Facing inability to meet Muhammadu Buhari’s deadline, who ordered to crush Boko Haram insurgents by December, the Nigerian military decided to use the tactics strongly condemned by Buhari.
The Nigerian military have decided to hire mercenaries again to combat the Boko Haram insurgents. This step, once used under Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, has been strongly condemned by Muhammadu Buhari, who called this tactics “shameful” during his presidential electoral campaign in March 2015.
Buhari told that the practice of involving mercenaries into conflict shows all the huge depth of Nigerian military’s weakness.
Nevertheless, according to a source in the senior military that declined to be identified, around 250 mercenaries are being deployed along with some heavy weaponry from South African private military company Specialized Tasks, Training, Equipment and Protection (STTEP).
“The mercenaries have been reengaged and their platforms are being deployed,” the source told the press adding: “by platforms, I mean fighter jets, helicopters, communication, surveillance, medics, etc.”
STTEP’s mercenaries are drawn from the veterans of the conventional, clandestine, and covert units of the South African Defence Force from the pre-1994 era, who defended the regime of apartheid.
According to the source in the Nigerian military’s headquarters, the PMB’s administration terminated the previous contract because of its opaqueness and lack of accountability. However, the new contract with the private military company was signed to boost the campaign against Boko Haram insurgents.
“As it stands now, huge amounts of monies are owed to the contractors as fulfilment for the previous engagement,” the source told, adding “so they are starting a new engagement for an initial period of three months. As for their outstanding balances, investigations are being carried out to ensure everything is above board.”
However, presidential spokesman Garba Shehu denied the rumours about engaging veterans who fought for apartheid regime in the war against Boko Haram. “It is true that the previous administration hired South African mercenaries to fight Boko Haram,” Garba Shehu told, adding that “they, however, left with the government that brought them.” Presidential spokesman also told that the government has no plans to hire the mercenaries in the future.
South African law forbids its citizens from participating in foreign wars. Earlier this year South Africa’s defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula informed the general public that “the police have a responsibility to make sure that when they [the mercenaries who fight abroad] come back these people are arrested.”
According to the reports from Maiduguri, this spring the Nigerian government has brought in hundreds of mercenaries from South Africa and the former Soviet Union to boost its offensive against the Boko Haram sect in northern Nigeria.
However, following the reports that Nigeria is deploying hundreds of mercenaries to fight the war against Boko Haram terrorists, Mike Omeri, the director general of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) has come out to clear the air.
According to Omeri, a lot of Nigerians mistake consultants helping in the deployment and use of newly acquired military hardware as mercenaries.
According to the officers, the foreigners are technical advisers that are providing training and instructions on the use of new armaments recently procured by the Nigerian military in the war against insurgents.
Muhammadu Buhari blasted the Nigerian military over their inability to protect the Nigerians affected by Boko Haram insurgency on May 18 before coming to office.
“The Nigerian military has never been so incapacitated like now. It is a shame that the military cannot secure 14 local governments out of the 774 local governments in the country,” Buhari told, adding: “what is more worrisome is the fact that the military had to rely on South African machinery before it could gain recent success in the war against Boko Haram.”
Meanwhile, Amnesty International report shed light on how many people have been killed by notorious Boko Haram militants since Muhammadu Buhari came to power. According to this report, at least 1,600 people had been killed by the members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect since the beginning of June 2015 when Buhari was inaugurated as the president of Nigeria.
That means that twelve Nigerians have been killed every day by Jihadists since Buhari came into the presidential office, or that during that period of time every two hours one Nigerian died as a result of Boko Haram attack or suicide bombing.