By Ochuko Akuopha
AS the Federal Government continues to grapple with the worsening security challenge facing the country, the Ovie of Umiaghwa-Abraka Kingdom, Delta State, HRM Lucky Ararile (retd), Avwaeke I, has described inter-service cooperation and synergy as “very serious issues” in the fight against insurgency and banditry.
He said: “I see a lot of duplications all over the place. Everybody is doing everybody else’s job.
The Police have their special forces under the Inspector General of Police, the Chief of Defence Staff has his special forces, the Air Force and the Navy have their special forces and so on.
“Sometimes, I will say that it is even disappointing when I see the way we are operating. It looks as if nobody is in charge. So, we have very serious issues in terms of inter-service cooperation.”
Fielding questions from newsmen at his palace in Umiaghwa-Abraka, Ethiope East Local Government Area, Delta State, Ararile said: “If you have a security challenge of the type we have now, and the extent it has degenerated, it becomes a national issue.
“It is an emergency. All this time we have been fighting Boko Haram, it has been like we deploy our troops in the North-East and they are on their own.
“When you are fighting a war, it is a national business. Most of the resources of the country must be channelled towards tackling that issue. It is not a piecemeal approach.
“There must be a comprehensive strategy.”
Commending the Federal Government “for bringing into reality, the acquisition of the Tucano aircrafts,” he pointed out that there was no point having a counter-insurgency airplane “and when you see some bandits in a place, you go there, disorganise them, bomb them and kill a lot of them, and others run away and the army did not follow up as ground troops.”
“The Air force comes from the air, the Air Force does its job and the army ought to finish up on the ground. But where the army does not go, what is the purpose? The Air Force has done its job, but the job is uncompleted because of what other people ought to do, which they didn’t do. So, inter-service cooperation is imperative for the proper use of that airplane. Having said that, the types of threats that we have in Nigeria today, whether insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, are the type of operations that you use Special Forces for.
“Given the fact that the myriads of problems we have today are country-wide, the different zones have one form of security challenges or the other, they require helicopter services.
So, each state of the federation including the FCT, should have at least three helicopters. That is 36 states plus the FCT which is 37 multiplied by three helicopters. And that gives 111 helicopters. That is what we require.”