A Nigerian army officer engaged in the fight against Boko Haram has alleged that soldiers at the front use outdated weapons to fight Boko Haram and ISWAP insurgents.
The soldier, who spoke to SaharaReporters on condition of anonymity, said the troops still use guns recovered from the Biafra Army after the civil war ended in 1970.
He alleged that top army officers, including former Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, were using the Boko Haram war as an enterprise to enrich themselves at the expense of their lives.
“Some of these guns were bought by (Chukwuemeka Odumegwu) Ojukwu for the Biafran Army during the civil war. They were handed over to the Nigerian government after he and other leaders of the Biafra Army surrendered to General Yakubu Gowon.
“The bombs given to us by Buratai were made over 50 years ago as well, so we hardly use them,” he told SaharaReporters.
The Nigerian Army had recently accused 149 soldiers of the 153 Infantry Battalion, Marte of abandoning the Boko Haram insurgency fight and fleeing over alleged inadequate provision of arms and ammunition.
SaharaReporters gathered that the soldiers absconded from duty after insurgents attacked their camps, leaving scores of their colleagues dead.
The insurgents had on Monday, February 15 overrun Marte.
While most of the villagers ran away for safety, some were held by the insurgents.
SaharaReporters gathered that the gunmen came with heavy machine guns and trucks, and took possession of the military formation in the community, including high profile fighting equipment and vehicles.
At least 10 soldiers were killed during the incident.
The gunmen also burnt two battle tanks and a pickup van belonging to the Nigerian Army.
“We lost about 10 soldiers in the fight, the troops were outgunned by the gunmen. It was an intense battle, the terrorists also suffered casualties but they were able to overwhelm the soldiers,” a military source had said.
SaharaReporters gathered that soldiers were moved to Maiduguri a few days after the attack while those from Jaji Military Cantonment, Kaduna State, were used to replace them.
The army authorities subsequently dismissed them and retrieved their uniforms and identity cards.
They were however recalled a few weeks later.