A former Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, has rated the Nigerian Army low in its battle against Boko Haram insurgents, saying the performance of the military has been below expectation.
The military’s conduct in the war against Boko Haram, he said, made the international community to question the Nigerian Army’s professionalism, noting that the lack of political will had also made the fight against the insurgents look impossible.
Dambazau said this in Abuja on Thursday at the 12th Daily Trust Annual Dialogue Series with the theme, “2015 Elections: How to Make Nigeria the Winner”.
According to him, the security forces have deviated from their constitutional responsibilities and left the country in a dangerous situation.
He said, “The conduct of the army against Boko Haram was below expectation and its professionalism was questioned by the international community. The insurgency situation in the North-East has exposed the weakness of our military and the lack of political will has made the fight against the insurgents look impossible. Nigeria is in a situation where continued politicisation of its army had weakened its military response”.
The retired army chief also accused politicians of creating private and well-funded armies to push their personal agendas.
“It is very clear the extent to which politicians have used money to establish private armies”, he noted, adding that the last 15 years have witnessed militarisation of politics, long after the first coup in the 60s politicised the military.
Dambazau said such lapses have fuelled the growth of insurgencies, including the emergence of the ‘Borno ECOMOG’ to execute personal agendas in Borno State and its subsequent transformation into the violent Boko Haram sect.
“It started with 1966 but the last 15 years have witnessed deeper politicisation of the military and the police”, he stated.