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By Biodun Busari

Former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode has advised Defence headquarters to spend its timing tackling terrorists rampaging the country rather than engaging him in a press war.

The former minister gave the advice on Sunday in his reaction via an opinion article asking the army to secure the country and earn respect of the populace.

The Army, in a statement, by its Director of Defence Information, Major General Jimmy Akpor, had earlier said Fani-Kayode was ignorant of whose responsibility to guard the prisons, over his position on Kuje prisons attack in a viral video.

Reacting today, Fani-Kayode, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress said despite his respect and admiration for the security agents, they cannot be applauded if they have not secured Nigerian people from kidnapping and killing perpetrated by terrorists.

Fani-Kayode partly said: “Given the gravity and seriousness of the deteriorating security situation in our country I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read through it.

“I would advise strongly that the military High Command and Defence Headquarters spends its time facing up to and fighting the terrorists that have turned our nation into a functional killing field and horrendous bloodbath and abattoir over the last few years and attempt to carry out their constitutional role of protecting us from enemies within and without rather than trying to engage me in a press war or cow me into silence.

“They mentioned my so-called “antecedents” so let me say this: if they knew anything about my real antecedents they will appreciate the fact that attempting to threaten or intimidate me into not pointing out and exposing their abysmal failures can never work.

“For the record I have nothing but respect and admiration for the ordinary rank and file and junior and middle rank officers of our Armed Forces who have sacrificed so much, including their lives, and who continue to do so even without the necessary backing and support that they need and deserve from the present Military High Command.

“Many of them have fought hard and died on the front line of battle in the most gallant way despite the difficult circumstances they have found themselves in and the uninspiring and poor logistical and moral support they have been offered by their senior colleagues.

“Worse still thousands of our civilians have been kidnapped, butchered and subjected to the most horrendous acts of evil and violence by the numerous terrorist organisations that have invaded and plagued our land.

“All this yet we are supposed to sit by idly and clap for our military field and operational commanders when things are clearly going wrong?”

The former Minister of Culture and Tourism told the leaders of the army to work harder if they are not satisfied with constructive criticism.

He further said: “The truth is that I have no business with any serving military officer but rather with the serving Minister of Defence who though a civilian like me, you must report to under the constitution.

“As a former Minister myself and out of respect for his office and person, I will formally and privately raise my concerns and the issue of what I consider to be your glaring incompetence and lack of patriotism and professionalism with him.

“This is the best that I can do in the circumstances and that way I would have at least satisfied my conscience and be able to sleep at night.

“The truth is that I am disgusted by their poor performance and utterly ashamed of their shameless impunity.

“If you want our respect then do please better. If you do not want to be criticised then work harder.

“If you do not want people to demand for your sacking or resignation then do your job and stop seeking to intimidate, attack, discredit or undermine those that criticise you.

“I am not an enemy of the military but rather a true friend who is candid and courageous enough to speak the bitter and plain truth even where others dare not. I am merely saying what millions are thinking and know.”

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