From Sani Gazas Chinade, Damaturu
Sequel to the persistent reiteration by the presidential candidates of political parties on their plan to employ hundreds of thousands or one million security personnel if elected, the national president of Kulen Allah Cattle Rearers Association of Nigeria (KACRAN), Alhaji Khalid Muhammad Bello, has advised presidential candidates of political parties to avoid any action that can worsen the insecurity militating some parts of the country.
He gave the advice recently in Damaturu, the capital of Yobe State, while reacting to reiteration made by a representative during a BBC Hausa programme entitled ‘Ra’ayi Riga’ aired in the state.
According to him, the association wishes to strongly state that in its own view, employment of hundreds of thousands or one million personnel into the Nigerian Army is not and will never be the solution to the nation’s security problem.
He said: “It would rather exacerbate the security problem than solving it.”
He added: “Though the association is not denying the fact that there is need to increase the number of security personnel in Nigeria, but the number of security personnel desired in the country as of now, considering the country’s economic situation, the country will not be able to employ and maintain them.
“It is not that number that matters, but may be around 50,000 to 70,000 only that can be adequately trained and be issued with modern and sophisticated weapons commensurate to the current realities.
“Our major concern is if the government employs 100,000 or one million personnel into the military, they will not be adequately trained or given enough superior weapons.
“And where are we going to get money to pay their salaries, especially now that government often resorts to borrowing money to pay salary?
“It should be noted that if they are not paid sufficiently and on time or fully, God forbid, it means we have failed to pay them at all, so what do you think would happen to our current fragile security system?
“Why should one employs and arm more than one million army when we are not sure of paying their monthly salaries without having to borrow more money which is not even a guarantee?
“The burning questions to ask here is if security and safety of lives and properties is eventually fully restored, is the government still going to retain them as military personnel or retrench them or give them another job which is not available or have a plan to create?”
Alhaji Bello went further to ask: “Why is the government eager and interested to be among the countries which have millions of security personnel in the world since we are not in a war situation?”
He added: “It should not be forgotten that even our current military personnel on many occasions have complained bitterly for not being catered for, or supplied with enough sophisticated weapons to fight their enemies.
“It should not be forgotten that if everyone knows how to operate weapon and easily has access to it, there is tendency that they can easily be tempted to become bandits if they are left with hunger or bastardized by our next governments.
“We have seen that now Ukraine is more concerned with training and acquiring powerful weapons from Western countries than recruiting or requesting for more volunteers to fight Russia or that, since the end of second world war when America dropped atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the military might dramatically change from having million combatant armies to having dangerous weapons, such as chemical drone, intercontinental ballistic missiles or nuclear arms?”
He said: “KACKRAN is of the opinion that, massive employment of military personnel will create a situation where the bandits and other separatists will be fighting untrained military personnel, which will be highly embarrassing/demoralizing and detrimental to the nation security.”
According to him, based on the above reasons, the association suggested the following as the road map to end the nation’s insecurity:
“Identifying the reason why people are taking arms and becoming bandits or separatists, so as to engage them in dialogue and identify who government will fight with all its military might.
“Establish many industries and factories that will create jobs to the millions of youths and also serve as a strategy to reduce insecurity in our country.
“KACRAN is also of the view that, giving the already existing security personnel good training and issuance of enough deadly weapons is more important than employing one million military personnel whose salary, allowances, training and weapons will be unbearable to Federal Government.
“Timely payment of salaries, allowances and entitlements will motivate them to be highly docile, loyal and committed to the defence of lives, property and the country as their father land.
“Showing them love, respect and assurances for medical treatment in case if they are wounded in the battlefield.
“The families of security personnel, who lost their lives while defending the country must be treated with extraordinary care and their demands, such as feeding, children’s school fees, daily needs, etc, be fully provided by government.”
He then said: “Once more, KACRAN believes that, as the creation of state police will never solve the problem of security in the states; instead, it will bring more avoidable burden to the government, likewise the unnecessary employment of hundred thousand or one million additional military personnel would be more harmful than helpful to our highly pitiable security system.
“In conclusion, we once again, want to draw the attention of our hopeful presidential candidates that, employment of the aforementioned military or security personnel without being adequately taking care of our existing one, is not the right answer or solution to our security challenges.
“And we are hopeful and prayerful that the aforementioned suggestions should be adhered to and implemented.”