Why terrorism continues despite huge budgetary allocations – Defence Chief

Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, has given reasons why terrorism has yet to end despite the huge budgetary allocation the military receives annually.

Speaking during an interview on a television programme on Tuesday, Musa said the military did not have enough equipment to fight the terrorists, because year after year not all the funds allocated to defence were released.

He also noted that civilians conniving with terrorists and supporting them with supplies had been frustrating the military’s efforts to end the war.

The CDS said these as a follow-up to his visit to the Kaduna community where villagers were “mistakenly” bombed by the Army on Sunday night. No fewer than 90 persons were reported killed while about 60 persons were said to be injured.

Speaking on the rising defence budget and the raging insecurity, he said there was a difference between what was budgeted and what was released. In the 2024 Appropriation Bill, N3.25trillion was budgeted for defence, while in 2023, defence got N2.98tn, representing 13.4 percent of the N21.83trillion budget.

The CDS further stated that “in the past, you heard large sums of money approved for the military but the question is, how much do we get? That is very important. Also, we don’t manufacture any of the items we use; we buy them in dollars. If you look at the amount released and you convert to dollars, how much is it?

Speaking further on how connivance by some Nigerians had undermined the efforts of the military, he stated, “We appeal to all Nigerians to cooperate. Security is everybody’s responsibility. I give you my challenge while in the North-East; in some places you find out that there are people even supporting them (the terrorists), giving them equipment and food. Every day, we fight them to stop taking fertiliser to them, and things that could make them fix Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). It’s a challenge”.

Asked when Nigerians should expect an end to the terrorism, he stated, “That is an elephant in the room. My take is that no country should allow terrorism to start, because it is difficult to eradicate, because the centre of gravity of the terrorist is their ideology, and their ideology is in their mind, so changing the mind-set is what we require”.

He also called on opinion leaders not to play to the gallery by making untrue comments that could excite the terrorists and demoralise the troops, saying, “Once they demoralise the troops, they will be scared to react, and we don’t want that to happen. We know they have been doing a good job and we want to encourage them to continue, but then we will be more careful”.

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