By Peter Duru
MAKURDIâ€”The Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, Air Chief Marshall Paul Dike has decried the high level of social vices which include drug abuse, alcoholism and prostitution in military barracks in the country, vowing that the ugly trend would be checked.
Dike made this assertion while declaring open a two-week skills acquisition training for spouses and dependants of military personnel based in Benue State.
The CDS said: â€œLike the saying goes, â€˜an idle mind is the devils workshop;â€™ for lack of profitable things to do, the barracks have become the home of idle gossips and rumours, social vices of all sorts including alcoholism, drug use and abuse and prostitution.â€
He opined that it was in recognition of this ugly development that the Defence Headquarters â€œdecided to face the challenge squarely through this skills acquisition project, which I am convinced will not only impact the desired skills but also empower its beneficiaries.â€
Represented by Air Commodore Hussein Sabo, the Defence Chief disclosed that the Defence Headquarters, DHQ, initiated the skills acquisition programme in 2008 as a deliberate policy to properly equip spouses and dependants of military personnel across the country to augment the familyâ€™s income.
Dike emphasized that due to obvious lack of equipment to run the programme in military formations across the country, the DHQ was partnering human resources development outfits, Brand Edge and E.K. Consolidated to facilitate the training which has over 700 participants as beneficiaries in Benue State.
He noted that beneficiaries would be trained in catering and fast food skills, beauty saloon skill, soap making, knitting and beading, information technology skills, small business setup, the financing of small scale businesses and agric and allied services.
The Air Officer Commanding Tactical Air Command Makurdi, AVM Jones Babalola,Â declared open the training.