As insurgency keeps making its way back to Nigeria, a security consultant and former military personnel, Retired Commodore Abimbola Ayuba has said more funding is key to defeating the insurgents.
Nigeria has been facing terrorism for the past 11 years, with more than 30,000 people killed and close to 3 million people displaced in the Northeast of the country.
Featuring in Village Square Africa on News Central Television, Rtd. Commodore Ayuba said the Nigerian military needs sophisticated vehicles and weapons to overcome the challenges of the topography of the northeast.
Citing the dry season as one of the reasons for the rise in terrorism activities in the region, he said Nigeria should pay more attention to events in the northeast, as that’s capable of unsettling the entire country.
“The military, even though the budget has increased considerably in the last five years, does not have enough, when compared with other issues and areas of national development,” he said.
“In reality, if you have a case like we have, in the Northeast, there’s need to take funding off budget for managing the crisis. Some of the dilemma that are causing the funding issue is that we are not clear if we are fighting a war or an internal crisis or insurgency. Until we are able to define that, then other aspects like construction, road projects should be put into the war economy.
“Some parts of Nigeria have continued like the war does not concern them and that’s wrong. The whole country must reach a consensus that we need to concentrate on the Northeast, probably the Northwest and then later, the North-central.”
Mr. Ayuba added that Nigeria may need to call on mercenaries for support as the country should be looking to do anything to achieve victory over terror at the point.
On the role of traditional rulers in the multifaceted battle against terror, he said the roles of the rulers have been relegated and that has not helped the cause of the military. He, however, said they are being approached again in recent time because of their understanding of the terrain and the security architecture they own as traditional leaders.
Citing the presence of Agro-Rangers as the reason for the return of some farmers to their farmlands, he said the military has to be clearer in its declaration of liberation in some locations, as the terrorists still persist even after such announcements.
On his part, Lanre Suraj, an African Affairs Analyst said Nigeria is enmeshed in the celebration of political moves, that has seen the President getting a summon from the National Assembly. He said he doesn’t think that will work as the President may not appear and that may be the news. He added that the fight against terror should not be tokenised by politics as the call for the sack of service chiefs may be from the potential beneficiaries of such eventuality.