By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
Chairman Senate Committee on Army, Senator Muhammed Ali Ndume has expressed displeasure over the refusal of Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed to honour the invitation of the committee on Wednesday.
According to the lawmaker from Borno North, the Senate Committee on Army decided to invite the minister to clarify certain grey areas regarding the monies issued by her ministry for purchase of arms for the military.
Speaking to journalists on Thursday at his office in NASS Abuja, Senator Ndume explained that officials of the NIgerian Armed Forces claimed that the miilitary does not have equipment needed to effectively combat the rising spate of insecurity currently bedeviling the country.
According to him, the claims by the military grossly contradicts the position of the Finance Minister and the documents she had earlier provided to butress her claims.
“The minister had earlier claimed that her ministry released huge amounts of money to the Armed Forces for purchase of military weapons”
“This is why we invited her to come with her documents so that we can cross check and verify how much was given and how much the Armed Forces got,” he added.
A visibly angry Ndume went on to say that the refusal to honour the invitation by the minister had put a wedge along the path of the Senate committee’s assignment.
Adding that, Mrs. Ahmed should know that her actions have further setback the war against insecurity in the country.
Ndume decried further, the insensitivity of the Finance Minister, saying that, “the minister is feeling unconcerned because she is relatively in a safe zone hence her nonchalant attitude”.
He warned that the insecurity if not checked, would soon envelope other parts of the country and would spare no one.
He further added that there is a huge difference between what the Finance Minister claimed to have issued for the purchase of arms and what the military claimed to have received.
Speaking further on insecurity, Senate Ndume backed the calls that the country should seek for outside help to put down the insurrection and insecurity in the country.
“During the days of President Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria employed the services of private military contractors to fight Boko Haram and they did a wonderful job by helping the Nigerian Army to drive out insurgents from the North East.
” I don’t see why President Buhari should not do the same. Even today, we have brought in Chinese to help build roads and bridges in Nigeria, so bringing in foreign military contractors should not be a bad idea,” he submitted.