A retired Naval officer, Mr Francis Akpan, believes it is normal to have positive and negative reports emanating from the Boko Haram infested north eastern Nigeria.
“If you go into history, you will find out we had this in ECOMOG and during campaigns we were part of and this is to be expected”, adding that “there’s a great flux globally and we cannot be shielded from the global insecurity flux”.
The retired Rear Admiral further noted that the “military has been deployed in 32 out of 36 states and that has taken a toll on the military in carrying out it’s primary role on issues such as insurgency and territorial protection.
“But it gladdens to know that we are beginning to take our place in the fight against insurgency and terror”, he said.
He harped on the importance of “operational logistics” for the Army insisting that “when you finish drawing the battle line, plans and strategy, what you should be concerned about is the sustenance of that contest.
“From the battle lines, you create a logistic chain right to the manufacturers’ quarters, so that when anything is needed it will come in when it is required.”
He, however, noted that creating such a chain might be impossible with the military’s limited resources.
He explained, “If you look at our concerns and engagements for 2012 and 2013, you will see that there is a disconnect between being able to sustain that operational logistic requirement with the kind of budget we have.
“And I would have thought that that concern would have been brought up by the legislative arm since they have oversight of the responsibilities of the military.”
He commended the “leadership of the Army for taking very stringent line of decision to change the beats” which has resulted in the reported success in the fight against terror in Nigeria.
He further harped on the need to create a digital battle space for the security forces, maintaining that $1 billion loan been sought by President Goodluck Jonathan would “come in handy” in the purchase of fighter jets, offshore patrol vessels and armoured personnel carriers.
“We haven’t done much in re-equipping the military after (Shehu) Shagari’s regime,” he added.
He also said officers who die in the line of duty “have been honoured, given very good burials and their families compensated to a certain extent; that also includes the rank and file”, but was quick to add that “if you want to enhance professionalism, you must look at the officer’s core.
“When they pay the price, other officers in the rank and file want to see what kind of reverence is given to their masters because that is key to motivating troops that the late officer led. And we have seen very impressive way of respecting the dead and their families especially in the armed forces. But I am not sure of the police,” he said.