DONT CHANGE SERVICE CHIEF TO FIGHT INSURGENCY

A prominent South-West monarch, service chiefs the Olowu of Kuta, Osun State, Oba Adekunle Oyelude Makama, on Monday, said removing service chiefs will not end insurgency in Nigeria. He said the Nigerian Armed Forces currently face an unusual situation that cannot be addressed by a change of guards, noting those calling for change should offer a credible alternative.

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The traditional ruler addressed a press conference on the outcome of a one-day national discourse on civil-military relations he convened in conjunction with a coalition of civil society organizations.

Reading a 10-point communiqué issued at the end of the discourse, the monarch said the Nigerian Army requires the support of the people to combat the insurgency.

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He also advocated for the rebranding of the Army in a way that the people would see the Army as theirs and accord the institution the needed support and goodwill.

Oba Makama stressed the need for government to increase the funding of the military stated that his findings indicate that despite that the military’s budget constitutes the largest chunk of the national budget, they hardly get half of the votes.

He advised against stampeding the President into removing the service chiefs, saying, “We should allow the President to exercise his constitutional right to change them when he deems fit. “But I am of the opinion that changing the service chiefs doesn’t end the insurgency.\

” He said part of the challenges facing the Army is that it has been overstretched as it shouldn’t be involved in internal security, adding, “If the Nigeria Police and other security agencies are well structured, Nigerian Army doesn’t have any business in internal security.” The monarch however advocated for a rebranding of the Army, deepening of their professionalism, saying, “The army must be allowed to face its primary assignment of defending the territorial integrity of the country squarely.”

He said, “There should be effective and efficient communication, propaganda should be believable and credible when deployed. “There should be confidence building/community relations among the populace so that the civil populace will see the Army as a partner in progress and not the ‘aggressor/oppressor’ and an army of occupation.”

The monarch said the dialogue also recommended that the recruitment system “should be more open and transparent.

It must be on merit as opposed to the quota system.” He also called for the engagement of the civil service organizations “for perception management.”

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