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The Coalition for Truth and Justice has called on the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magashi, to come clean on the controversy trailing the $1 billion released by the Federal Government for arms purchase.

The group said Magashi should open up on how the Ministry of Defence expended the funds and what arms were purchased with the fund.

Recall that Babagana Monguno, National Security Adviser (NSA), had said funds for arms purchase were missing under former service chiefs.

However, addressing a news conference on Tuesday, Timothy Charles, the National Coordinator of the group, said the silence of the Minister of Defence in this regard leaves many questions unanswered.

His speech reads in part, “We must agree that these issues are of great importance to the well-being of the country at large, given the country’s security challenges in recent times as well as the government’s efforts in addressing these challenges.

It’s common knowledge that the Muhammadu Buhari administration had in April 2018 approved the release of $1bn to Nigerian Defence authorities for the purchase of security equipment to fight insecurity in Nigeria under the purview of the Ministry of Defence.

It’s also succinct to state that the Honorable Minister of Defence, who is in charge of the Ministry of Defence, should provide answers to questions surrounding arms purchase in Nigeria. It’s thus despicable that there has been some well-orchestrated attempt by some vested interest to divert attention from the Minister of Defence.

We’re constrained to add that the statement credited to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, during his appearance before the House of Representatives is diversionary and an indication that he’s carrying out the whims and caprices of the Honorable Minister of Defence.

The Coalition for Truth and Justice uses this medium to call on the Honorable Minister to come out clear by providing the much-needed information surrounding the $1bn released to purchase arms.

If this isn’t the case, we then wonder why the Honorable Minister of Defence has elected to play to the gallery in a case as sensitive as this. More alarming is that the Chief of Army Staff has been carrying out acts that aim to shield the Honorable Minister of Defence.

We’re constrained to add that if the Chief of Army Staff who has barely spent months in office wouldn’t be bold enough to call a spade a spade, we’re afraid that his ability to lead the prestigious Nigerian Army is indeed questionable.

It’s our considered opinion that the Minister of Defence must, as a matter of necessity and urgency, provide the general public details on how the $1bn was expended under his watch in the spirit of transparency and accountability.”





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