News Column

Odumakin Backs Jonathan's U.S. $1 Billion Loan Request to Fight Terror

August 4, 2014

Temidayo Akinsuyi

National Publicity Secretary of pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, has spoken in support of the Federal Government's proposed $1 billion loan to fight terrorism in the country.

He, however, added that Nigerians must demand accountability of how the money will be spent.

Odumakin, who spoke in Lagos, added that "our soldiers will continue to be killed by Boko Haram if they continue to fight with obsolete weapons many of which were bought in 1983".

According to him, "it is only those who are sympathisers of Boko Haram that will say don't arm the military so that Boko Haram can continue to have the upper hand".

Odumakin said the fact that Nigerian soldiers always perform creditably whenever they went for foreign operations is a clear indications that Nigeria will continue to lose the war against Boko Haram if the military is ill-equipped.

"I knew before the Minister of State for Defence said it that the last time Nigeria invested in heavy weapons for the military was in 1983 under (President Shehu) Shagari.

"That was when we bought 'NNS Olokun', and the rest of them. Between 1983 and now the military has suffered.

"Even under the military rule, the military as an institution did not benefit. The leaders then denied the military the kind of weapons they should get because of fear of coup. So that is why our soldiers today are fighting Boko Haram with inferior weapons.

"The Boko Haram elements are carrying anti-aircraft guns against or soldiers who are still carrying guns that were bought in 1983.

"And successive military leaders have made a lot of kill with defence funds. Now, we are at war and see the way our soldiers are being killed.

"I am on the side of those who say there should be accountability, there should be an account for what has been budgeted for but in the midst of this war, nobody should say our military should not be equipped.

"I also read that about 40 aircraft have just arrived the country," Odumakin noted.

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Source: AllAfrica

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