The Nigerian Army has said that the $1billion fund requested from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) to boost the counter-terrorism operations in the North East is ‘grossly inadequate.’ for the war against insurgency.
Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Major-General Rogers Nicholas, said this on Wednesday while addressing journalists on the activities of the troops.
“The Super Tucano aircraft that the Federal Government is trying to buy for the military from the United States of America (USA), one of those aircraft costs about $14 million.
“An Apache helicopter costs between $20 million to $65 million. So talking about a million dollar to the military in the North East to me is grossly inadequate,” he said.
Nicholas also said that there are some members of the outlawed Boko Haram sect who are willing to surrender but are scared.
“There are quite a large number of them who want to surrender. We are in contact with some of them but they are scared,” he averred.
Nicholas, who took over from Major-General Ibrahim Attahiru as the leader of the counter-terrorism insurgency, pleaded with media practitioners to help the military convince other terrorists who are scared to surrender do so.
The Army General said journalists have a leading role in ensuring that terrorists were free to give up their struggle and embrace peace.
“The media has a role to play by convincing these people who are in the bush to drop their arms and come out. You have seen that their leader is on the run so what are they fighting for?
“We expect the media to carry out this message and carry it too far for us. Let it be a repeated message. They should come out, nobody wants to kill them, and the suffering is too much,” he added.
Reiterating his commitment to reintegrate any repentant terrorist back into the society, Nicholas gave the assurance that the military would give them the normal human rights treatment.
He, however, explained that some steps would be taken by first profiling the renounced Boko Haram member, give them medical treatment, document them and hand them over to the relevant authorities for further action where necessary.
Once the processes have been concluded, the military would further hand over such to the Internally Displaced Persons’ camps.