Former Pres. Jonathan announced periodically that breakthroughs were being made in gaining the girls’ freedom but little action was seen. Reports of soldiers fleeing towns that they were tasked to defend made me wonder if they were cowardly. News has been trickling out that the soldiers were issued with scant ammunition and other weapons and had no tools to fight the well-armed terrorists.
Money for the purchase of helicopters, fighter jets, bombs and ammunition is missing. Recent video footage taken surreptitiously by an enlisted man shows the soldiers training in bare or sandaled feet, no uniforms and no weapons.
Thousands of needless Nigerian deaths would have been avoided" if the money had been properly spent, Femi Adesina, an adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari, said in a statement on Tuesday. Al Jazeera
Nigeria should be a wealthy country. It has been a major supplier of petroleum from the fields at the mouth of the Niger River Delta. Instead, those living in the Delta area are coping with the loss of livelihood from the widespread pollution. Endemic corruption by those in power has diverted billions of dollars into private hands. The sums are staggering. As much as $150 billion may have been stolen in the past decade.
[Who or what is Boko Haram? Boko Haram is a militant extremist group that opposes any political or social activity that may be viewed as Western. This is why women or girls in the process of being educated are sometimes a target. The Islamist group or sect, Boko Haram, was founded by Mohammed Yusuf in 2002 but he was killed by authorities in 2009. The group reformed and in the last few years have escalated violence once again.]
The military was once the largest and best equipped on the continent, but corruption here has played its part in ensuring an erosion of equipment and weapons. The new president is a former military man with perhaps more sympathy for the plight of the government soldiers.
Today, All Africa is reporting the liberation of a town in N. Nigeria where women, children and elderly people were locked up in poor conditions by the Boko Haram terrorists. This may be a turning point in the fortunes of Boko Haram. In a joint operation with Chad and Niger, the Nigerian military have retaken a border town that had been held by the terrorists since November 2013.
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