Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Arms deal: S’Africa decided to embarass Nigeria, says Obanikoro

The immediate past Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, has said South Africa should apologise to Nigeria for embarrassing the country with the seizure of funds meant for the procurement of arms and ammunition for the campaign against the Boko Haram insurgency.
Obanikoro said the action of the South African government was unacceptable, unnecessary and unfair as the two deals, which led to the seizures of the funds, were not illegal.
South Africa agencies had seized $15m  meant for procurement of arms for the prosecution of the campaign against insurgency in the North East.

Obanikoro noted that the South Africans should have a better understanding of the use of cash for arms procurement as that was the process they used in arms purchasing throughout the long period of their struggle against apartheid.

The former minister added that South Africa failed Nigeria during a period of dire need.
 He said the southern African country, which benefitted immensely from Nigeria during the days of the country’s struggle for freedom, was just out to embarrass Nigeria.
He said, “What South Africa did to us is unacceptable, it is not fair, it is not just and it was unnecessary.

“Here is a nation that stood by them during their time of need. If there is any country that should understand the need to use cash to procure ammunition or weapons, it is South Africa, because during their days of struggling for liberation, that’s what they were doing.
“They have gone through a very long struggle for liberation to get to where they are today, and most of the weapons they used and procured during these struggle were through cash transactions.
“We were in a very dire situation at that point in time and we needed that push at that particular time and they failed us.
“For me, I can speak now as an ordinary citizen of Nigeria, I think South Africa failed Nigeria and they owe Nigeria an unreserved apology. Look at the other bank transaction that was done through the bank, I think they went out deliberately to embarrass us, and they owe us an apology.”

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