Military, intelligence overwhelmed by security challenges, says Bakare

Posted by Chinelo Obogo | 7 October 2019 | 1,082 times

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•Pastor Bakare

Senior pastor of Latter Rain Assembly, Tunde Bakare, has said Nigeria’s combined military and intelligence capabilities were no match for the security challenges it is currently grappling with.

He said this yesterday during his annual State of the Nation broadcast at the church’s headquarters in Ikeja, Lagos.

Bakare expressed disappointment following numerous investigative reports from local and foreign media that Boko Haram fighters now have more sophisticated drones than the military and are well-armed after successful raids on military brigades.

“Time will fail me to talk about Nigeria’s scorecard in military strength, including our stock and deficiencies in land and air-based military equipment; but where soldiers are reportedly forced to buy their own uniforms and our barracks are nothing but environmental and health hazards, reports of low morale are hardly breaking news.

“Besides, it appears that our combined military and intelligence capabilities are no match for the security challenges we currently grapple with.

“A recent report by The New York Times states that Boko Haram ‘fighters now have more sophisticated drones than the military and are well-armed after successful raids on military brigades.’ Drones in the custody of terrorists is a grave existential threat. Moreover, the absence of robust human and weapons databases has hampered the necessary intelligence that can aid the prevention and detection of crime.

“Our foreign intelligence service has proved inadequate in meeting our strategic security threats. The National Intelligence Agency (NIA) should be our version of the United States of America’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the United Kingdom’s MI6, or Israel’s Mossad, but the NIA came into the limelight in the first term of this administration not for pre-empting a national security threat but for stashing $43 million in an apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos, allegedly earmarked for their overt and covert operations.

“On training and deployment of our military, how much longer will we dispatch poorly-trained and poorly-equipped recruits to their deaths? Are we truly using Shilka guns purchased during the 1979-1983 Shagari administration in 2019? Are children of the poor truly being deployed to battlefronts while the children of the rich are shielded? These are questions the army must answer to restore public confidence in this noble institution.

“Time and again, we have witnessed one inter-agency clash after another. In 2017, the media was awash with the shameful clash between the EFCC and the DSS.

“The killing of policemen by soldiers was not just an isolated case of bad eggs in the army colluding with criminals, it was another case of agencies working at cross-purposes. The inter-agency clashes may have even extended to the training of our officers,” Bakare said.

On the issue of restructuring and devolution of powers, Bakare said the need for them could not be over-emphasised and urged the Federal Government to stop being afraid of empowered states and local governments.

Bakare said: “The true test of leadership in a federal system is the willingness of the central government to empower the federating units … We must embrace multilevel policing in the spirit of true federalism, setting in place  appropriate constitutional checks and balances to prevent abuse. Not to act swiftly, or to do otherwise can only be counterproductive to our stability and progress.” (Daily Sun)

Source: News Express

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