War Against Terrorism: ‘Nigerian troops are fatigued, need frequent rotation’

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The President of the Nigerian Military School Ex-Boys Association and former Chief of Defence Intelligence, Rear Admiral Gabriel Okoi (Rtd), has called on the federal government to recruit more military personnel for the armed forces to be able to confront the myriads of security challenges confronting the country particularly terrorism and banditry.

Speaking at a media briefing to kick-start the 50th anniversary celebration of the NMS Ex-Boys Association in Abuja, Rear Admiral Okoi said one of the factors affecting the total elimination of terrorism/banditry and other challenges was fatigue among troops and the need for more rotation.

His words, “Terrorism and some other forms of criminality are not peculiar to Nigeria. What is happening in Nigeria is a global phenomenon. Some of us here, before we left the service occupied key positions. Our colleagues in service are trying their best with the limited resources at their disposal.

“But it seems the strength is not there, as a result of fatigue. There are a lot of them (troops) who have been on the field for so many years. If I would advise using this platform, let them recruit more people and ensure that rotation is carried out frequently”.

“So that some of the soldiers will be back in the barracks while the new ones replace them”. On how the association has supported the fight against insecurity by way of advice and commendations, Admiral Okoi said, “We have been offering advice at our end as our way to support those in service to fight insecurity. Also, from 2003 when one of us was appointed Commandant, NMS, we have consistently given back to the school by carrying out one project or the other.

“We have tried our best to contribute to the development of the armed forces and the country in general.Recalling that their set, the September 1973 set (Elites) was one of the luckiest set to have come out of NMS, Okoi said, “This set made the best result so far written in WAEC till date. That result has never been beaten.

“Also, in the history of the NMS, we have produced the highest number of Generals in the Armed Forces. So on the 3rd of Septembers when we will be 50 as an association we felt we should celebrate ourselves and give thanks to God. God has been very kind to us and we must give him praise.

“We lost some of our members. Since NMS was established, as then boy soldiers, we underwent basic military training. Many of us left after 5 years to private endeavours. Some went to NDA. It was not compulsory to join the military.

“At entry into the 1973 set, the NMS ex-box were 120 in number but by the time they were geaduating, the were 86 in number.Among members of the NMS Ex- Boys are Major Gen Sule Labaran (Rtd), Col Gbolugs Modugu(Rtd), Major Gen Kifd Ajemba (Rtd), Brig Gen Kolapo Salawu, Brig Gen Abdul Sani Mustapha (Rtd), Lt. Col Balarabe Bature (Rtd), Major Gen Henry Ayoola (Rtd), Pastor Moses Alu, and Barrister Mohammed Usman

Former Chief of Defence Staff, General Alexander Ogomudia (Rtd) is the guest of honoir at the NMS Ex-Boys dinner night on Saturday holding at Zeus Paradise Hotel, Abuja.

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