The Nigerian Army has been described as a useless organisation filled with corrupt generals and unable to protect the country from mutating violence, The Economist reported in its latest issue.
“Nigeria’s army is mighty on paper,” the London magazine said. “But many of its soldiers are “ghosts” who exist only on the payroll, and much of its equipment is stolen and sold to insurgents.”
The Economist said Nigeria has not been able to address its insecurity because military chiefs have plundered much of the country’s combat resources and the rest had stretched thin with little capacity to forestall the crisis.
“The army is also stretched thin, having been deployed to all of Nigeria’s state,” the paper said in its upcoming October 23 issued that was published on its website today.
The paper also said Nigeria police has become demoralised due to poor training and endemic corruption.
“The police are understaffed, demoralised and poorly trained. Many supplement their low pay by robbing the public they have sworn to protect,” it said.
A spokesman for the Nigerian Army did not immediately return requests seeking comments. Nigerian military chiefs have for years faced allegations of corruption and collusion with violent criminals as a way of keeping themselves enriched.
A large cache of military weapons had ended in the hands of insurgents since 2016. In July 2019, Nigerian soldiers fled with hundreds of millions of Nigeria they were asked to transport to Abuja by an army general.
The money loot was immediately traced to Hakeem Otiki, a major-general who was subsequently dismissed from service after a military trial. Anti-corruption activists said the Nigerian Army took action because the soldiers fled with the loot and the scandal became public.