Insecurity: Retired Air Force Chief Tasks Military on Disengaged Officers

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By Raheem Akingbolu

A retired military officer, Air Vice Marshall Femi Gbadebo, has expressed the fear that many disengaged and retired officers from the Nigerian Army, who have been trained in various military operations and technicalities, may be rendering such military services to Boko Haram fighters.

Speaking yesterday at “The Morning Show,” a programme of the ARISE NEWS Channel, a sister broadcast arm of THISDAY Newspapers, Gbadebo, however urged the military to put measures in place to monitor the activities of newly disengaged officers or even those who voluntarily retired from services and know their career path after leaving the army.

While admitting that Nigerians are currently living in a precarious situation as a result of insecurity which is rampaging many parts of the north and neighboring zones, Gbadebo said the easy disengagement from the army in recent years, compared to the previous years, has made it easy for young officers who quit early, to be recruited by Boko Haram.

“We are facing a difficult time now because the insurgents which used to be well pronounced only in Borno and Yobe states have extended to other states in the north. On the other hand, kidnappers and hoodlums parading as herdsmen have spread across all the states of the country, making traveling on road more difficult than the years back. I have the feeling that some well-trained Nigerian soldiers who leave the army may be finding their way into the fold of the insurgents. Unlike when we were in service, when one’s declaration for Army was like service for life after being commissioned, things have changed now as people now voluntarily leave the service after 18 years,”

Speaking on the recent attacks on the people of Southern Kaduna, Gbadebo, linked the origin of the crisis to the mismanagement of the settlers, citizens’ imbroglios by the government.

He also faulted the current Muslim-Muslim ticket being enjoyed by Governor Nasir El-Rufai and his deputy, insisting that the situation has further deepened suspicion and mistrust among the people.

“The Muslim-Muslim ticket that brought in the current administration in Kaduna State is not only retrogressive but an intentional attempt not to recognise diversity in the state,” he added.