Insecurity and Clarion Call to Retiring Military Personnel
By Abdulsalam Mahmud
What should about-to-be retired officers and men of the Nigerian military anticipating doing for the nation’s armed forces, especially at a time insecurity is baring its dangerous fangs? They are many. Indeed!
To start with, they should know that as ambassadors eschewing all sorts of despicable activities, capable of denting the image of the Nigerian military, is must-do.
They should then, at every point in time, be willing to share their wealth of experience, while also offering their invaluable guidance, advice and support to their colleagues still in active service.
Nigeria’s insecurity is taking its toll on both citizens and the nation itself. The country is almost becoming a den of kidnappers, terrorists, bandits, and every kind of identifiable criminals, who abduct, torture, brutalize, maim and kill their harmless captives.
The issue of insecurity in Nigeria has become something of grave concern to all well-meaning citizens, who continue to wonder how the country arrived at such a critical situation where no one is safe. And worse still, rather than abate, the problem is escalating totally out of control.
According to Global Terrorism Index (GTI), Nigeria has two of the five deadliest terrorist groups in the world, namely; Boko Haram and Fulani extremists. Nigeria was rated the 3rd worst country with insecurity in the world in 2020 by the Global Terrorism Index (GTI), behind Afghanistan and Iraq.
Amid government’s massive funding in defence, border security, a collaborative effort with other neighbouring nations, changes in security structures, repentance of hundreds of terrorists, and the internal crisis between Boko Haram and Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) over supremacy, insecurity, in the country, is still far from becoming history.
Violent attacks by terrorists, bandits and other armed groups in different parts of the country, especially the kidnap of school children in the North-West, North-Central, and North-East, have increased the number of out-of-school children. This statistics has over 10 million Nigerian children out of school, the highest in the world according to United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).
At a time the argument of Nigerian military been overstretched still subsists, it is sad that brilliant and experienced men of the nation’s armed forces are leaving, after serving for 35 meritorious years.
The Nigerian military, aside prosecuting the ongoing war it had long waged against terrorists, armed bandits and kidnappers, among other hardened criminals, is also fighting an internal war.
Its ranks, in recent times look depleted in combat strength, following the metamorphosis of some troops into allies and collaborators of Boko Haram, and the Islamic State of West African Province, ISWAP, terrorist groups, and also bandits holding the North West and Central by their jugulars.
Perhaps, that is why the leadership of the Nigerian military, while retiring about 316 senior Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) appealed to them not to toe the path of ‘unpatriotic’ troops, and become agents of insurgents and other criminal elements.
The personnel comprising 283 from the Nigerian Army (NA), 27 Nigerian Navy (NN), and six from Air Force (NAF), were discharged from service after a three-month intensive reintegration into civil life and entrepreneurship training at the Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre (NAFRC), in Oshodi.
They were counseled against falling prey to subversive elements who may want to make use of their expertise.
Thanking them for their unblemished service to the country, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen. Lucky Irabor, reminded them that the country was currently facing myriads of security challenges and required their loyalty even in retirement.
He urged the retirees to use the available feedback mechanisms to report criminals lurking around, who may want to use them to foster their ill intentions.
“It is our expectation that after your graduation, the service and this centre will continue to get positive feedback as you gallantly soar through post-service life. Be bold and courageous, remain disciplined and focused, the sky is your beginning.
“It is important at this point to let you know that the level of insecurity is high in our nation. So, as you retire into the larger society, please beware of subversive elements within your environment and do not associate with them in any form. Your loyalty to the Nigerian Armed Forces and the Federal Republic of Nigeria is non-negotiable.
“You will from now on take full charge as planners and executors of your personal daily activities. This may sound exciting and promising but beware; you need to properly manage your freedom and make good use of your resources in order to be successful,” said the CDS.
He urged the retirees to be proactive in their conduct in order to avoid or overcome post-service challenges, adding that they should utilise the various skills garnered during their pre-retirement training for peaceful and productive economic life.
On the gains recorded in fighting insecurity, Irabor said collaborations with relevant security agencies were very effective and better than it used to be.
Deputy Editor, PRNigeria
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