Immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, yesterday, lamented the activities of fifth columnists in the military which led to the death of many officers and men of the army.
Badeh in his valedictory speech at his pulling-out ceremony in Abuja, yesterday, also confessed that when he assumed office as the CDS, he headed an armed forces that lacked the relevant equipment and motivation to fight an enemy (Boko Haram terrorists) that was invisible and embedded within the local populace.
His words: “The activities of fifth columnists in the military and other security agencies who leaked operational plans and other sensitive military information to the terrorists, combined to make the fight against the insurgents particularly difficult.
“The activities of these unpatriotic members of the military not only blunted the effectiveness of the fight, but also led to the needless deaths of numerous officers and men who unwittingly fell into ambushes prepared by terrorists who had advance warnings of the approach of such troops. The decision by certain countries to deny us weapons to prosecute the war also added to the challenges we faced.
“Notwithstanding the modest successes we recorded in the fight against terror, I must say that the task of coordinating the military and other security agencies in the fight against the insurgents, is perhaps the most complex and challenging assignment I have had in my 38 years in service.
“Permit me to also add here, that nations’ militaries are equipped and trained in peace time for the conflicts they expect to confront in the future. Unfortunately, that has not been our experience as a nation. Over the years, the military was neglected and under-equipped to ensure the survival of certain regimes, while other regimes, based on advice from some foreign nations, deliberately reduced the size of the military and underfunded it.
“Unfortunately, our past leaders accepted such recommendations without appreciating our peculiarities as a third world military which does not have the technological advantage that could serve as force multipliers and compensate for reduced strength.
“Accordingly, when faced with the crises in the North-East and other parts of the country, the military was overstretched and had to embark on emergency recruitments and trainings, which were not adequate to prepare troops for the kind of situation we found ourselves in.
“It is important, therefore, for the government to decide on the kind of military force it needs by carrying out a comprehensive review of the nation’s military force structure to determine the size, capability and equipment holding required to effectively defend the nation and provide needed security.
“Despite these challenges, I am glad to note that a lot was achieved during our time in the fight against terror. The achievements are largely due to the commitment, patriotism, and fighting spirit of our men and women in uniform who saw the fight against terror as a task that must be accomplished no matter the odds and in spite of the campaign of calumny against the military by a section of the media and their foreign collaborators.”
Expressing happiness with “the teeming populace that have continued to stand behind their military,” Badeh said: “Our true friends who stood by us in our time of need and provided us the weapons we are now using to conduct the operations will always have a special place in our hearts. I must also mention the support and cooperation we have continued to enjoy from our neighbouring countries.”
On his advice to the nation, the former CDS said: “I want to state emphatically that no nation can achieve its full potentials by totally depending on other nations for its defence needs. The lessons of the civil war and ongoing war against terror where certain countries frustrated our attempts to procure much needed weapons are very instructive.
“Again, as I always said, when the nation is at war, it is not the military alone that is at war, it is the entire nation. Accordingly, every segment of society must see itself contributing to the overall war effort by presenting a united front against a common enemy.
“Therefore, I appeal to the relevant agencies of government to mobilize the huge human and material resources we have in this country towards the development of vibrant defence industrial complex that would contribute to meeting our critical arms and equipment needs. This is crucial if we must reduce our total dependence on foreign sources of supply for critically needed arms.”


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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