The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Ibrahim Attahiru has said that security challenges confronting the country including banditry, kidnapping, insurgency and secession would be difficult to defeat without required equipment, weapons and armoured fighting vehicles among others.
“To curb and finally defeat these threats, the Nigerian Army requires equipment, weapons, armour fighting vehicles, platforms and various combat enablers”.
The COAS made this known when the Senate Committee on Army, led by its Chairman, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume visited Army headquarters, Abuja as part of oversight functions.
He said, “As we all know, Nigeria is faced with a lot of security challenges that includes insurgency in the North East, banditry in the North West and part of North Central as well as secessionist agitations in the South East and South – South geo-political zones of the country.
“I urge you to as a matter of urgency consider these critical needs as you legislate and appropriate funds. I will be counting on your support so that we can efficiently perform our constitutional roles and defeat all our threats.
“This courtesy visit is timely because it affords us the opportunity to interact and discuss issues that would impact on the funding of Nigerian Army activities and operations while also strengthening the cordial relationship between the National Assembly and Army Headquarters.
While appreciating the Chairman and members of the Senate Committee on Army for “the relentless support extended to me during the process leading to my confirmation as the Chief of Army Staff” the COAS said “Let me assure the Senate Committee on Army that the Nigerian Army under my leadership remains apolitical and committed to the protection of democracy and good governance in Nigeria.
In his remarks, Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Ali Ndume, said the purpose of the visit was to have close understanding of the issues and needs of the Nigerian army and find a way to address them.
Ndume said that the army had a daunting task of mitigating the various security challenges confronting the country, adding that the National Assembly played important in terms of giving the necessary legislative support to the Nigerian army.
“I want to assure you that even though the Nigerians are already expecting so much from the service chiefs, we have been given the assurances that they would do their best. But the bottom line is that they must be given what they need in order to carry out the assignment and that is money, equipment, personnel and all those translates into money.
“That is why we are calling on the government to give the Nigerian army the necessary support and tools to execute the mandate that is highly expected.
“Fortunately, we understand that the supplementary budget will be laid before the National Assembly to take care of some of the loopholes and lapses that we saw in 2021 budget and knowing the new security challenges that we are facing in various regions
In a similar vein, the Army Chief while hosting the Acting Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Baba Alkali on a courtesy visit assured the Nigerian Police of Nigerian Army’s collaboration in the nation’s effort to confront the security challenges in the country.
He told the IGP, “Your appointment coming at this time when the country is grappling with a barrage of security challenges shows the confidence Mr. President and Commander in chief has in your ability to deliver. I am therefore confident that you will in the shortest possible time; restore confidence in the security landscape of the country”.
The Nigerian Army under my leadership will continue to synergize with the Nigerian Police force to ensure that peace and security of lives and property is achieved.
Earlier, IGP Alkali Baba noted that he was at Army headquarters to seek for collaboration in tackling various security challenges because, “In the circumstances we are today, no single service can go it all alone.
“I came to pledge my unalloyed support to work with the military to enable us tackle kidnapping, banditry, secession and other security challenges. Nigerian Police will collaborate with the Nigerian Army and we are ready to do this in the area of training, joint operations and whatever is necessary to overcome these security threats”.
“Crime and criminality is no longer something the Nigerian Police force or even the Nigerian Army alone can tackle without support even from members of the public. So we need synergy.
“I know the Nigerian Army is the next endangered species for criticism after the Nigerian Police if there is insecurity. So we have to work together. There is room for improvement from us. If we join hands together, there is room for success.
“The Nigerian Police Force under my leadership will always work with you in whatever way that will make this country peaceful. We have to do something extra to change the narrative. Something different from what has been going on in the past”, the IGP added.