A former Secretary to the Government of the Federation under the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, Amb. Baba Gana Kingibe, has said Nigeria’s military is ill-equiped to fight the Boko Haram sect.
Kingibe, who was the late MKO Abiola’s running mate in the 1993 presidential election, also said the Boko Haram insurgency was not an external aggression as being suggested in some quarters.
The former SGF, in a lead paper titled, ‘Understanding Nigeria’s National Interest’, at the National Defence Policy Review Interactive Session in Kaduna on Wednesday, insisted that the seeming inability of the military to crush the sect was due to the fact that troops in the battlefront are poorly equipped.
He said, “That our troops are not suitably or adequately equipped and motivated cannot be disputed.
“That there is problem of indiscipline in the ranks is manifest, going by the incidence of mutiny and the spate of court-martial, desertions and dismissals reported by the military itself”.
He explained that the major concern presently, was the growing suspicion and disharmony among the people and the threat of disruption to the nation’s oil region, which is purely an internal threat.
The former Nigerian Ambassador to Greece and Pakistan, as a way out, suggested the need for the Nigerian military to do a serious internal self-appraisal to win the campaign against insurgency.
He added, “The last five years or so have been testy times for even our military. Their well merited reputation for professionalism and discipline, through their gallant participation in numerous peacekeeping operations since independence, has been put to the test in their campaign against the insurgency ravaging the North-East since 2009.
“Regrettably, well-meaning Nigerians, who love Nigeria no less than the military, have been reluctant to make any legitimate comment about what they observe daily in the war zone because of the fear of being labelled unpatriotic and unsupportive of our troops”.
Kingibe said Nigeria’s democratic system must lay the foundation for an inclusive society, which, he noted, was critical for the deepening of the nation’s fledgling democracy.