A South African firm, Specialised Tasks, Training, Equipment and Protection International (STTEP) is pointing accusing fingers at the negligence of President Muhammadu Buhari to intelligence report in the latest killing of soldiers at Matele village in Borno State, north-east Nigeria. In a related development, the Defence Headquarters of Nigeria has also sought support for the troops battling the Boko Haram insurgency in the country.
The Facebook page of the STTEP chairman, Eeben Barlow, claimed that Nigerian soldiers were begging him for help since his company’s services were terminated by the Buhari administration. The South African has kept maintaining that the president ignored intelligence on the potency of the sect prior to the attack that claimed over 100 soldiers. This comes even as some Nigerian troops accused top commanders of leading them to death with obsolete weapons in contrast to the sophisticated weaponry of their enemy. Video clip allegedly from the army recorded with armature camera went viral on November 23 showing obsolete weapons of the Nigerian army, which is highly embarrassing to the country.
In a swift reaction however, Director, Defence Information, Brigadier-General John Agim, told the media, “We should avoid joking with our security problems. If we do not change the narrative and encourage our troops to face our security challenges with boldness, then we should be ready for the worst. Matele incident also killed the commander, so what corruption are we talking about? The commanders’ lives are in danger like any other soldier deployed in the Operation Theatre.”
But reacting to the claim of the South African mercenary firm, Brigadier-General John Agim, “I do not know what Intel they gave the FG. I cannot comment on what I don’t have full information.” However, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the National Assembly to probe the assault. In a statement by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, it accused the presidency of condoning extra-judicial killings nationwide.