A former Head of State and three-time presidential candidate, Maj-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.), has scored the Nigerian Army low in its fight against Boko Haram in the North-eastern part of the country.
The former military ruler alleged that there were complaints involving military personnel collecting bribes at checkpoints and sexually abusing women during operations.
Military personnel are a common sight in most towns and cities of the North presently, as they can be seen mounting check points and carrying out frequent patrols ever since the activities of Boko Haram escalated beyond the control of the Nigeria Police, whose constitutional responsibilities it is to ensure internal security of lives and property.
In that regard, Buhari stressed the need for soldiers to return to the basics of military principles by maintaining standard procedures during and after operations.
Speaking on the Hausa Service of the Voice of America, VOA, monitored in Kaduna on Wednesday, the All Progressives Congress, APC, national leader said:
“Now there are accusations that they collect bribes at checkpoints; that they rape women during operations as was the case in Borno. That was not known before. Now if you kill one of their own, they round up and wipe out the community like what happened at Baga”.
Buhari recalled that in the days of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua, he ensured that there was peace in the Niger Delta by conveying leaders of militant groups to Abuja to dialogue on the way forward.
In contrast, he said, “But everybody knows that the Boko Haram leader was arrested and killed. We all know that in times of crisis, the police should do their work and it is only when such crisis escalates that the military comes in and they don’t round up the community in crisis and kill everybody”.