…makes case for reserves, veterans
A committee set up to undertake a holistic reform of the Ministry of Defence, as well as the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN), has come out with 70 recommendations, which implementation, it hoped, will substantially tame the growing insecurity in the country. Among the recommendations made by the Air Vice Marshal (rtd) M. Umaru-led 21-member panel, was the urgent need for a holistic audit of personnel and equipment of the military across all formations in the country.
The 21-member panel also made a strong case for the activation of the provisions of the Armed Forces Act that deal with reserves and veterans, in the face of threats to national security. The development comes amid rising cases of banditry, insurgency, kidnapping, separatist agitations and the like.
The Minister of Defence, Maj-Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd), who received the report, pledged diligent implementation, in demonstration of the Federal Government’s commitment towards ending the cycle of violence across the country. “An urgent action is required for the audit of military personnel and equipment in all formations of the AFN, application of technology in the conduct of war and the handling of cyber security issues as they affect national security”, the panel said. According to the report: “The enormity of these issues resulted in the over seventy (70) recommendations proffered by the Committee in its report.
“Knowing that there are usually challenges in actualising reforms, we have drawn up strategies for our recommendations with a view to facilitating their implementation, it is expected that the HMOD would ensure implementation of the report. “The fact that war changes its character with time, calls for urgent action to deal with fluctuating situations.”
It added thus: “Legislative processes to correct some of the observed deficiencies would be needed while a holistic security reform will be required to ensure a Whole-of-Government and All-of-Citizens approach to combating the emergent ills of the society. In order words, comprehensive approaches are needed, involving the military and civilian expertise. “A major underlying consideration was the need to check the quality of personnel being recruited into the system, the type of education and training they receive as well as their welfare and equipment. These issues require serious attention”.