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The Army we presided over, by Badeh, Minimah

With a degree of candour, alien to military establishment in the country,  the immediate past Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (rtd) and Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Gen. Kenneth Minimah gave Nigerians food-for-thought at their pull-out parades.
The duo said the Army their headed was inadequately kitted for modern operations.
In his validictory speech to a violence-weary nation, Air Chief Marshal Badeh said the military he headed lacked the equipment to do its job. He said at a pull-out parade organised in his honour last month: “Permit me to also add here that the nation’s militaries are equipped and trained in peace time for the conflicts they expect to confront in the future. Unfortunately, that has not been our experience as a nation.

“Over the years, the military was neglected and under-equipped to ensure the survival of certain regimes, while other regimes, based on advice from some foreign nations, deliberately reduced the size of the military and underfunded it.
“Unfortunately, our past leaders accepted such recommendations without appreciating our peculiarities as a third world military, which does not have the technological advantage that could serve as force multipliers and compensate for reduced strength.
“Accordingly, when faced with the crises in the Northeast and other parts of the country, the military was overstretched and had to embark on emergency recruitments and trainings, which were not adequate to prepare troops for the kind of situation we found ourselves in.”
The ex-CDS was echoed by the immediate past COAS (Gen. Minimah) who admitted that he was “confronted with a decay in the service due to long periods of neglect the Army had suffered. “At the time he settled into office, there was spate of bombings across the country. Attacks on soft targets such as civilians and vulnerable communities were on the increase. The Armed Forces and security agencies appeared helpless to address the situation and sadly, the nation began to lose confidence in its army and military.
“The situation was no less grim in the Northcentral and Northwestern zones where armed bandits, cattle rustlers and militias held sway. The nation seemed to be heading towards the much publicised disintegration many had predicted would occur in 2015.
 “A nation is as strong as its Armed Forces and the strength of the Armed Forces is in the quality of the individual soldier and his fighting spirit. Fighting spirit imbues him with confidence to stand up to the adversary rather than flee like we witnessed in the recent past, while adequate attention to his welfare demonstrates his nation’s commitment to his wellbeing and motivates him to sacrifice everything, including his life. Government must provide the necessary and right political environment to recruit, train, equip, kit and remunerate our servicemen,” he advised.
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