Barely one week after the deadly attack on the 157 Task Force Battalion of the Nigerian Army in Metele, Borno State, that claims the lives of about 100 soldiers, those who survived the attack by faction of the Boko Haram Terrorists, have an SOS to President Muhammadu Buhari, urging him to probe the quality of weapons procured by the military authorities and save them from further avoidable deaths.
The lucky soldiers accused the military authorities of providing them with obsolete weapons, which they said are grossly inadequate to effectively confront the insurgents in the ongoing counterinsurgency campaign in the Northeast.
They also levelled allegations against the military authorities accusing them of negligence which resulted into the death of scores of their colleagues in a series of attacks coordinated by the Albarnawi faction of the Boko Haram at Metele in Guzamala Local Government Area of Borno.
It was reported that dozens of soldiers were killed when the insurgents attacked Metele military base on November 18.
Two among the surviving soldiers stated that the precarious condition of the troops and obsolete equipment made it difficult for them to repel the insurgents’ attack.
“See what the Nigerian Army has been doing to us, they brought us here. See how they killed our fellow soldiers, they burn them inside the tanks” a soldier narrated.
“They are using us to make money; why? Are we not human beings? They can kill soldiers inside a tank; if Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) can penetrate M-RAG vehicle, what of a fellow human being?
“This is the location called ‘Metele’, This is a place they (the insurgents) took over 40 barrel and these people want to use us, and within one week they killed over 200 soldiers and we are now 147, they want to waste us here. It is a lie, our blood is not here.
“This is a Third World vehicle, a tank manufactured in 1972; and Albarnawi broke all of it. They want to use us and we are not getting anything from them. We want to tell the government of our condition.
“Please; the Federal Government should intervene before the insurgents come and kill us. They mocked us and said we are Zombies; animals, we do not know our rights, any order given to us we will follow.
“We are millennium soldiers, most of us are graduates.
“Look at what they did to this T12 tank; it is obsolete. It was a 1983 Czechoslovakian tank procured during Shagari’s regime. Is this the money the Federal Government provided to procure weapons?
“All the equipment are not working. When it fired two shots it stopped. All the weapons are obsolete and bought during Shagari(1979-1983).
“We know about the money the Federal Government gave to them but the Nigerian Army had turned us into a business”.
“All the money federal government gave them to buy weapons… Nigerian Army is buying INNOSON…. All these are obsolete… Oyinbo came here and said they are obsolete. All these weapons were bought during the Shagari regime in 1983… They have turned us to business…. Federal Government you will hear about it….
“All these weapons are not genuine…if you fire two times you have stoppages. This is 1983 when Shagari was head of state… Federal Government give them money, they go and buy INNOSON, Nigerian made… Federal Government please help us. Help us.” They stated.