A member of the House of Representatives, Mr Abass Adigun, has called for a meeting between Service Chiefs and governors of the states currently being ravaged by armed bandits and Boko Haram insurgents.
Adigun told the Newsmen on Wednesday that there must be ‘sincere discussions’ between the service chiefs and the governors on how best to tackle the menace.
He called for a very high level of transparency in the execution of war against terrorism in the North-East zone.
“The main reason why Western countries are not joining us in this battle is because of lack of transparency,” the lawmaker said.
Adigun, who represents Ibadan South East/Ibadan North-East federal constituency in the lower legislative chamber, said all efforts must be directed towards ensuring safety of lives and property of Nigerians.
Although the lawmaker, who is the Vice-Chairman of the House Committee on Navy, agreed that the service chiefs had over-stayed their welcome, he, however, said that removing them was not the solution to the security challenges confronting the country.
“When I retired from the United States Navy and decided to join politics, it was because of my concern for Nigeria and our people.
“It is true that we passed a resolution calling for the sack of service chiefs. I agree that they have over-stayed, but the truth is that that is not the sole solution to the security challenges we are having in the country.
“What I think should be done is to invite all the service chiefs and the governors of the affected zones, and then, we initiate very sincere discussions on how best to tackle this menace,’’ he said.
“The US army came here sometimes ago to help us but they left because they said the Nigerian Army was not sharing information with them.
“We should also recruit volunteers who will help our troops in many regards. The war has been going on for about 10 years now and it only shows something is attached to it.
“Our security agencies, particularly the DSS, must wake up and make intelligence available to the troops. To defeat an enemy, you must have information,’’ he stated.
The lawmaker also said that the salary and remuneration of security personnel must be more encouraging so that they could give their best in defending their fatherland.
“Every member of our military, especially those on the war front, must be comprehensively insured. A soldier shouldn’t have any doubt about who takes care of his family if he dies during a war,’’ he said.
Adigun noted, with regret, that military personnel were not well- equipped and motivated to perform their duties
“In spite of all these, we still expect them to go to war and die for the country. What will they and their families gain if they don’t return from war fronts?
“When I was in the US military, each of us in the navy had an insurance cover of $400,000, and if anyone should die in the line of duty, the US navy will add $150,000 to make it $550, 000.
“I registered my father, mother, wife and kids as beneficiaries. I remember when one of us died, the US embassy in Nigeria quickly gave his relatives visa to come for the money. That’s how to motivate military personnel,” he said.
The legislator added that the country needed sincere and committed individuals to be able to end insurgency and other security challenges.
According to him, bulk of the N130 billion budgeted for the Nigerian Navy in the 2020 budget and other allocations to the military could have been used to create jobs, if the war had been won.