Group lauds ex-Defence minister, CDS for roles in military’s onslaught on Boko Haram

A group, Concerned Professionals’ Congress (CPC) has lauded former Minister of Defence Brig-Gen.  Mansur Muhammad Dan-Ali (retd) and the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin for their  roles in bringing about the current onslaught on Boko Haram and the Islamic State for West Africa Province (ISWAP) in the North-east.

The  group said their efforts in seeking improved military equipment laid the proper ground for the recent massive deployment of high-grade military hardware to such as main battle tanks, armoured guard booths and mine-cleaning vehicles, troop-bearing vehicles, buffalo vehicles procured in 2018 and delivered by the Chinese state-owned defence company, NORINCO to  the North-east in the last three weeks.

 The group said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s huge investment in the nation’s defence sector was built on the dogged push by Mansur Dan-Ali and the CDS in the rearmament, training, re-training, welfare and the general repositioning of the armed forces, pointing out that the current military successes in the various battles against insurgency, crime and criminality in the country were the direct gains of federal government’s robust interest in the sector.

The CPC’s Chief Media Strategist, Mr. Emeka Nwankpa, in a joint statement they issued Wednesday, in Abuja, with the Northern Regional Rapporteur, Kasim Baba Kasim, praised the former Defence minister and the CDS for their conviction and commitment to increased arms procurement for the military, noting that their efforts were the game-changer in the ongoing military offensive against insurgents in the North East.

The group praised the commitment and single-mindedness displayed by Dan-Ali and the CDS to pursue the military’s arms upgrade programme.

 ‘’ The nation is indeed grateful for the rare commitment and doggedness of these two patriotic officers in pursuing the massive arms upgrade of our Armed Forces towards boosting its current combat efficiency. These new sophisticated platforms in the three services are phenomenal.

  ‘’They were procured under a new government-to-government policy by the Ministry of Defence directly buys arms from the original equipment manufacturers (OEM) to eliminate fraudulent middle-men who hitherto either supplied sub- standard products or compromised quality thereby saving government’s scarce foreign exchange,” the statement said.

The Coordinator of the newly-created Defence Media Operations, Maj General John Enenche, had recently told defence reporters that some top Boko Haram commanders such as Abu Usamah were killed while their armoury and other key structures were massively decimated by the troops.

Also, Nigerian Army Chief of Policy and Plans, Lt. Gen. Lamidi Adeosun recently told journalists in Lagos that the sophisticated machines were facilitated by the CDS, General Abayomi Olonisakin through the Ministry of Defence and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

Mr. Nwankpa described the military weapons upgrade programme as the most revolutionary, comprehensive and far-reaching decision ever taken for the military by a Nigerian government after the Shehu Shagari regime of the 1980s.

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