Inadequate equipment to fight Boko Haram: Court martial convicts major general

A military court has convicted Major General Olusegun Adeniyi, a former Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, having being found guilty of violating some sections of the policy on the use of social media for personnel of the armed forces of Nigeria.

Penpushing reports that, Adeniyi, who once led the country’s onslaught against Boko Haram was ordered by the Nigerian army in July to face court-martial, four months after he was seen in a rare video confessing that Nigerian troops were being outgunned by Boko Haram terrorists.

The military boss was therefore ordered demoted by at least three years, while his orderly, Tokunbo Obanla, a private, was also found guilty and sentenced to 28 days in jail with hard labour.

Penpushing further reports that, the major general was leading a large troop of soldiers on a special operation  when they came under heavy attacks by Boko Haram, and blamed the deadly attack his troops suffered on “very wrong intelligence assessment” earlier conducted before they deployed. .

The report has it that, Adeniyi who was the commander was seen in two of four video clips giving a recorded situation report to the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratail, and quoted saying, “since yesterday we have been met with very strong resistance – from more than pockets of Boko Haram. This morning, from every flank not least than 15 gun trucks were facing us.”

Penpushing also reports that, at the trial of Adeniyi, in Abuja, the tribunal found him guilty of violating some sections of the policy on the use of social media for personnel of the armed forces of Nigeria.

The policy was released on June 11, 2018, on the directives of the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, stressing that section 15 (g) of the policy specifically forbids personnel from “posting any video, audio, materials pictures during exercises/operations.”

Penpushing reports that, the tribunal affirmed that Adeniyi acted contrary to the policy and found him guilty of producing and publicising a video on the counter-insurgency operation in the North-East in a manner that embarrassed and ridiculed the armed forces of Nigeria.

The video as established by the tribunal showed the theatre commander amongst troops lamenting that his team suffered a massive loss of men and equipment because it was outgunned by Boko Haram.

Penpushing further reports that, Adeniyi in full combat kit, was seen in one of the videos tapping a trooper who was weeping, telling him it was not soldierlike for him to cry because his colleagues were killed.

The army leader who kept jerking the shirt of the trooper who was apparently weeping, said “I know you were crying because they kill your regular…look at me, that is not the time to cry’.

Penpushing also reports that, the Major-General was seen and heard in another  video telling the soldiers that “it appears the people we are fighting have more firepower than us…”, and thereafter instructed the troops to gather all the bodies of the soldiers that paid the supreme price into available vehicles in order to quickly move them out of danger zone.

The commander in the video disclosed how he lost several types of equipment and was almost rendered immobile due to a massive attack on troops’ vehicles, and added while addressing . the Chief of Army staff, said “we have casualties. I will come and see you in person on what we need to do. But we are not running.”

“Good morning sir, I’m standing here with Sector 2 Commander; the armed helicopter has just come to hover our air, the instruction I gave them was that anything they see moving they should engage because most of my gun trucks are not moving. Like I said earlier, the three battalions are fighting as deployed — nobody is running.

“But what we have here, I will give you some estimates, sir. Boko Haram has fired more than a hundred mortar bombs at us; they have fired 80 to a hundred RPGs at us; in addition to eight to 10 gun trucks firing at us from all sides. We have not run, and the soldiers are not misbehaving or disobeying orders.

Penpushing reports that, the Major General, in the video pointed at some of the MRAP trucks that have been demobilised after Boko Haram gunmen had shot its tires, adding, “as you can see over that’s one of ours that bullets tore, we lost about 20 MRAP tires here. We have changed close to 250 Hilux tires due to the terrain. This is what we are facing in the Timbuktu triangle, sir. We are not running, we are fighting as a system to curtail the situation and achieve your mission, sir.”

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