By Luminous Jannamike, ABUJA
The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has said the advice by the former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, for the federal government to equip the soldiers with modern weapons and the necessary training was good but not new.
He, however, argued that many Nigerians have made similar calls in the past, but the country’s leadership has not taken such advice seriously.
Rev. John Hayab, who is CAN’s Vice Chairman (Northern Region), in an interview with one of our correspondents, also noted that the Federal Government had previously budgeted for modern military hardware and for the training of troops with little or nothing to show for it.
He said, ‘It is true that many of the weapons Nigeria security agencies are using are obsolete. The personnel also lack some basic skills and therefore need training.
“Bandits and criminals who are terrorising the people in the North have better weapons and are well trained by their sponsors than what our security have.
“So, the call by our former President IBB for the military to be given modern weapons and be trained is good, but not new because many Nigerians have made similar calls.
“However, due to reasons best known to those in power, such wise counsel was never taken seriously and were sometimes viewed as voices of the opposition and also tagged as disgruntled elements or wailers.
“Now that a former President has added his voice on the matter, we hope something concrete will be done. Though we have been told that money was voted for weapons that are not anywhere to be found now, any new release of funds for weapons when the last funds have not yet been accounted for could also disappear.
“Nonetheless, our military really needs our support as IBB said, but those in power both at the Federal, States and Local Governments levels must do something serious to win the trust of the general public which will help boost the people support for our military.”