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Bishop decries dominant presence of military

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By Mercy Kelani

He asked whether this aligns with the principles of a democratic civilian gov’t.

During a recent speech, Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah of Sokoto Diocese expressed his concerns about the widespread presence of the military in various aspects of Nigerian society. He raised alarm about the widespread deployment of soldiers throughout the country, questioning whether this aligns with the principles of a democratic civilian government. Kukah likened the situation to a military presence similar to that of an occupying force, with troops appearing to be everywhere in all states and the capital city of Abuja.

Also, Kukah continued to address the issue, highlighting the negative effects that could arise from the increase in militarization. He specifically mentioned the concept of the ‘see finish’ syndrome, a phrase also used by General Lucky Irabor, the former Chief of Defence Staff. Kukah further stressed the importance of upholding the professionalism and honesty of the Nigerian military, as he warned against any actions that could diminish its perceived duty of protecting society and citizens of the country.

Kukah emphasized the importance of national unity.

In discussing national security and leadership, Kukah praised the recent remarks made by politicians regarding the treatment of kidnappers as terrorists, particularly acknowledging Tinubu’s stance. However, he emphasized the importance of the President taking swift and decisive action by establishing a clear timeline for combatting insurgency. Kukah also criticized the political leadership in Nigeria, drawing parallels between their behaviour and that of an intoxicated person, underscoring the necessity for a move towards more accountable governance.

Furthermore, Kukah remains hopeful about the future despite the hardships the country is currently experiencing. He attributes his optimism to his belief in God and the resilience that Easter and Christianity represent. Kukah emphasizes the importance of national unity and inclusivity in developing policy frameworks, and he stresses the need for transparent recruitment methods and effective communication strategies to build trust and ensure responsibility. Kukah also emphasized the importance of thoroughly reviewing the country’s security structure.

Need for a coordinated & strategic approach to address security challenges.

More so, he stated that this will maintain military excellence and avoid disrupting the professionalism of the Nigerian armed forces by recruiting untrained individuals. He emphasized the crucial need for a coordinated and strategic approach to address security challenges, urging leaders to stop blaming each other and instead focus on taking effective action at every level of government. Furthermore, Kukah emphasized the importance of cutting down on the excessive expenses of running the government and rejuvenating the farming industry.

This is seen as a crucial step in improving food security and reinstating pride among the people of Nigeria. Ultimately, he highlighted the critical requirement for responsive, transparent, and all-encompassing governance to steer Nigeria through its current obstacles towards a more promising tomorrow. Nigeria’s military, known as the Nigerian Armed Forces (NAF), is made up of three branches: the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, and Nigerian Air Force. Operational oversight and management of the armed forces are carried out by the President of Nigeria, who serves as the commander-in-chief.

Related Article: Nigerian Army to Enhance Military Diplomacy

The Ministry of Defence is responsible for overseeing the military and its personnel, ensuring that they are well-managed and equipped to fulfill their duties. The Nigerian military, boasting over 230,000 active personnel, is led by the Chief of Defence Staff within the AFN, under the direction of the Nigerian Defence Minister. This makes it one of the largest armed forces on the African continent. Global Firepower ranks the Nigerian Armed Forces as the fourth strongest military in Africa and 35th globally.

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