Following renewed attacks on civilians and the military by the dreaded insurgent sect, a coalition has warned the Finance Minister to sit up.
Worried about poor funding for the Military in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgents, a collation of civil society organizations under the aegis of Concerned Citizens Coalition for Change [CCCC], has threatened a mass action against the Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun.
The group expressed worries over the poor defence budget performance, thus leading to the ability of the sect fighters to regroup and become into new threats.
The CCCC, in a statement at a press briefing held in Abuja, said it has keenly monitored the anti-terrorism war in the north-east and has come to the conclusion that Nigerians have been shortchanged to an extent that there should be consequences in addition to urgent remedial actions.
While flaying the minister over the development, the group noted that the Defence budget has performed poorly and this was having a negative impact on the war against terrorism in the country.
The coordinator of CCCC, Solomon Samenka, in a statement issued after the briefing, lamented that the poor implementation of the budget posed great risks to the Military things can go wrong when critical procurements like service parts for aircrafts, fighting gears and other consumables are not procured or maintenance contractual obligations are defaulted upon.
The statement reads in part:
“Aside from the risk that such poses to the Military, there is the possibility of Boko Haram terror groups bouncing back if something is not urgently done to reverse the situation.
The Honorable Minister might have noticed that only the Nigerian Air Force, apparently out of patriotism for the fatherland, has continued to innovatively circumvent the limitations imposed by a poor budget implementation to continue aerial bombardment of terrorist bases.
The Air Force has locally sourced or fabricated critical spare parts to address the paucity of funds for procuring the foreign made versions.
While this has given the Federal Government and Nigerians value for money, this is not an ideal situation.
As the focal person that ensures that budgets are transparently implemented using global best practice, we hold you wholly responsible for the failure to fund defence related project that will ensure that the Armed Forces are well situated to discharge their duty.
May we also point out that your hands are soiled with the blood of military personnel who have died because of this failure occasioned by the late release of funds or failure to do so."
The group further asked the minister to announce measures to ensure proper implementation of the budget in the course of the next 72 hours or face mass action.
“Where the Honorable Minister of Finance fails to announce such measures within 72 hours of the receipt of this letter, our coalition would embark on a protest to the Presidential Villa from where we would lead the mother of all protests for a one-day total occupation of the Ministry of Finance in Abuja on Thursday, November 2, 2017,” the statement concluded.
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