Defence Equipment Procurement: Stakeholders slam FG, Committee

Key stakeholders in the Nigerian State on Wednesday rejected the progressive dehumanization of those that contributed to the unity, stability and growth of the country and also complained about the unethicalness in the reports of the Presidential Committee on Defence Equipment Procurement in the Nigerian Armed Forces.

At a meeting of top brass of different ethnic groupings in Kaduna, the stakeholders not only opposed the agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari, which they described as selective but expressed surprise at the shallowness of the government with regards to procurement procedures of the Ministry of Defence.

“This action is repugnant to natural justice, equity and good conscience. The country cannot afford the luxury of being coerced into the repressive mannerisms of selective justice” a statement by Alhaji Adamu Bello said.

They described the accusations against retired military officers as politically motivated.

The stakeholders accused the government of being selective and refusing to indict key members of the current administration, believed to have played questionable roles in military procurement since 2007.

They also accused the presidency of doctoring the Arms Procurement Probe Report to shield certain individuals.

“These reports must be seen and taken for what they are- distorted images of reality”. They also carpeted the government for allegedly lying about the terms of reference on the latest interim report on the ongoing probe into arms procurement by successive government since 2007.

Raising questions on who is in charge of contract, the role of the Ministry of Defence in awarding of contracts, the meaning and use of operation fund, the attempt to criminalize it and the position of the Procurement Act on this issue, the stakeholders advised President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the politics of selection; stressing that such a method could produce and sustain a chaotic order.

The leaders appealed to President Buhari to focus on issues that enhance economic growth.

“The change agenda of the government has obviously removed food from the tables in many homes. People can no longer make ends meet and all what we can see is the daily increase of robbery, prostitution, kidnapping and bombing of oil pipelines” the stakeholders further complained.

They advised the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to tread cautiously, and also appealed to President Buhari to exercise restraints by calling his media aides, the EFCC and the minister of information to order.

By Ebireri Henry Ovie

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