By Shina Abubakar – Osogbo
Olowu of Kuta, His Royal Highness, Oba Adekunle Makama, has lent his voice to the comment by the chairman of the Senate Committee on the Army, Senator Ali Ndume, who says the National Assembly will adjust the defense budget to meet security challenges.
In a statement issued by the monarch on Tuesday, he maintained that he has always canvassed for better funding for the Nigerian Army in order to meet the challenges of fighting the asymmetric war.
He said the N120billion budgeted for the Army for 2020 is grossly inadequate.
Makama in his various interventions on the need to support the Nigerian Army in the past has canvassed for increasing funds in terms of procuring the modern equipment and also to boost the morale of our gallant troops.
He maintained that his priority is to ensure a secure and safe country as that remains the condition precedent for economic prosperity, adding that no meaningful development can take place in an atmosphere of insecurity.
The monarch, who saluted the courage and professionalism of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen. Tukur Buratai in the face of a daunting task to contain the Boko Haram and banditry in the North West pleaded with politicians across the board not to play politics with the armed forces being the symbol of the nation’s unity.
“As I have said before now, our troops need our individual and concerted support through prayers and positive comments from our religious leaders of both faith and all well-meaning patriotic Nigerians.
“A situation whereby their efforts are greeted with scornful remarks would naturally kill their morale and also incapacitate their spirit to fight and get desired results.
“We should all say ‘No’ to fake news emanating from some faceless rights organisations whose interest is not in alignment with that of Nigerian masses. These groups, which masquerade as concerned bodies, are perceived to be all out to do all they can to sustain the problem in a bid to satisfy their parochial interest.
“It must be stated that these groups cannot claim to love Nigeria more than Nigerians, and love their country more than they(Nigerians) do. So, it is high time we insulated our Armed Forces from external and their internal collaborators because Nigeria is greater than any of us.
“At this point, I will like to clamour for a massive increase in the budgetary allocation to the Defence Ministry, this will enhance an accelerated equipping of our Armed Forces to meet up with the demand of modern-day and conventional warfare.
“We hereby call on the International community not to fold their hands and watch Nigerian face insurgency and counter-terrorism alone. We have seen how they collectively rally round to defeat ISIS in Syria and Afghanistan. France can play a major role in being the colonial master of most of the neighbouring countries around us.
“We have to realise that Nigeria belongs to all us, Nigeria is older than most of us, and Nigeria will still outlive most of us. The best we should individually and collectively do is to contribute our quotas in leaving Nigeria better than we met it.” He said.
It will be recalled that Senator Ali Ndume, on Thursday, said the National Assembly will adjust the defence budget to meet current security challenges in the country.