I have been trying to figure out the reason why the Nigerian military, as revealed by Amnesty International, would ignore advance warning about planned mass abduction of the Chibok school girls by Boko Haram.
I can only imagine two possibilities.
First, it is clear and beyond doubt that the terrorists whom our soldiers are sent and expected to combat are equipped with better and more sophisticated weapons than they are. They therefore, feel like being sent on a suicide mission knowing that they are incapable of matching the intelligence and operational sophistication and capabilities of the terrorists.
Second, soldiers in the battle field have often complained that they are short-changed by senior military officers who illegally divert and steal their allowances. They are therefore, demotivated by poor welfare and inadequate and inferior operational facilities.
Many cases in the past have highlighted the recurrent issue of illegal diversion and theft of duty allowances of junior military officers by their superiors. This also happens in the police.
I recall that in April 2009 27 gallant soldiers who were among the 850 members of the 15th Nigerian Battalion of the United Nations Peace Keeping Mission to Liberia between September 2007 and April 2008 were court-martialed for alleged mutiny, purportedly convicted and sentenced to life by a 7-man military court martial which sat at the 323 Army Artillery Regiment, Owena Barracks, Akure, Ondo State. The offense of the gallant soldiers was that they protested the illegal diversion and theft of their peace keeping allowances by senior army officers.
Although the imprisoned soldiers eventually regained their freedom following pressure from human rights groups' campaigns and the legal challenge of their unfair trial and torture by military authorities, the case once more highlighted the recurrent issue of illegal diversion and theft of duty allowances of junior military officers by their superiors.
Why is it difficult to adequately equip the security forces so that they are operationally capable and confident to confront the terrorists? What with all the obscene and dizzying amounts of money being stolen everyday by officials in Jonathan's government!
Evidence of the operational incapability of the Nigerian military lies also in their ineffective response in the days and weeks after the girls were abducted.
Between the federal government that may have failed to provide adequate funds and motivation for the soldiers in the frontline (I stand to be proved wrong) and the military authorities accused of short changing security forces whose lives are put on the line to combat terrorists and secure the lives of fellow compatriots, we need not look far to see those either promoting terrorism or sabotaging the effort to combat it.