The fight against Boko Haram insurgency in the North East has led to the loss of over N4.8bn in weaponry owned by the Nigerian Air Force and the Nigerian Army in 2019 alone.
The loss comprises of the crashed NAF Mi-35M helicopter, gun trucks, machine guns and other weapons stolen from army bases between January and May of this year.
Recall that earlier in January, the air force’s Mi-35M attack helicopter crashed in the North-East while on a Boko Haram interdiction mission, killing five crew members comprising two pilots and three NAF personnel in Damasak, Borno State.
In a document about the Mi-35M orders and deliveries obtained by The Punch, the crashed helicopter is estimated at over $12million or N4.6bn.
Also, since between January and now, at least five army bases in the North-East have been attacked by Boko Haram and the Islamic State West African Province fighters, leading not only to loss of soldiers, but also costly weapons, with loss estimates being over N200m.
Some weapons were also destroyed by the sect’s Improvised Explosive Devices’ explosions.
The insurgents attacked army bases in Geidam, Yobe State; Banki and a Forward Operating Base in Mararrabar Kimba, both in Borno State.
The fighters also attacked bases in the Gubio and the Magumeri Local Government Areas of Borno, carting away undisclosed ammunition.
Earlier in May, the 154 Task Force Battalion Commander, Lt Col Yusuf Aminu, and two soldiers were killed by IEDs planted by the Boko Haram on the Mauli-Borgozo Road. During the incident, two gun trucks and a Tata truck were damaged by the explosion, according to sources.