- IBB, Gowon, Abdulsalami’ll assist, Edwin Clark tells FG
Former military President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, yesterday called on the Federal Government to equip troops with modern weapons to help them fight insecurity. Babangida’s advise emerged on a day Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to seek counsel from former military heads of state on how to address Nigeria’s security woes.
Speaking with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Hausa, which was cited by an online news portal, The- Cable, Babangida also asked Nigerians to support the security agencies in restoring peace in the country.
Recall that the military, which has been fighting Boko Haram insurgency in the North- East, is also involved in at least 10 special opera
ions in many states. Speaking further, Babangida said troops must be made to understand that they have nowhere else to go other than Nigeria. He said: “Provide them with all they require and let them know this is their country.
They have no other better than this. “They also need to be trained on how to use the modern weapons, not to get weapons and just hand them over to them.
They should be trained.” The retired general also said he usually advises the government on the way forward for the country, and will continue to do so. He said: “We give advice as we can but we don’t make noise about it.
We don’t announce that this is what we say. “We should unite, we should support those in power, we are all working towards achieving the same goal. Between the leaders and citizens, we need peace and a harmonious relationship.
“I remember how we fought the civil war for three years, the people supported the government, the government did its best, bought what was necessary, those who fought were made to understand that this country is the best for them.
“It is not only in Nigeria; many countries encountered this kind of problem, some had it for ten years but through concerted effort, they are out of it. I believe we can get out of this problem.”
Meanwhile, Clark, while speaking during an interview with Channels TV, yesterday said President Buhari should invite Generals Yakubu Gowon, Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar, and discuss with them on the security challenges. There has been a spike in violence across Nigeria, with various criminals and armed groups abducting and killing citizens.
The security agencies have also not been spared: not less than 10 police officers have been reportedly killed in attacks in various stations in the last two weeks. Speaking during an interview with Channels TV, Clark said Buhari must seek external help — even if from the opposition, and that he must also address citizens over the security situation.
“The time has come for him (Buhari) to call all Nigerians together. Let us all come together, the country belongs to us,” he said.
“And if we are not solving problems like Boko Haram, banditry and so on, we will soon fight ourselves and when it happens, we have no other country.
“Let the president call all of us, his opponents, everybody. APC cannot do it alone, PDP will not either. Call the leaders, there are all generals in this place — General Gown, General Babangida, and all of them. Abdusalam is there talking every time.
“Nigeria does not lack people. Let the president come out to see his people. Let him invite his people and discuss with them, what do we do with our country?”