Posted by News Express | 1 September 2014 | 5,310 times
Former military rulers, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd.) and the late General Sani Abacha, have been exposed as the architects of the rot in the Nigerian military which has made it difficult for it to be more effective in the on-going war against terror in the country.
The Nigeria Security Watch Forum (NSWF) exposed the two former dictators while reacting to the claim of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) that the Nigerian military’s performance in the war against Boko Haram is unimpressive.
NSWF in a statement issued in Abuja by its National Coordinator, Mallam Abubakar Danbaki, alleged that the security crisis the nation is presently being confronted with is as a result of the deliberate policies and legacies bequeathed to Nigeria by former northern leaders namely, Babangida and Abacha.
The Forum said that General Babangida as military President reportedly ordered the removal of all ‘firing pins’ of the military Armoured Fighting Vehicles in order to sustain himself in power without giving any consideration to national interest and defence of the nation’s territorial space.
“In the process, General Babangida destroyed the Nigerian Army and bastardised the entire military in order to stop officers from coup plotting. The military is yet to recover from this deliberate destruction policy,” NSWF said.
It added: “Similarly, General Babangida was known to have said that he was not an advocate of airpower. He therefore deliberately crippled the Nigerian Air Force from being one of the best in Africa to what it is today. As a result, war planes were abandoned and were never serviced for years just as Fighter Pilots were not sent on training. Like the army, the Air Force is yet to recover till date.
“Like General Babangida, General Abacha continued the policy of crippling the military in order to perpetuate himself in office. So, rather than fund the military, General Abacha created a Strike Force under the supervision of Major Hamza Al-Mustapha. The consequence of these actions is what the nation is grappling with presently.”
Berating the ACF, the NSWF said: “Instead of the ACF to continue to play the ostrich, it should be asking some very important questions. For example, of the so called trillions budgeted for defence, how much was actually released? What percentage of the so called trillions went into the funding of the armed forces? It will interest ACF to know that since the present democratic dispensation there has not been any major equipment purchases for the entire armed forces, a fact that the military high command has been shouting about for years. It will interest ACF to know that every nation gets the kind of armed forces it is willing and ready to pay for.
“Of great importance is the hypocritical approach of the AFC towards the resolution of national questions. It is also on record that when the military moved in at the initial stage to tackle Boko Haram frontally, the same leadership of the Forum rose in defence of the insurgents, alleging that the military was committing genocide and killing northerners.
“The same so called leaders of ACF said Boko Haram should be negotiated with and treated like the Niger Delta militants, but find it very convenient now to condemn the military as being ineffective.
“It is expected that as leaders of the North whose past actions and inaction created the present security crisis, they should be seen taking positive steps towards resolving the problem and not introduce sentiments that would embolden Boko Haram to continue their atrocities.”
•Photo shows ex-military ruler Ibrahim Babangida.
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