Published On: Wed, Jul 20th, 2016

Arms Procurement Report: ‘It is a distorted image of reality’–Stakeholders

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images (3)The dust raised by the report of the arms procurement panel which indicted two former army chiefs and a dozen of other senior army officers, is far from from settling.

This is because key stakeholders in the security and socio-political sector of the country have critiqued the report and dismissed it as a ‘distorted images of reality’

In a statement issued on Wednesday by one Alhaji Adamu Bello after a meeting of different ethnic groupings in Kaduna, the concerned stakeholders also slammed the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration and the arms procurement panel for the selective manner the panel conducted its investigations and its subsequent report.

This is even as they deplored “the unethicalness in the reports of the Presidential Committee on Defence Equipment Procurement in the Nigerian Armed Forces”.

The stakeholders, he said, are not only opposed to the agenda of President Buhari, which they described as selective, but also expressed surprise at the shallowness of the government with regards to procurement procedures of the Ministry of Defence.

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“This action is repugnant to natural justice, equity and good conscience. The country cannot afford the luxury of being coerced into the repressive mannerisms of selective justice,” Bello said.

He described the accusations against retired military officers as politically motivated.

“The stakeholders accused the government of being selective and refusing to indict key members of the current administration believed to have played questionable roles in military procurement since 2007,” he stated.

Bello also accused the presidency of doctoring the Arms Procurement Probe Report to shield certain individuals.

“These reports must be seen and taken for what they are – distorted images of reality,” he said.

He also carpeted the government for allegedly lying about the terms of reference of the latest interim report on the ongoing probe into arms procurement by successive governments since 2007.

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Raising questions on who is in charge of contracts, the role of the Ministry of Defence in awarding of contracts, the meaning and use of operations fund, the attempt to criminalise it and the position of the Procurement Act on this issue, the stakeholders advised President Buhari to stop the politics of selection; stressing that such a method could produce and sustain a chaotic situation.

The leaders appealed to the President to focus on issues that enhance economic growth.

“The change agenda of the government has obviously removed food from the tables in many homes.

“People can no longer make ends meet and all what we can see is the daily increase of robbery, prostitution, kidnapping and bombing of oil pipelines,” they said.

 

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