A former Vice President, Abubakar Atiku, has tasked the Federal Government to engage ex-servicemen fight Boko Haram terrorism, kidnapping and banditry in the country. According to him, the insecurity situation has deteriorated to an extent that many people are living in fear, with losses of several lives daily.
Atiku raised that alarm Wednesday in a statement issued to journalists on how to overcome security challenges to people’s lives and property. While lamenting incessant attacks and killings, he said: “The security situation has been deteriorating rapidly, while the people continue to live in fear, including their loved ones.
“No any part of this country seems to be safe in the last two years.” He added that farms, markets, schools, mosques, churches in urban and rural centres are also not protected against Boko Haram terrorism, kidnapping and banditry.
According to him, terrorists are spreading their areas of operation beyond the Northeast and have crossed into Niger state of the North-Central geopolitical zone. He said the ex-servicemen are willing to return and render their services to fight the terrorists, until they are defeated by rolling them back. He said that Nigeria has a sizable number of military veterans, who are alive and active to fight to the finish.
He noted that as they were fully trained professionally; it serves no purpose to allow the security national assets lie fallow; since there is a lingering threat to the nation. “Call the ex-servicemen up immediately by mobilizing them to the frontlines of Sambisa Forest and the Lake Chad region,” he said.
Continuing, he added: “the time has come for us to put in all our efforts and stamp out this menace from the nation,” noting that serving and retired soldiers had also restored peace in Lebanon, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Sao Tome and Principe and they should be engaged to restore peace in Nigeria. He said that for them to achieve this, they however need modern arms and ammunition.
According to him, the federal government should develop a more efficient means of sourcing for weapons and deliver them to troops. Besides, he added: “We also need to urgently improve the conditions of service of the men and women of our armed forces. And not just the government.” He said the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) in collaboration with primary mortgage institutions to offer members of the Armed Forces special concessionary mortgage loans to own houses.
While the private sector, he added should be encouraged to offer discounted services to appreciate their services. “There is no sacrifice greater than to lay down your life for the motherland,” he said, stating that when the military is properly rewarded, they will fight gallantly,” adding that a country that rewards courage is one that avoids outrage.