The presidential candidate of the Accord Party, Isaac Babatunde Ositelu, has urged the federal government of Nigeria to declare, with immediate effect, a state of emergency in the nation’s security architecture.
He said this is following the spate of gruesome killings of the civilian population and military personnel by the insurgent groups rampaging in the sections of the country.
According to him, it’s a tragedy of immense proportion that each time, the military claims to have technically defeated the insurgents, the group usually responded with bigger damage on the people and the military.
In a statement released to the media in Lagos, on Tuesday, he said that the life of every Nigerian must not be cut short with reckless abandon, while the nation’s leaders and its people carry on as if it is business as usual.
“It is unacceptable the way our people are being killed on a regular basis. No nation should stand aloof and watch with trepidation the deliberate and consistent carnage in our land,” he said.
Ositelu admonished that the war on insurgency cannot be fought and won in the media space. According to him, it is demeaning to the image of the country how military bases are cheaply over run by the Boko Haram fighters, promising to make military institutions fortresses that are impenetrable to armed gangs if elected president.
While condoling with the federal government, Nigerian military authorities and the families of the fallen heroes, Ositelu said that the Metele massacre in Borno State, is one too many.
He therefore said that with the intractable killings of the military operatives and the Nigerian people, particularly, in the northern states, his government would probe all defence and security budgets and expenditure from 1999 to 2018. He noted that if the capital votes and releases to the military had been efficiently executed in the last 19 years, there was no way the Nigerian military would continue to come under violent butchery by the marauders and insurgent groups. He said that since the beginning of this year no fewer than 160 officers and soldiers have been killed by the militant groups.
The Accord Party presidential candidate said that clear cut performance metrics would be used in defining the tenure of his security chiefs once the mantle of leadership is handed over to him. He stressed that military commanders who failed to meet up to their deliverables would be asked to give way to a more robust leadership that is result oriented. While assuring that competency, commitment, dedication and loyalty to the country would be rewarded, he said that the various agencies including the armed forces, Police, Department of State Security (DSS), the Military Intelligence Agency (MIA) and Defence Intelligence Agency would be encouraged to have seamless collaborations in the interest of the nation. He said that the unmitigated rivalry among the security services would be a thing of the past during his tenure.
Ositelu said that the Nigerian military which had won international accolades across Africa and other parts of the globe had no business being decimated by a rat tag insurgent militants. According to him, if insinuations that the welfare of the military operatives had ebbed deeply and that most of the military equipment for fighting the insurgents were obsolete aside from being ill equipped, there is no better time than during his tenure to fumigate the budgetary provisions and expenditures from 1999 till date.
He said that there will be a paradigm shift in the manner of tackling the insurgents if the Nigerian people vote him into power at the 2019 Presidential election. According to him, the Accord Party led central government would not claim to know it all. Rather, he said that his government will be going into strategic collaborations and partnerships with nations that have striking experience in the successful dismemberment of insurgencies across the world. He assured that technology driven and intelligence focussed military would be the new plank of the military that he would bequeath to the Nigerian nation.
Aside from providing the most modern equipment and training facilities for a combat ready army, he said that welfare of the rank and file of the military would be top notch for his administration. According to him, the impunity with which political leaders, the bureaucracy and military hierarchy siphon the funds for military equipment and welfare of the soldiers will be a thing of the past as those found culpable would be dealt with according to the laws of the land. He said that budgets for military and security operations would be streamlined for results. “Never again will the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) get more budgetary provisions than the sum allocated to the entire defense sector as witnessed in recent past,” he said.
“My government will also try to address the ideological angle to the issue of insurgency by working with the stakeholders including religious clerics, traditional rulers and civilian joint task force to nip such ideas in the bud in the future”, he said. He assured that the multi-national joint military taskforce would be re-energised and refocused so that insurgents won’t continue to wreak havoc in country and run for cover in another because of the uncoordinated management of the four nations (Nigeria, Republics of Niger, Chad and Cameroun) joint military taskforce.