I Headed A Military That Lacked Equipments & Motivation To Fight – Badeh
Immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh has confessed that when he assumed office as the CDS, he headed a armed forces that lacked the relevant equipment and motivation to fight an enemy (Boko Haram terrorists) that was invisible and embedded with the local populace.
Badeh made the confession just as he pointed out that the decision of certain countries, to deny Nigeria weapons to prosecute the war against Boko Haram, added to the challenges the military faced.
But how come Nigerian military can’t produce weapons like those other countries military?
Delivering his valedictory speech at his pulling out ceremony in Abuja on Thursday, Badeh said: “Notwithstanding the modest successes we recorded in the fight against terror, I must say that the task or coordinating the military and other security agencies in the fight against the insurgents, is perhaps the most complex and challenging assignment I have had in my 38 years in service”.
Other challenges he said he faced included “the exploitation of a serious national security issue by a section of the media and the political class to gain political mileage.
“Furthermore, the activities of fifth columnists in the military and other security agencies who leaked operational plans and other sensitive military information to the terrorists, combined to make the fight against the insurgents particularly difficult”.
He added, “The activities of these unpatriotic members of the military not only blunted the effectiveness of the fight, but also led to the needless deaths of numerous officers and men who unwittingly fell into ambushes prepared by terrorists who had advanced warning of the approach of such troops”.
“Permit me to also add here, that nation’s militaries are equipped and trained in peace time, for the conflicts they expect to confront in the future. Unfortunately, that has not been our experience as a nation. Over the years, the military was neglected and under-equipped to ensure the survival of certain regimes, while other regimes, based on advice from some foreign nations deliberately reduced the size of the military and underfunded it.
“Unfortunately, our past leaders accepted such recommendations without appreciating our peculiarities as a third world military which does not have the technological advantage that could serve as force multipliers and compensate for reduced strength.
“Accordingly, when faced with the crises in the North East and other parts of the country, the military was overstretched and had to embark on emergency recruitment and training, which were not adequate to prepare troops for the kind of situation we found ourselves in.
“It is important therefore for the government to decide on the kind of military force it needs by carrying out a comprehensive review of the nation’s military force structure to determine the size, capability and equipment holding required to effectively defend the nation and provide needed security.”