A former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has advised the federal government to recall retired military officers as a solution to the prevailing security challenges of the country.
Mr Abubakar, also a former presidential candidate, made this call in a statement on the “deteriorating security situation” on Tuesday.
“The security situation in Nigeria is deteriorating rapidly and ordinary Nigerians are living in fear for their lives and the lives of their loved ones. Nowhere seems to be safe. Farms, markets, schools, homes, mosques, churches, and urban areas are all affected.
“Terrorists are spreading their areas of operation beyond the North-east, into far-flung areas as far as Niger State in the North-central. That is merely hours from our Federal Capital.
“Now is the time for decisive leadership and I call on the Federal Government to consider recalling all ex-servicemen and women, who are willing to return to service, and take the fight to the insurgents until they are rolled back and defeated.”
He said, as a former vice-chairman of the National Security Council, ”he is aware that Nigeria has a sizable population of military veterans, who were trained locally and internationally are still very much alive”.
He said it serves no purpose to allow “these valuable national assets to lie fallow when there is an existential threat to our nation”.
“Call them up. Immediately. Mobilise them to the field. The time has come for us to put in all our effort and stamp out this menace from our nation,” he urged the government.
Speaking further, he said ”men and women of Nigeria’s armed forces, whether serving or retired, who restored peace to Lebanon, Liberia, Sierra Leone and São Tomé and Príncipe can and should be used to do the same in the motherland”.
“But they need arms and ammunition. It is incumbent on the federal government to develop a more efficient means of sourcing weapons and delivering them to the troops at the battlefront,” Mr Abubakar added.
As the Muhammadu Buhari government appears at its wit’s end, states across the country are facing severe security challenges involving killings and kidnappings of individuals.
No fewer than 97 persons were killed and eight kidnapped last week while 239 were killed and 44 kidnapped in separate incidents across the country in the previous week.
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