Fact-checking Buhari’s claims on Nigerian Army’s progressBy Fatimah Quadri and Nurudeen Akewushola on May 2, 2023
Following the Nigerian Army’s Unveiling and Presentation of New Colours ceremony held on April 27, 2023, President Muhammadu Buhari made several claims regarding Nigeria’s army progress under his administration.
Buhari made the claims in a thread post tweeted on his Twitter handle on Saturday, April 27, 2023.
According to him, his administration has achieved a remarkable transformation of Nigeria’s military regarding fighting power, training, operations, manpower, remuneration & welfare, and maintenance efficiency.
Today, at the @HQNigerianArmy‘s Unveiling and Presentation of New Colours, in Abuja, I presented 81 new, symbolic flags to the Army’s various units. I am very pleased to say that in the last eight years we have achieved a remarkable transformation of our military. pic.twitter.com/Oi08I5Mzp2
— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) April 27, 2023
In this fact-check, The FactCheckHub examines the veracity of some of his claims.
More than 60,000 soldiers have been recruited since 2015.
According to a World Bank report cited by Macrotrends, Nigeria’s military size in 2014 was 162,000, and it increased to 200,000 in 2015.
In 2017, the number was 215,000.
In 2018, it increased to 223,000. The difference between the number of personnel recruited between 2015 and 2019 is 66,000.
The latest data released by Global Fire Power, a website that ranks nations of the world based on currently available firepower, shows that Nigeria’s military personnel population stood at 225,082,083 in 2023.
The claim that more than 60,000 soldiers were recruited under Buhari is TRUE, according to data from Global Fire Power and World Bank report.
The quantum of military platforms inducted since 2015 has enabled troops to recapture territories held by insurgents, especially in the Northeast.
In February 2015 , Premium Times reported that the Nigerian Army had recaptured some communities in Adamawa and Yobe states. Another Premium Times’ report in March 2015 stated that the Nigerian Army had recaptured two local government areas in Borno state.
A ThisDay report also highlighted that $1 billion was spent on weapons for eight years, and two-thirds of Borno State, half of Yobe State, and some local government areas in Adamawa State were under the control of terrorists before Buhari assumed office, but the Nigerian Army has recovered the band of the territories.
The FactCheckHub cannot categorically state if the quantum of military platforms inducted since 2015 was the factor that enabled the recapturing of territories under the insurgents; however, some territories under insurgents’ control in the northeast were recaptured by the military under Buhari’s administration.