A counter-terrorism expert, Brig. Gen Williams Obene (Rtd) on Tuesday advocated for a change in the funding system of the Nigerian military from the yearly appropriation system to a short, medium and long term system, maintaining that it will “bring confidence and professionalism to the Nigerian military”.
“Equipping the military through yearly appropriation is not working,” he said while speaking on Sunrise Daily on Tuesday.
He, however, advocated for a short, medium and long term funding system for the military and a system where Nigerians would take ownership of the Nigerian military, decide the kind of military they want and the kind of equipment that should be provided.
He said this approach would “bring confidence and professionalism to the Nigerian military,” adding that “when you have done that, we will not have the excuses of ‘we are not well equipped,'” he maintained.
He also advocated for the introduction of threat perception and threat analysis to also help in deciding the kind of arms that would be supplied to the military to attack head-on any kind of terror that may come the way of the country.
“If we do a proper threat perception and threat analysis, we will be able to equip our military,” he said, maintaining that the strategy will forestall any fall backs and failures that we have had because we have well trained and motivated soldiers,” he insisted.
Military Cannot Crush Boko Haram In Six Weeks
The retired Brigadier General also insisted that the military could not wipe the dreaded Islamist militant group from the face of the earth within six weeks.
“I wont subscribe to the fact that within the six weeks, that Boko Haram will fizzle out of Nigeria; I will not subscribe to that school of thought.
“But what I want to subscribe to is that within this six weeks, the military will be able to bring credible stability in those areas. And like we see, some of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are already beginning to go back to their homes,” he said.
He, however, wondered “how motivated they will be to partake in an election when they have no home and their properties are destroyed”.
“I think what the military is trying to do within this six weeks is to bring about stability,” he maintained.
The former Commandant of the Nigerian Army School of Infantry (NASI), further maintained that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) would have to be on top of their game to be sure the IDPs returning to their homes would be able to collect their their Permanent Voter Cards ahead of the elections.
Supports Deployment Of Military For 2015 Polls
Brig. Gen. Obene also added his voice to the deployment of military during the forth coming elections, insisting that the “president is constitutionally empowered to deploy troops during the elections”.
“The President has the constitutional rights to deploy the armed forces both in peaceful times and in war times. The Nigerian military is also constitutionally empowered to provide aid for civil authorities in times of national emergency and all types of insecurity problems the country may face from time to time.
“I think the President has the right, if it is expedient, to deploy the military,” he said.
These comments are coming some hours after the Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Professor Chidi Odinkalu, also backed the call for troops to take charge of security to ensure peace in the forthcoming general elections.