in the armed forces to get a final solution to the war on terror in Nigeria.
“President Buhari should for once look at competence in appointing capable officers that will turn around the narrative in this war and bring the pride of the Nigeria Armed Forces back. We also want the military authorities to know that threatening to deal with Nigerians who are criticizing the killing of Nigeria soldiers is very unnecessary as Nigerians are patriotic and supportive of their soldiers despite acts of oppression and suppression they unleash on them on orders from above. They should rather do what they are supposed to do and they will see the accolades Nigerians both at home and in Diaspora will pour on them.”