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Insecurity: Service chiefs have nothing new to offer -Fayemi3mins read


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KAYODE Fayemi, the governor of Ekiti state has added voice to that of the critics of the Nigerian Army leadership, saying that the country’s military chiefs have nothing new again they are bringing to the table to address the ravaging security challenges in the country.

The governor, who said that the nation’s security apparatus needs to be reviewed, said the continuous presence of the service chiefs is affecting the morale of those who legitimately feel they should be moving towards the direction of the leadership and management of the country’s military

Fayemi, who is the Chairman of the Nigeria Governor Forum (NGF), said this during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics..

“But in addition to that, we also believe that the entire framework of our internal security operation has to be reviewed and some morale-boosting issues have to be brought to the fore as far as the leadership of the military is concerned, there’s no question that governors also feel that service chiefs have done their best. They are the longest-serving service chiefs we have had in the country and frankly, there is nothing new that they are bringing to the table. They’ve done a lot in the course of the past five years and the fact that they are still there is also affecting the morale of those who legitimately feel they should be moving towards the direction of the leadership.”

Fayemi added that “the chief of defense staff is a course 25 officer. The chief of Naval staff is a course 26 officer of NDA. The chief of Army staff is a course 29 officer. The major generals that have just been promoted in the last few days, they are course 39 and 40. I mean the distance is humongous and it doesn’t make for cohesion and a confidence building in the military itself, and we need to address that in addition to addressing weapons.”

Fayemi, who lamented that the military is under-equipped from his recent visitation to Borno state, the epicenter of Boko-Haram, stressed that there is the need to better equip the military to better win the ongoing war. 

While stating that the issue can be confronted, the governor noted that the war against insurgency needs to be dealt with in an unconventional manner.

He said that the NGF has noted with concern that the military has been overstretched because of their involvement in internal security across the country.

Fayemi added that there is a need for coordinated intelligence and that the civilian JTFs who sometimes understand the terrain and have more intelligence of the activities of the insurgents in Borno should be integrated into the military.

“So we believe that we can tackle this but that we need to deal with this in an unconventional manner. The insurgents are not fighting an asymmetrical war. The war that we are dealing with in the Northeast is asymmetrical. You don’t even know where the enemies are, they are mostly in the midst of our people so you cannot use the strategy of a conventional war to deal with this.

“You need to improve on intelligence. You need to link intelligence to military operations in the most effective manner. And you need to work with neighbours because it has become an international war of sorts that involves Chad, Cameroon, Niger and clearly even though we have a multinational Joint Task Force.

“I do not believe that we have been working as cohesively as we should and that’s a position that we hold in the governor’s forum as well. The governor of Borno, our colleague has been frontal about this position that a lot more needs to be done. The civilian JTF who has been effective needs to be integrated somewhat because they are better intelligence sometimes on what is going on, because many of these elements are from Borno State there.

“We also believe that the military has become somewhat overwhelmed as far as this insurgency is concerned and that’s understandable. They are involved in internal security in almost 34 states out of the 36 States in our country and that stretches them to its limit they are trying but it’s not enough. We’re still losing people and we need to really devise an immediate short term and long term strategy to deal with this.  And these are things that will be raising with the president.”

The recent killings of more than 43 farmers in Borno state have renewed the calls for the president to sack the country service chiefs whom he appointed when he assumed office in 2015.

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Rather than heed the calls, the president and his handlers have continued to rebuff those making the calls, describing them as unpatriotic and out of place. 

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