Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed new Service Chiefs sequel to the resignation of Chief of Defence Staff and service Chiefs. Prior to their resignation, the Presidency was of the viewpoint that the sack of service Chiefs is not the solution to the security challenges in the country, while the majority of Nigerians felt otherwise following the worsening security situation in the country. The widespread insecurity in Nigeria has been on over the years. According to a Security expert Kabir Adamu, “the insurgency, the terrorism has been raging for the past 11 years and it’s still not contained.” While many Nigerians praise the President’s appointment, security experts say serious change would not be immediate. Apart from Boko Haram in the Northeast, the new Service Chiefs will face threats of growing banditry, kidnappings and clashes between herders and farmers. BARBARA NEGBEJIE sought the views of some Nigerians on how the Service Chiefs can address the country’s security challenges.
‘Team work between all military and paramilitary as well as synergy with the public’
They should all work hand-inhand as a team and in collaboration with other security and paramilitary agencies put in place by the various state governors. Also, there must be synergy between them and the public on intelligence gathering on suspicious movements by unscrupulous elements in the society. They must take good care of their personnel fighting insurgency.
‘New ideas, initiatives and strategies’
The agitation for new service chiefs was to bring in new ideas, initiatives and strategies to winning the insurgency and bring to an end the rising insecurities in the country. The former chiefs were exhaustive of their operational strategies, hence what we hear on daily basis is Boko haram has been “degraded or decimated”. We could not apply same ideas and expect different results. The appointment of new Service Chiefs will boast the moral of the rank and file in the army, some of whom were tired of losing their colleagues in the war. Some of the new chiefs are not new to the same theater of war. Having been there, they are aware of what is required to motivate and boast the moral of troops. They are coming in with fresh ideas and operational strategies. Aside from the appointments, the President will need to give them targets and marching orders on when to end this menace.
‘Devotion to service’
Well, speaking in the perspective of the insecurity in Nigeria, I will markdown the security chiefs of Nigeria. Appointing new chiefs should go beyond politics. The chiefs appointed should be based on experience and strategies they will be bringing into the system to combat insecurity. It’s not a good pass mark to comment the country is in disarray as regards the Fulani herdsmen menaces making the rounds in the media recently. Now the issue is escalating from Southwest to East and we are not sure when all these will come to an end. The Boko haram terrorists has for over a decade been disturbing the peace of the country, to mention but a few. I feel appointment of service chiefs should be done on merit not politics but devotion to service.
‘They should weed out the moles in their midst’
The new service chiefs should show integrity and be truthful in all they do. The country’s security should not be politicized .They should be loyal to Nigeria and to any man .They should weed out the moles in their midst who are sabotaging the efforts of our military.
‘Find solutions to various security problems being experienced everywhere in the country’
The primary aim of any government is the welfare and security of the people. Fast forward to our own country, the issue of security have not been anything to write home about. It is on this premise that there have been a lot of clamour for the change of the country’s security architecture. These prayers got answers recently when the 3 service chiefs of Army, Navy & Airforce were changed.This came with a lot of expectations for the new service chiefs as the issue of security have brought Nigeria to its knees. The three security chiefs should hit the ground running to find solutions to various security problems being experienced everywhere in the country among which is terrorism, armed robbery, kidnapping and troubles from Herders. There should be concerted efforts to approach the issue of security with the seriousness it deserves and remove bias and nepotism in the discharge of security assignments There should be serious information gathering and synergy among all the main security outfits. As much as possible, there should be an urgent approach to organise a national security summit so that participants and experts will brainstorm to chart a new security course for the nation
• Sir Pauly obinna (KSJI), Business man