COAS, Reps at loggerheads over arms purchase inquest | Ripples Nigeria
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COAS, Reps at loggerheads over arms purchase inquest

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The war against Boko Haram will soon end —New COAS, Maj Gen Attahiru

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and the House of Representatives Adhoc Committee investigating the purchase of arms on Monday had a slight altercation over documents submitted by the COAS to the committee.

Attahiru, during his presentation, explained that the documents presented to the committee explained what the committee wanted as specified in their correspondence to his office.

But the panel seemed unsatisfied with his submission and conduct, and asked for an apology to them as Representatives of the Nigerian people.

Speaking, Attahiru said, “The submission before you speaks to the report before. It is an executive summary. It is very self-explanatory to the extent that it has periodised.

“Because when you demanded for this report, you stated specific period for which you wanted this report.

“You may wish to recall that I took mantle of leadership barely two months ago. The period for which you wanted this report having been summarized in the executive summary explains whatever details you would require,” Attahiru said.

Furthermore, he requested the Reps Committee to invite the relevant individuals responsible for various arms procurement by the army.

Read also: COAS gives troops 48 hours to obliterate terrorists from Borno communities

“Issues of procurement that you demand to get to know, were run by specific individuals. I would rather prefer you call these individuals. What I explained to you were very specific issues.

“The general issues have been contained in the report and the executive summary is so contained. It goes to speak about the entire report and explains it,” he said.

However, some members of the committee disagreed with the COAS on the issues.

According to them, his explanation was not satisfactory as it had not addressed the specifics.

A member of the committee said: “When we speak or ask questions, the entire Nigerian people are asking. So when you’re summoned or asked a question, it’s the Nigerian people.

“We need an apology. You just gave an explanation. This is a deal with the Nigerian people and they must be treated with some respect.”

Responding, the COAS said: “Mr Chairman, just like the last speaker said, we’re partners in progress and I believe so too. When you say I offered an explanation, it’s as good as an apology. It only tells you the reason I was not here and the reasons are cogent enough.

“Even the blind man knows there are problems of internal security in Nigeria. So, I think it suffices to explain to this honourable house my apparent inability to be here when so demanded.

“I’ve had the opportunity here I am before you. I believe we would continue to remain partners in progress and continue to work for the Nigerian people.”

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