* Suggests change of service chiefs for fresh possible ideas
* Releases N7m to Nigerian legion in Rivers State
Gov Nyesom Wike is an elite and belongs to those who know the truth about Nigeria and the government; what the government can do and what it cannot. His type can play politics when they want but they know the truth of what is possible or not.
For once, he has used patriotic tone to give advice on the vexed issue of fighting terror. Listen to him.
The inability of Nigeria’s armed forces to defeat the dreaded Boko Haram and other insurgents causing damage in Nigeria is scary, according to Gov Nyesom Wike who was minister in the administration that unsuccessfully fought insurgency and lost election due largely to this.
Then president, Goodluck Jonathan under whom Wike was a member of the inner caucus and was minister of state for education was overwhelmingly criticized for alleged inefficiency in tackling insecurity as some security sources said the armed forces were not being allowed to deal ruthlessly with Boko Haram. Reports of last minute order not to go ahead with preplanned military attacks were rumoured frequently.
Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) beat Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s Jonathan in the presidential election in 2015 and seemed to face the insurgents squarely until the table later turned in favour of insurgents despite the army claiming to have upper hand.
Other security experts however observe that war against insurgency and terror is a difficult one because they are battles without fronts and wars without rules.
Gov Wike however says: “A country is as strong as its Armed Forces. Her inability to defeat the Boko Haram insurgency despite years of full military engagement shows that all is not well with our approaches and commitments to the battle against the internal insecurity.
“Today, therefore, also raises the need for all of us to be worried by the deteriorating security situation across the country and restate the call on the Federal Government to do everything necessary to bring the security threat by Boko Haram and armed bandits to a decisive end in the shortest possible time.
“We thank the Service Chiefs for their efforts so far in the battle against the insurgents, but we also align with the concern of citizens that having seemingly reached their wit end, they should now give way for fresh hands and ideas to give the fight the impetus that it so strongly needs to ensure that Boko Haram and killer bandits are comprehensively defeated and smoked out of existence.
“The time has come for the Federal Government to stop the preteens, change strategy, seek help from our friends and confront the urgency of the internal insecurity situation in Nigeria with every weapon at its disposal to stop the killing, free all hostages and improve the physical security of our country for all Nigerians,” he said.
Wike who spoke like a statesman without the usual political slants and condemnation called on the Federal Government to change the Security Chiefs in order to allow for fresh ideas and strategy in tackling the threats to internal insecurity in Nigeria.
Governor Wike made the call during the wreath laying and parade ceremony organised to mark the 2021 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration in Port Harcourt on Friday.
The governor, who acknowledged the efforts made so far by the country’s security chiefs in the battle against insurgents, noted however that despite full military engagement with Boko Haram and killer bandits, the threats appear to be overwhelming the country’s security agencies.
Gov Wike said, Boko Haram, bandits, and killer herdsmen have continued to overrun communities, randomly killing and abducting helpless people. According to him, these insurgents have also destroyed private and public property with relative ease, and it is time for the Federal Government to take decisive action and end such menace.
The governor stated that all Nigerians are gracious beneficiaries of the various sacrifices made by the Armed Forces as they put their life in line to defend the country.
According to Governor Wike, the least duty every Nigerian owe the soldiers, veterans, and their families is to continue to remember, honour and celebrate them for their extraordinary courage in service and sacrifice to the country.
“On this solemn day and occasion therefore, we join the rest of our country to honour and pay tribute to all our soldiers who died at the various battlefields in the service of our nation.
“We also salute and honour every serving member of Nigerian Armed Forces carrying on today in the noble tradition of those before them dutifully defending our nation’s territorial integrity.
“They are fighting to keep us safe and secured in the face of insurgencies from Boko Haram, Bandits and other criminal elements threatening our peace and security across the country.
“Our beloved country is still together, existing and waxing stronger as one indivisible, free, and democratic country because of your commitment and sacrifice to its unity and progress.
“As Nigerians, our collective desire is to have a country where we can all live in unity, freedom and security. A country where our children and grandchildren can live in relative comfort and strive for a brighter future,” he stated.
Governor Wike reiterated the need to have an enduring reward system for officers and men of the Armed Forces to encourage them in their sacrifices to the country.
He said his administration has continued to implement such financial support policy for security personnel of Rivers origin because of the importance it places on the selfless sacrifices that they make to keep Nigeria united and in peace.
“No amount of recompense can adequately assuage the loss of precious life or the disabling effects of permanent bodily injuries. But we shall never cease to accord profound honour that you deserve and canonise your bravery and patriotism at all times in expression of our gratitude for what you truly represent.
“As a government, we believe that society must endeavour to move beyond the yearly ceremonial ritual and comfort speeches of today to proffer adequate care and support for the families of everyone of our soldiers who unfortunately pays the supreme price or suffers permanent disability in the line of duty to our nation.
“It is for this reason that we have since adopted and implemented the policy framework that guarantees some financial support to the immediate families of any soldier from Rivers State that pays the supreme price or suffers permanent disability at the battlefields in the course of his or her service to our nation.
“We have also fulfilled and continue to fulfill our promises and commitments to our veterans through the Rivers State Chapter of Nigeria legion. Two days ago, we released the sum of N70million to the chapter,” he added.