Nigeria’s ex-military president, General Ibrahim Babangida, has called on the military to develop new strategies to successfully combat insurgency in the nation.
Babangida made the call on Monday in a statement issued in commemoration of 2019 Armed Forces Remembrance Day.
“As we prepare to celebrate this year’s Remembrance Day, we should not be oblivious of the fact that our military is presently faced with horrific challenges in the crucial counter-insurgency war, and activities of other blood-thirsty armed groups. To say the least, these ugly circumstances are not only heart-rending but unacceptable.
“Hence, it is high time we seek to consolidate our gains and also fortify our combat strength. It is pertinent for the top echelons of our military to speedily evolve new combat strategy to bravely confront the callous terrorists who have continued to hold many parts of the North East, and in extension, Nigeria in ransom,” he said.
Babangida added that the 2019 edition of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day is coming at a critical period when Nigerian electorates will go to the polls and elect their new leaders at various levels of government.
According to him, elections have tested our unity as a people, while also posing threats to our socio-cultural diversity and challenging our common destiny.
“Nevertheless, I have a strong conviction that our Armed Forces will remain apolitical prior, during, and after the general elections, while focusing only on discharging their constitutional responsibility of safeguarding the country either from the aggression of internal rebels in the guise of Boko Haram insurgents or from external retrogressive forces.
“Lastly, on this unique occasion, I wish to pay a special tribute to some of our gallant troops who have been incapacitated while at the Theatre of War in the restive parts of the country,” he said.
The former president also paid tribute to those who paid the supreme price in their quest to defend the nation.
Furthermore, he commended the Armed Forces for their resilience over the years in maintaining peace in Nigeria, United Nations Missions, African Union and regional interventions.