Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim (rtd), who served chief of defence staff (CDS) during the government of the ex-president Goodluck Jonathan, has explained the failure of the Nigerian army to defeat Boko Haram under the immediate past administration.
Daily Post reports that Ibrahim was speaking with the reporters during a lecture he delivered at the National Defence College (NDC) on military leadership and national security.
He said: “In our time, there were so many distractions.”
“Up to the time the Commander in Chief then declared a State of Emergency, you will hear: ‘we are negotiating here and there, please slow down,’ north eastern elders were worried.
“Can you imagine fighting a war and the people you were trying to protect were thinking that soldiers out there on the streets of Maiduguri, were an army of occupation, which brought a lot of political dimension to the issues.
“And when political dimension, combined with several other policy choices, the result was what we saw, when the state of emergency was declared, I thought there was a little celebration, because the political dimension was like giving you a job and tying your hand behind your back.
“Besides the resources to take on such challenges were neither here nor there, to the level one would have expected, we were not prepared for the nature of the insurgency, even our procurement processes were tailored towards or heavier on conventional warfare.”
Ibrahim served from October 2012 to January 16, 2014, and also as Chief of Naval Staff from 2010 to 2012.
In December 2015, the incumbent leader Muhammadu Buhari announced the fight against the insurgents had been “technically won”.