Federal government boldly declared on National Television that the militants had been “technically defeated”. That “technical victory”, it is apparent, is fast becoming a Pyrrhic victory with the renewed wave of attacks by the insurgents on soft targets. All eyes are now on retired Major General Bashir Salihi Magashi to consolidate the technical victory against Boko Haram insurgency and other insecurity challenges facing the country to total military victory.
On the same issue of technically defeats to Boko Haram claimed by the Buhari’s administration but the residents at the villages made a counter claims as Borno residents claimed in their latter to PMB part of the letter further, read.
“A country’s armed forces were supposed to be a proud and patriotic defenders of both the nation’s territories and its citizens, but our today’s men of the armed forces were either overwhelmed by the desire to amass wealth by all means and, on the blood of the innocent Nigerian citizens, or have been compromised by theories of conspiracy and collaboration by deserting their formations in the face of attacks by the insurgents.”
The residents lamented that all military formations have been withdrawn from all their strategic locations and this action has made the remaining communities more vulnerable to attacks. They noted that this had also emboldened confidence of the insurgents to daily attack and ransack communities that were unprotected due to the lack of military presence and the troops were confined to their trenches, waiting to be attacked in fact they have lost confidence in the Nigerian Army.
We need a military, not technical victory
During your ministerial screening in the Senate, you said to fight an insurgency or general insecurity, the Army, Air Force and the Navy should have a common troop working together and should not operate independently of one another with a need for a single commander who should take care of reinforcement, operations, change of troops, among other needs.
You also elaborated that “In Nigeria today, what we call command structure is now being seen as weakness. We have almost disseminated all our forces and I do not think the current structure is a true reflection of the manpower requirement in this country. We only have divisions probably by name but I do not think we have the required manpower to man them”.
General, you had a wealth of experience in warfare having served as chief of staff ECOMOG in Liberia. What Nigerians expect is a Military Victory not Technical Victory. Militants of all kind should be boxed into a corner where they will be forced to negotiate peace terms which should be devoid of the exchange of cash.
What you and the President need to do.
Nigerians need to see a different approach in terms of choosing the right personnel to dispense with the responsibilities of safeguarding the country. The present Chiefs seem to have reached their nadir and the motivation to deliver the right modules for effective security is tellingly missing. Some Nigerians have been saying that it is about time the President rejig his service chiefs. Let these tired chiefs leave the scene for more robust and result-driven younger minds that will come up with a new perspective on how to combat our insecurity challenges.
The army should be trained in counter-terrorism strategies and tactics, asymmetric warfare, and desert warfare. The Nigerian military has lost its morale due to overstaying in the battlefront, lack of proper medical attention, as well as poor salary and allowances. There is a need to reduce the shortage of security personnel by creating a National Guard and a Special Forces Unit tasked with the responsibility of protecting the Nigerian state from internal and external aggressors.
It is about time the President goes beyond mere sloganeering, and sprouts to action. We are tired of weather-beaten rhetoric that has become so repetitive and boring. For about eleven years, the country has had its own bitter taste of different kinds of insecurities which practically stalled development in many areas that have a direct impact on human capital development indices.
The actions of our soldiers in the frontline have made Barno residents lose confidence in the recent military’s performance in protecting not only the vulnerable citizens but even the territorial boundaries of the nation. Finally, I am wishing you Allah’s guidance to witness real victory against all kinds of insecurities facing the country not “technical victory”.
Mr Dukawa can be reached at [email protected]