Lt-Gen. Azubike Ihejirika
By Senator Iroegbu
Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Azubike Ihejirika, has advised Nigerians to forget any talk that the country will break up, saying the army would continue to fight to keep it together.
Ihejirika stated this Tuesday in Jaji, Kaduna State at the parley with retired officers and reunion of Army Infantry Corps as part of activities marking the 2012 Nigerian Army Day Celebration (NADACEL).
He noted that the army had been at the forefront of all efforts to keep the country together since independence, and would not allow any attempt to break it up.
He said:” So when people talk about breakup , have they forgotten so soon that they have an army that paid dearly to keep the country together”.
“The army is still ready to pay the supreme sacrifice to continue to keep this country as one united entity”.
“So we should forget about any talk of Nigeria breaking up , the army will not agree to that and I see it as a loose talk from those people who don’t have the interest of this country at heart, ‘’ he insisted.
The COAS said in response to the present and future challenges, the army intends to establish additional units in line with ORBAT 2010.
He disclosed that the additional units would include the Special Forces Brigade beginning with the third battalion for Guards Brigade to be located in Kuje; Army Aviation as the army has 40 helicopter pilots already trained in addition to technicians.
that were trained at the Nigerian Air Force Base Kaduna and dogs units at divisional level.
Ihejirika said it was a known fact that the veterans help to shape policies on national security and also assist the military in having a fair share of the budget .
Speaking on the retired officers, he commended their efforts at sustaining the retired army, navy and air force association within their meagre resources.
“I have great expectations that the outcome of this discussion would yield fruitful results, I therefore look forward to the buildup of the benefits of the gathering”, he said.
Earlier, Senator John Shagaya, a former retired General, lamented that the lost of societal values was one of the major contributors to the security challenges facing the country today.
Shagaya while speaking on the current security challenges, said that the retired officers owe the country a responsibility with regard to security information since” there is no where out of the 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs) , we don’t have a retired army officers”.
Also speaking, Gen. Emmanuel Abisoye(Rtd.) called on the Federal Government to negotiate with terrorist groups; warning that no country ever wins Urban Gurrilla War “because you don’t know who is amongst them”.
“The government should call them and know their problem, dialogue with them and sort it out so that soldiers should be less visible on the streets as it is now”, Abisoye said.