Worried by the worsening insecurity in the country, the daring opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says Nigeria is currently facing the consequences of a leadership failure.
According to the party, the seeming nervous outburst by the Buhari administration on the Saturday bloodletting in Borno State by the menacing Boko Haram terrorists, ‘’is the height of leadership failure of the lazy, lethargic and incompetent Buhari administration’’.
The political attack by the PDP is coming as the Defence Headquarters (DHQ), on Monday, said the military is restrategising to combat terrorism in Borno and other North-East states.
Defence Media Operations Coordinator, Maj. Gen. John Enenche, who made this public on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme, equally claimed that the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the production and delivery of equipment including Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) vital for military surveillance operations in the North-East axis of the country.
Enenche spoke against the backdrop of the Saturday killing of some 50 rice farmers in the Zabarmari area of Borno by Boko Haram terrorists.
“My own conceptualisation and definition of re-jigging the architecture is about the strategy that we apply in the field, not anything beyond that. The strategy is what we are working on. We hold meetings every other time, particularly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and also at short notices. We think about how to make the strategies better always. Just like what happened on Saturday.
“Re-jigging now is how do we make it better to avert another attack. We are looking at the composition of the force, the approach, tactics and the operational moves that we do there. If there is the need to change some tactics, we will change them”, Enenche said.
According to him, some equipment have not been delivered by Original Engine Manufacturers because of the pandemic which disrupted activities globally, insisting, “the COVID-19 pandemic gave all sectors setback has far as I am concerned. We are all aware that we have to make UAVs and other devices that can provide surveillance for us beyond human surveillance and intelligence.
“The production of military equipment is not something that is like cooking; it is a mechanical device. Production was on but COVID-19 gave this a setback. The plan of covering ungovernable terrains with UAVs and all others were in place but the original equipment producers had to obey COVID-19 rules.
“In some parts of the world where we are getting this equipment from, the second wave of COVID-19 came and we needed to give them time.”
Continuing, he said the military remained optimistic that production will speed up as factories gradually restart operations globally.
The killing of the rice farmers, who have been buried, is still attracting strong international and national condemnations with some Nigerians calling on the President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the service chiefs and overhaul the security architecture of the country.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement says his party is alarmed by what he described as ‘’the reckless and bizarre attempt’’ by the Buhari Presidency to rationalise the gruesome beheading of 43 innocent Nigerians by insurgents in Zabarmari, Borno.
‘’PDP is outraged by the Buhari Presidency’s claims that the farmers were killed because they failed to get clearance before going to their farms; a statement, which is also an admission that the Buhari administration has been overwhelmed by terrorists and can no longer guarantee our compatriots a normal life.
‘’Our party submits that it is weird, reprehensible and repulsive that the Buhari Presidency now seeks to turn itself into a mouthpiece of terrorists by this subtle attempt to rationalize the killing of innocent and hard-working Nigerians.
‘’This unpatriotic stance smacks of support for acts of terrorism and mindless killing of our compatriots by a government whose Commander-in-Chief had promised Nigerians to lead the battle against insurgents from the front.
‘’Our party is forced to hold that attitudes such as the unpatriotic remark of the Buhari Presidency embolden insurgents in their ceaseless attacks in our country. Such also provides further insights into the escalation of acts of terrorism in our country in the last five years’’, Ologbondiyan said.
Hitting on, the opposition party said, ‘’it is indeed shocking that the Buhari Presidency has graduated from making bogus claims of having degraded terrorism to the embarrassing point of blaming unprotected and helpless Nigerians for falling victims of terrorist attacks.
‘’It is therefore insensitive for the Buhari Presidency to have shown this huge lack of empathy, which amounts to a spat on the grave of the slain as well as an unpardonable slap on the faces of the generality of mourning Nigerians.
‘’Perhaps this also informs why their party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), has not deemed it fit to have a word of lamentation for the death nor consolation for the bereaved.
‘’Our party, therefore, calls on President Buhari to immediately withdraw the offensive statement by his Presidency and apologise to Nigerians, particularly the people of Borno.’’
PDP has also restated its call to President Buhari to heed the demands by Nigerians to re-jig the country’s security architecture as well as replace his service chiefs with more competent hands in the interest of Nigeria.