By Idoko Ainoko
The Nigerian Military is arguably among the best within the African continent. Its exploits have been acknowledged globally by the United Nations, and different entities which have has causes to offer it a go mark.
That is certainly no imply feat within the sense that almost all nations regarded by the power of its navy. Constitutionally, the Military is remitted to guard the territorial integrity of the nation from exterior aggression, in addition to the preservation of its sovereignty as within the case of Nigeria. This a lot has been achieved in Nigeria via professionalism and dedication by officers and troopers of the Nigerian Military. It’s due to this fact not farfetched on why the Nigerian Military is thought to be the delight of the nation.
Nevertheless, lots appears to have occurred within the Nigerian Military for the reason that return of democracy in Nigeria in 1999. Some have certainly said in quite a few boards that the Nigerian Military suffered neglect beneath a democracy by earlier administration ranging from the period of former president Olusegun Obasanjo, who upon assumption of workplace retired over 93 high navy officers whom he thought of as politically uncovered. I recall that the rationale superior by Olusegun Obasanjo was that the choice was to stabilize and save the nation’s democracy.
This place of Olusegun Obasanjo was punctured by some faculty of ideas who argued that the principal motive was to forestall a coup towards his authorities. Additionally they contended that Olusegun Obasanjo certainly starved the Nigerian Military of the required funds for its operations in a bid to maintain them in verify.
Whereas all of those positions can’t be verified, it considerably factors to the truth that the Nigerian Military certainly suffered neglect in some unspecified time in the future and this affected its effectiveness and professionalism which was uncovered when the Boko Haram terrorist group started its violent marketing campaign towards Nigeria in 2009.
We had been all witnesses to how the Nigerian Military struggled to maintain tempo with the actions of the insurgents. Because of years of neglect, these of us within the defence headquarters may simply sense the rustiness in its operations, dearth of kit, lack of expertise in uneven warfare and lots of others.
The attendant results of this truth noticed the Nigerian Military struggling extreme casualties within the battle with Boko Haram as they gained extra grounds to the extent of taking on 16 native authorities areas in North-East Nigeria.
The Nigerian Military certainly struggled to maintain tempo with the actions of the Boko Haram group who had been initially engaged in guerrilla warfare. What made issues worse was that they had been working in difficult terrain, and this gave them the extra benefit.
From 2009 until date, the method of rebuilding the Nigerian Military began. I have to admit as an insider that certainly former president Goodluck Jonathan started to the method of rebuilding the Nigerian Military. Nevertheless, his efforts weren’t complemented by these saddled with operating the affairs of the Nigerian Military because it had been. I’d say with out worry or favour that certainly their greed received the higher a part of them and issues received worse regardless of the big allocations.
Monies meant for welfare had been diverted to non-public pockets, monies meant for arms and ammunition had been additionally hijacked and in most cases, substandard and refurbished arms and ammunitions had been bought at very exorbitant costs. And the circle continued not till the approaching of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.
I gained’t say that President Muhammadu Buhari got here with the magic wand. Nevertheless, he certainly did one thing that reset not simply the Nigerian Military, in addition to the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Air Drive. His physique language was certainly too loud such that issues started to take form. This a lot the generality of Nigerians wouldn’t know, they felt as a result of he was a former military normal, it was anticipated that his consideration can be extra on the Nigerian Armed Forces.
That was not the case. What modified the story for the Nigerian Military was the selection of its Service Chief within the individual of Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai. I have to admit that not many people noticed his appointment coming as there have been others within the Military headquarters that has positioned themselves for the appointment. I recall that Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai was faraway in North-East Nigeria serving because the Commander of the Multinational Joint Taskforce (MJTNF) beneath the auspices of the Lake Chad Basin Fee and Benin Republic.
So in a manner, he was out of the scheming to change into Chief of Military Employees as he wasn’t amongst the anointed and positioned ones near the seat of energy because it had been. I recall mentioning to a colleague of mine that President Muhammadu Buhari was going to position nice emphasis on the Nigerian Military within the appointment of the Chief of Military Employees as a consequence of its strategic significance within the struggle towards Boko Haram. This was going to be strictly on benefit no matter all of the scheming and lobbying by high military officers within the Military headquarters.
I’d say this for the primary time. When the announcement was made, there was certainly palpable silence on the Military headquarters in addition to the defence headquarters as some struggled to find the current place of Tukur Buratai since he was misplaced someplace in North-East Nigeria and shuttling between the trenches within the Lake Chad Basin area. And at this time the remaining is historical past.
Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratia hit the bottom operating a lot in order that rumours began making the rounds within the defence headquarters that it was as a result of he’s from Borno State which is the epicentre of the conflict and as such he took the prosecution of the Boko Haram conflict private. However they had been improper within the sense that right here was an infantry normal that has been within the trenches because the Commander of the Multinational Joint Taskforce consisting of about 4 nations mandated to deal with the Boko Haram disaster which was quick gaining a regional dimension.
So it was anticipated that he was going to be proactive in his method and I have to admit that that was exactly what Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai did and the Nigerian Military of at this time is certainly higher for it. He launched some very powerful reforms within the operations of the Nigeria Military. There was the reintroduction of coaching and capability constructing for military personnel. I recall that particular consideration was given to offering native and overseas coaching alternatives for all cadres of officers and troopers.
Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai launched improved welfare packages for officers and troopers which was missing and largely answerable for the lethargy within the Nigerian Military because it had been. And this certainly did the magic as a result of you possibly can’t get the most effective out of individuals when they don’t seem to be adequately taken care of or motivated.. This was extra strategic within the bid to curb the lethargy that had enveloped the Nigerian Military on the time.
The Nigerian Military has additionally witnessed a speedy transformation within the space of infrastructural improvement with the renovations of barracks throughout the nation, improved and upgraded medical amenities to cater for the well being wants of officers and troopers. An excellent instance is the just lately commissioned 200 bedded Military Reference Hospital in Maiduguri, Borno State to supply for the healthcare of troopers who sustained accidents whereas combating the counter-insurgency conflict.
The academic sector of the Nigerian Military has additionally witnessed a complete revamp with the improve of all command secondary faculties throughout the nation. The Nigerian Navy Faculty was additionally not omitted with the reintroduction of navy coaching which was earlier suspended.
The institution of the Nigerian Military College in Bui, Borno State as a coaching establishment for the event of center and high-level manpower within the areas of technological empowerment for civilians, appreciation for navy coverage; logistics and technique can be worthy of point out.
The Nigerian Military has additionally launched into the manufacturing of sunshine tactical autos and different weapons on the Nigerian Military Automobile Manufacturing Firm (NAVMC) that was commissioned by the Chief of Military Employees in 2019. This marked an indelible milestone within the historical past of the Nigerian Military’s march in direction of self-reliance within the manufacturing and upkeep of Armored Preventing Automobiles and different courses of autos as over time the Nigerian Military have relied on the importation of such autos thereby spending substantial overseas change which in flip depletes capital allocations. The strategic significance of the Nigerian Military Automobile Manufacturing Firm is the promotion of the Nigerian Military’s indigenization coverage via self-sustenance in armoured and comfortable pores and skin autos.
There has additionally been the entrenchment of transparency and accountability within the operations and procurement means of the Nigerian Military. This a lot might be mentioned to be the hallmark of the executive fashion of Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai because the Chief of Military Employees.
I have to state that the listing is in certainly infinite within the reforms which have taken place within the Nigerian Military for the reason that appointment of Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai because the Chief of Military Employees. In all honesty, there’s a lot to be pleased about. That is apart from the truth that the Nigerian Military has been in a position to take the battle to the Boko Haram insurgents in North-East Nigeria with improved and superior arms and ammunitions in addition to an improved and coordinated command construction that noticed to the displacement of the insurgents from their operational headquarters in Sambisa forest and the next takeover of all native governments areas hitherto beneath the management of the Boko Haram insurgents.
Sure, there could also be pockets of Boko Haram assaults in North-East Nigeria. Nevertheless, these assaults are usually not within the magnitude been reported within the media. Nigerians should come to grasp that beneath Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, the Nigerian Military has certainly fared properly. These of us inside and conversant with all of the complexity concerned in warfare are stuffed with praises for his quite a few efforts within the prosecution of the conflict to this point. Among the particulars are usually not for public consumption. However in all, I have to say that they’re certainly quite a few causes to laud Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai.
Ainoko is a public affairs analyst and wrote from Kaduna.