AS this year’s Nigerian Army Day Celebration holds, the Olowu of Kuta, Oba Adekunle Oyelude Makama, Tegbosun 3, and coalition of civil society organisations (CSOs) have advocated for increased funding for the security outfit and synergy among the security agencies in order to defeat Boko Haram and other criminalities bedevilling the country.
Oba Oyelude Makama made the call on Monday at a press conference in Lagos after an interface with the CSOs, including Media Law Centre (MLC), Lagos Island Vanguard Campaign Against Impunity (LIVCAI), Centre Against Injustice and Domestic Violence (CAIADV), Grassroots Democratic Initiative (GDI), among others in commemoration with the Nigerian Army’s Day Celebration.
Others include Centre for Human and Socio-Economic Rights (CHSR), Community Women Initiative (CWI), Activists for Good Governance (AGG) and M&M Initiative.
The monarch, who read through the 10-point communiqué issued at the end of 1-day parley, said there was the need for increased funding for the Nigerian Army as well as synergy and intelligence sharing among the security agencies in order to always nip in the bud any form of crisis that would result to national upheaval.
Oba Oyelude Makama noted that the country was currently passing through an unusual situation, arguing that Nigeria’s defence budget should be more than that of South Africa, which was not at war, declaring that Nigerian Army needed more funding.
This was just as he further argued that countries that were at peace fund their military more in preparation for emergencies.
“The defence budget of Nigeria should be more than that of South Africa, which is not at war. They (Nigerian Army) need more funding, countries that are at peace fund their military more in preparation for emergencies. We need adequate funding for our military,” he said.
The kabiyesi while saying there should be conscious efforts towards rebranding the Nigerian Army, noted that it was also resolved that the Army be allowed to face its primary assignment of defending the territorial integrity of the country squarely through improved professionalism.
According to Oba Oyelude Makama, there is always the need for confidence-building between the army and the civil populace, declaring that the era of military rule was gone and, therefore, the need for the citizens to begin to see the Nigerian Army as people’s army and not an army of occupation.
The kabiyesi, who described himself as an advocate of support for the country’s Armed Forces, argued that achieving this turn- around would enable the citizens to see the Nigerian Army as their own and assist it to flush out miscreants and other undesirable elements from communities across the country.
The monarch, while stressing the need for effective and efficient communications by the Army hierarchy, also called for the strengthening of the relationship between the Nigerian Army and the civil society groups in the country as there was the need for perception management.
Other recommendations are, according to Ona Makama are that discipline and ethics should be strictly adhered to in order to serve as a deterrent to ‘bad eggs’ and fifth columnists in the Army and making recruitment process open and transparent in order to attract the best that the country can offer from time to time, among others.
While wishing the Nigeria Army a successful Army Day Celebration, Oba Oyelude Makama rejoiced with the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.- General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, on what he described as the milestone achievements so far recorded under his leadership.
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