Emmanuel Onwubiko: Arms: Mungono’s ‘conjecture’ or ‘conspiracy’?

I’m 100% positive that newbies in using English can be infinitely fascinated by the structural great thing about the Idiom which says “making a mountain out of a molehill”.

Etymologically, the oldest recorded historical past of using the aforementioned idiomatic phrase “making a mountain out of a molehill” is to be present in Nicholas Udall’s translation, 1548.

From the historic account rendered by the editors of the web site generally known as www.theidioms.com, the idiom was initially talked about thus: “The Sophists of Greece might by way of their copiousness make an Elephant of a fly and a mountain of a molehill”.

The above views flashed by way of my sub- consciousness with the following controversy over what was truly mentioned to the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Company on the safety nightmares which have confronted Nigeria for generally with particular reference to the standing of procurements of arms beneath the supervision of the present central administration as alleged by the Nationwide Safety Adviser- Main Common Mohammed Babagana Monguno (rtd).

I knew it and that i nonetheless know that it was merely a made-up conspiracy concept missing logical basis that the quick previous service Chiefs might embark on one other arms procurement rip-off when they’re conscious that their boss didn’t sweep beneath the carpets the allegations that the federal government it took over from must account for about one billion United States {dollars} mentioned to have been used to acquire the army exhausting and gentle wares and certainly subtle weapons to battle the rising Boko haram terrorism within the North East of Nigeria. Can grown males figuring out that these earlier than them are in sizzling soup over allegations over involvement in a scandal over buying of weapons, voluntarily stroll proper into one other sizzling soup of comparable texture? Moreover, these quick previous service Chiefs bravely waged the struggle on terror from the frontline. May they’ve put their lives at dangers by fidgeting with the assets for arms after which nonetheless go to the struggle fronts with out the required weapons? it’s existentially unimaginable. Solely somebody with suicidal tendencies of probably the most virulent specie can strive such an idiocy.

It’s related that we recall what was attributed to the Nationwide Safety Adviser after which we critically analyse it.

Those that had the privilege of listening to the BBC Hausa service interview have reported that certainly, the Nationwide Safety Adviser made these allegations.

He spoke in Hausa Language and never Kanuri.

Hausa is likely one of the hottest languages in Nigeria spoken and understood by hundreds of thousands of non- Hausa together with this author.

However to exhibit that the NSA was both on a journey of vendetta towards Nigeria’s quick previous service chiefs, Nationwide Safety Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno, reportedly revealed that funds working into billions of naira meant for the procurement of arms and ammunition beneath the previous service chiefs have been unaccounted for.

The NSA made the revelation in a BBC Hausa interview. So experiences the media.

His revelation got here a couple of month after President Muhammadu Buhari changed the service chiefs headed by Gabriel Olonishakin, the previous chief of defence employees.

Others have been Chief of Military Workers, Tukur Buratai, Chief of Air Workers, Abubakar Sadique and Chief of Naval Workers, Ibok Ibas.

They have been changed on January 26.

It’s extra believable to argue that the reason for this deliberate fake pas by the Nationwide Safety Adviser could also be that he’s out to tarnish the fame of 1 or the entire earlier Service Chiefs with whom he has had brushes since they have been all appointed, or that he was merely on an epic journey to construct a mountain out of a molehill and to create a scandal that doesn’t exists. That is so as a result of the identical man who made the sensational allegations, took again his vomits.

Even when he had repudiated his phrases of accusation towards the erstwhile service Chiefs, some analysts are nonetheless on the matter actually spreading the false accusation as if they’ve some details that even the purveyor of the sensational accusation doesn’t have.

This was how the Nationwide Safety Adviser denied his phrases which he made reportedly to the BBC in Hausa language.

However in a press release by the ONSA late Friday, Monguno claimed he was quoted out of context within the experiences on the interview he had with BBC Hausa service.

The assertion mentioned the NSA mentioned he solely reiterated the Federal Authorities’s dedication to deal decisively with insecurity and Buhari’s dedication to supply all mandatory help to the Armed Forces, together with the supply of arms and gear.

The assertion learn, “The eye of the Workplace of the Nationwide Safety Adviser has been drawn to some media experiences concerning Armed Forces gear throughout an interview with the BBC Hausa service.

“We want to state that the NSA was quoted out of context as he didn’t categorically say that funds meant for arms procurement have been lacking beneath the Former Service Chiefs as reported or transcribed by some media shops from the BBC interview.

“In the course of the interview, the Nationwide Safety Adviser solely reiterated the Federal Authorities’s dedication to deal decisively with insecurity and acknowledged President Muhammadu Buhari’s continued dedication to supply all mandatory help to the Armed Forces, together with the supply of arms and gear.

“Within the interview the Nationwide Safety Adviser clearly knowledgeable the BBC reporter that Mr President has supplied monumental assets for arms procurement, however the orders have been both insufficient or but to be delivered and that didn’t suggest that the funds have been misappropriated beneath the previous Service Chiefs.

“The NSA additionally knowledgeable the reporter that, Mr President is following up on the procurement course of as is common with contracts referring to army equipments, generally the method entails manufacturing, due diligence and tedious negotiations which will change supply dates.”

It added that the NSA on the Aso Villa Media Briefing, mentioned questions referring to Defence procurement ought to be channelled to the Ministry of Defence.

“All Safety and Intelligence companies are working collectively to deliver an finish to insecurity with the total help of Mr. President and Stakeholders together with the media and civil society as a part of a whole-of-government and a whole-of-society strategy to deal with our safety challenges.”

The query begging for reply is strictly what’s the motive behind the allegations made by the Nationwide Safety Adviser by way of the BBC Captured in Hausa Language which even a media home like Day by day Belief dominated by unique Hausa audio system reported that he made the allegations? Additionally why did he rapidly repudiated his personal allegation and why is President Buhari nonetheless comfy with somebody who has the capability to say one thing within the morning after which deny it inside seconds within the night?

Some newspapers mentioned he, the NSA got here beneath stress to recant his allegations quickly after President Buhari acknowledged clearly that there was no fact within the childish accusation of arms procurement scandal?

Why did Monguno not talk these allegations to the parliament earlier than the previous service chiefs have been cleared for Ambassadorial appointments?

It’s a undeniable fact that beneath this authorities, the then Director Common of DSS wrote to the senate to ask them to not affirm Ibrahim Magu as substantive Chairman of EFCC primarily based on damaging allegations the then boss of the key police who’s a nephew of President detailed meticulously in writing? One is left then to hazard a guess that the Nationwide Safety Adviser could also be on an journey of witch searching towards one or the entire former service chiefs over some disagreements which have been escavated by a media investigative author.

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On March 18th, 2021 Abdullahi Maikudi wrote in The Will on-line newspaper that the Nationwide Safety Adviser was as soon as stopped by President Buhari and his late Chief of employees Abba Kyarri from awarding a $2.5 billion arms deal to an agent in Dubai.

The newspaper mentioned that The plan by the Nationwide Safety Adviser (NSA), Main-Common Babagana Monguno (rtd), to purchase arms price $2.51 billion from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2017 was stopped by President Buhari after his late Chief of Workers, Abba Kyari, advised him that the would-be suppliers are fee brokers, while additionally faulting the contract Monguno signed with the Worldwide Golden Group (IGG), the Abu Dhabi-based arms provider on March 27, 2017.

In a letter dated April 5, 2017, in accordance with a report by TheCable, Monguno had sought Buhari’s approval to pay $627 million “inside eight days” to IGG because the 25 p.c deposit for the provision of arms, ammunition, and gear to Nigerian armed forces.

Monguno as reported by america of America primarily based newspaper additionally requested that the cost be made out of the surplus crude account (ECA), which the Central Financial institution of Nigeria’s (CBN) high administration opposed, complaining to the president that the cost would deplete the nation’s exterior reserves and make it troublesome to defend the native forex, a growth which THEWILL independently verified to be correct.

Mallam Abba Kyari, the then President’s former Chief of Workers who’s now late had additionally blocked the acquisition citing President Buhari’s earlier directive that no third events or brokers be concerned in arms buy, sustaining that it should be a country-to-country transaction. Kyari’s staunch opposition to the deal is believed to have severely broken relations between the 2 high officers.

Buhari took sick thereafter and went on medical go away to London, with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo stepping in as appearing president.

Osinbajo arrange an armed forces and police emergency procurement committee (APEPC) with the necessity to help army operations within the north-east, Lafiya Dole, topping the agenda.

Monguno used the chance to re-present the $2.51 billion memo he had earlier despatched to Buhari, elevating his request to $2.6 billion to incorporate the brand new approval for Lafiya Dole. He mentioned Buhari had already accepted the sum however cost was not made due to his illness and subsequent medical go away, the report mentioned. Once more, he met a brick-wall as Osinbajo insisted that no third events ought to be concerned within the arms buy.

With the $2.51 billion IGG proposal lifeless within the water, in accordance with the report, Monguno felt undermined by Kyari within the scheme of issues however stored his cool.

On Could 27, 2019, Mohammed Adamu, the inspector-general of police, made a request to the NSA for the acquisition of kit, together with arms and vehicles, to spice up the power’s operations. He put the overall price at N32 billion.

In his submission, Monguno once more introduced in IGG, the Abu Dhabi-based group, as suppliers and raised the request to N46 billion — a mark-up of about N14 billion, in accordance with the report.

Kyari, once more, raised objections towards the involvement of IGG — which was to provide even Hilux vehicles, in accordance with the proposal despatched by Monguno.

Kyari argued that it was higher for Nigeria to purchase the vehicles immediately from the producers or enter an settlement with native crops resembling Innosons.

Based mostly on one other memo from Kyari by which he raised objections to third-party involvement in addition to the numerous improve in the price, Buhari directed that the acquisition ought to be dealt with by the ministry of police affairs.

In the meantime, President Buhari had restated his directive that third events or fee brokers shouldn’t be concerned within the buy of arms.

The President additionally directed that arms, ammunition and all gear for the armed forces ought to, thenceforth, be dealt with by the ministry of defence.

All purchases, the president instructed, should be executed on a direct country-to-country foundation with no middlemen and fee brokers concerned as a way to save prices.

The disapproval by the president allegedly enraged Monguno, main him to jot down a collection of instigating letters to numerous authorities officers to protest Kyari’s “meddlesomeness”, the report mentioned.

He additionally raised the alarm over “menace to nationwide safety” and accused Kyari of issuing directions to service chiefs, even suggesting that it was due to this “meddlesomeness” that Boko Haram was renewing assaults.

On March third 2020, it was reported that in a scathing leaked memo from Nigeria’s Aso Rock, Buhari’s Safety Adviser, Main Common Babagana Monguno, attacked Chief of Workers Abba Kyari basically accusing him of working towards the president.

The letter by the Nationwide Safety Adviser warned the President’s Chief of Workers towards meddling within the safety affairs of the nation whereas additionally warning the nation’s service chiefs to “cease taking orders from Kyari and be cautious of his interference.

Buhari ran and received Nigeria’s presidential elections twice on the platform of defeating Boko Haram.

However regardless of Abuja’s claims that Boko Haram has been technically defeated, there have been a number of current assaults by Boko Haram on Nigerian soil.

The depth of the assaults led to federal lawmakers reaching a decision calling for the president to sack the present service chiefs and even a senator asking the president to resign.

The service chiefs and different officers had been holding conferences with Kyari, a course of that Monguno believes says contradicts the structure. So is Monguno nonetheless indignant that he was snubbed?

Nonetheless, data accessible even within the public area is to the impact that the quick previous Service Chiefs complied completely with all of the extant procurement authorized necessities of their transactions or within the procurement of weapons by the ministry of Defence.

On April ninth 2020, it was reported by defenceWeb that Nigeria’s army has taken supply of VT-4 predominant battle tanks, SH-5 self-propelled howitzers and different gear from China in an effort to strengthen its land forces within the battle towards Boko Haram militants.

The gear was acquired from China’s Norinco after being ordered final yr beneath an obvious $152 million contract.

The gear was unloaded on 8 April and included VT-4 predominant battle tanks, SH5 105 mm self-propelled artillery and different gadgets.

Nigerian Military Chief of Coverage and Plans Lieutenant Common Lamidi Adeosun mentioned, “The method of buying this has been on for a while however thank God they’re coming in now. From this, you possibly can see how critical the Federal Authorities of Nigeria is in ensuring that the Nigerian Military is just not solely geared up, however incorporates drawback of insecurity we’re having throughout the nation.

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“That is being tackled with educated personnel and required gear. What you might be seeing right here is only a tip of the iceberg. Others are nonetheless coming however it is extremely essential that all of us see that each the army and the federal government are actually very critical to deal with the safety issues throughout the nation.”

Adeosun mentioned the supply from China consists of predominant battle tanks, mild tanks and two forms of artillery. He added that personnel have been educated in China to function the gear.

In response to Nigerian media, 17 automobiles have been offloaded on Wednesday, together with VT-4 predominant battle tank and ST1 mild tanks. Pictures affirm VT-4 and SH-5 automobiles have been delivered.

In Could 2019, Minister of Defence, Brigadier Common Mansur Dan-Ali, mentioned the Nigerian authorities had supplied funding for the acquisition of recent gear for the Nigerian armed forces, with some in service and others on the way in which.

This included 35 predominant battle tanks, 25 Storm MRAPs (mine-resistant, ambush protected automobiles), 10 Spartan armoured personnel carriers, 20 Armoured Guard Cubicles, 5 armoured mine-clearing automobiles, 50 troop-carrying automobiles and 40 Buffalo automobiles, amongst others for the Nigerian Military.

As well as, 4 Ships, 182 inflexible hull inflatable and Epenal boats, 4 inshore patrol craft, two STAN Patrol Vessels and one helicopter have been procured for the Nigerian Navy. The Nigerian Air Drive has benefited from the acquisition of 25 mounted wing plane and 12 helicopters, Dan-Ali mentioned on the time.

The VT-4 (MBT-3000) predominant battle tank was constructed by Norinco for the export market and unveiled internationally in 2012. The 52-ton car has a crew of three (commander, driver and gunner – an automated loader reduces crew numbers). It’s armed with a 125 mm smoothbore cannon, a remotely operated 12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine gun and a 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun however may also fireplace guided missiles. It may be fitted with a GL5 energetic safety system.

The car’s fireplace management unit additionally includes roof-mounted panoramic sights, a laser warning machine, and a digital gun management system designed to help day and evening operation. A 1 200 hp turbocharged diesel engine provides a most velocity of 70km/h and vary of 500 km.

The SH5 self-propelled artillery system is a growth of Norinco’s SH2. It’s armed with a 105 mm gun on a 6×6 platform. The gun has an elevation of zero to 70 levels with traverse being 30 levels left and proper. Vary of the weapon is round 18 km. The SH5 is fitted with a computerized fire-control system, together with GPS navigation and positioning, concentrating on, and communications methods.

The SH5 has an armoured crew compartment, which is protected once more small arms fireplace and shell splinters. The car has a high velocity of 100 km/h and vary of 800 km.

The Nigerian Military on 18th January reportedly ordered one other 52 regionally produced Ezugwu mine-resistant, ambush protected (MRAP) automobiles from the Defence Industries Company of Nigeria (DICON), which can produce the automobiles by the third quarter of this yr.

In early January DICON Director-Common, Main Common Victor Ezugwu, mentioned the order was made to enhance the operational effectivity of troops combating terrorism, banditry and different rising safety threats within the nation.

He mentioned the Chief of Military Workers and Defence Minister have launched their coaching plans for 2021 with a name on DICON to supply new gear for the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

“We’re additionally supplying police and different safety companies loads of non-kinetic gear for his or her operations. We now have been up and going and this yr, we’re going to check this gear and as soon as they go the sector trial check, we’re going to have mass manufacturing of them,” Ezugwu mentioned.

“That is essential to us as a result of we have to produce gear for the Armed Forces to deliver this insurgency and different crimes to an finish. We now have a suggestions mechanism for our automobiles from the sector. Up to now so good – our MRAP Ezugwu has been capable of play the function it was designed for very nicely.

“We’re additionally engaged on the manufacturing of different automobiles,” he mentioned, that are within the prototype section in the meanwhile. “We’re going into mass manufacturing this yr as a result of we’re already having curiosity proven by the Military and others. We hope that as we produce, we’ll hold enhancing as time goes by primarily based on the suggestions we get from the sector.”

The Ezugwu was unveiled in September 2019 on the Abuja Worldwide Commerce Truthful Advanced throughout a Nigerian Military Day occasion. It’s named after Main Common Victor Ezugwu, who earned recognition for his efforts to fight Boko Haram extremists. On the finish of 2018, he was appointed Managing Director/CEO of DICON.

The Ezugwu is armoured towards small arms fireplace and utilizing flat-bottom armour know-how, its hull can stand up to a 7 kg TNT explosion while every wheel can stand up to a 12 kg TNT explosion. The unique model carries a crew of 12: commander, driver, two gunners and eight troopers. Unusually, the car has two weapons turrets which might traverse 360 levels and a telescopic lengthy vary digicam for improved situational consciousness.

The 4×4 Ezugwu is fitted with an unbiased suspension system and is powered by a Chinese language WD615 turbodiesel engine. It’s believed the Ezugwu was designed on a Tatra 4×4 chassis, in accordance with African Army Weblog. The Nigerian Military apparently plans to amass 130 Ezugwu automobiles.

Following the January 2021 announcement, DICON launched pictures of the Ezugwu exhibiting a car considerably completely different to the sooner design. The brand new car is a 6×6 not a 4×4, seems to have just one turret and has a standard windscreen, not like the unique, which solely had a driver’s cupola. Earlier pictures confirmed the same car (with a windscreen), however with two turrets and in 4×4 configuration.

It seems the primary batch of 25 Ezugwu automobiles delivered to the Nigerian Military in December 2019 have been of the unique configuration with two turrets, 4×4 drivetrain and no windscreen. In June 2020, it emerged that 47 Ezugwu automobiles have been being produced by DICON.

The Ezugwu is one among many various car varieties the Nigerian army is taking into service. Since April 2020, the Nigerian Military has acquired Chinese language-made VT-4 predominant battle tanks, ST1 8×8 tank destroyers, South Korean-made Kia Gentle Tactical Car (KLTV) armoured personnel carriers and SH5 self-propelled artillery models in addition to regionally manufactured automobiles.

Domestically produced automobiles embrace Conqueror and Champion armoured personnel carriers that have been designed and constructed by the Military’s engineering unit. Nigeria’s Proforce has additionally delivering its domestically manufactured Ara APCs to the Military.

In the meantime, the not too long ago established Nigerian Military Car Manufacturing Firm (NAVMC) is growing a number of armoured automobiles for the Nigerian army. These embrace an Infantry Patrol Car (IPV) fitted with a mounted heavy machinegun; a Tactical Patrol Car with seating for eight personnel, and a Gentle Tactical Car armoured personnel service. Why then are some amorphous teams and individuals nonetheless bent on constructing a mountain out of a molehill?

*EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO is head of the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) and [email protected] theingerianinsidernews.com, www.huriwanigeria.com.

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