The immediate past Chief of the Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, has lamented the state of the Nigerian military.
In this interview with Channels television, he says the last time the Nigerian army received new equipment was in 2006 and that the Nigerian military flies the oldest fighter jets in the whole world.
He added that the government must build barracks for the military so that they can recruit more soldiers.
In his words: “We found out that we had fifth columnist in the military that were leaking information to terrorists and then we also had challenges of serviceable equipment.
“If I go down memory lane, I think the last time any piece of equipment was bought for the Nigerian army was in 2006 and how many were they? They were few. And from that time on we were not using the APCs, we were not even allowed to use them.”
“In fact they were few and if we go way back from end of 1993, from then on, soldiers were not allowed to even go to range to go and practice. So a soldier that is not practicing how will he use his gun, what kind of military are you going to have? So those were the challenges we had so when we were faced with Boko Haram, it became a very big challenge.”
“We have been trying to increase the military by ourselves. You don’t give me budget and say go and build barracks. Barracks is capital intensive. So even if we recruit so many people in the military now, we don’t have where to house them. So it is a challenge too that government must face.”
“Government must build barracks for us so that we can recruit more. For a population of over 170 million, what we have in Nigeria can not be adequate enough to protect us. So those were the challenges we had.”
“Inadequate equipment, obsolete equipment. In fact we are the ones that are flying the oldest fighter aeroplanes in the whole world. Alpha jets we bought them in 1981. That is the backbone of our operations in the Northeast, so they are too old,” he said.