- The Nigerian military is investigating a report suggesting Turkey is supplying sophisticated weapons to Boko Haram
- Egyptian Television, Ten.tv, recently reported that Turkey was a major supplier of arms to Boko Haram
- Turkish Airlines had also been accused in the past of shipping arms to Nigeria
A report by ThisDay indicates that the Nigerian military is investigating a report suggesting Turkey is supplying sophisticated weapons to Boko Haram.
Egyptian Television, Ten.tv, cited by CBN news channel, had recently reported that Turkey was a major supplier of arms to Boko Haram even as Turkish Airlines had also been accused in the past of shipping arms to Nigeria.
Saying the reported supply of arms to Boko Haram by Turkey was a serious national security issue, Defence Headquarters spokesman, Brigadier-General Onyema Nwachukwu, said the matter was receiving attention at a strategic level.
He said though the veracity of the report could not be ascertained immediately, it was nevertheless receiving attention.
“The veracity of the claims in the video cannot be ascertained immediately. However, it is a serious national security issue and I believe it is receiving the required attention at the national strategic level,” he said.
In a tape posted on YouTube, an assistant executive of the Turkish airline, Mehmet Karatas, allegedly told Mustafa Varank, an adviser to the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, that he felt guilty over the national flag carrier’s arms shipment to Nigeria.
“I do not know whether these (weapons) will kill Muslims or Christians. I feel sinful,” Karatas was allegedly heard saying.
Erdogan later dismissed the tapes as “vile.”
It would be recalled that in May 2017, the Nigerian government told AFP it had intercepted an illegal arms shipment originating from Turkey and containing 440 pump action rifles seized at the port in Lagos, five months after a similar seizure, when customs officers had stopped a truck carrying 661 illegal pump action rifles after they had been cleared at the port.
“Today’s leak confirms without a doubt that Erdogan (President of Turkey), his state, his government, and his party are transferring weapons from Turkey to – this is a shock, to where you may ask – to Nigeria; and to whom? – to the Boko Haram organisation,” he said.
Recall that recently, Borno governor, Babagana Umara Zulum, said the whereabouts of Boko Haram terrorists is well known to both security agencies, monarchs and most members of the public in the state.
He said the issue of the insurgency can be reduced to the barest minimum by taking the fight to the terrorists since their locations are well known.
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