The Chief of Defence Staff (CDC), Gen. Leo Irabor, has appealed to retired military officers to make contributions in government’s effort to tackle insecurity across the nation.
Irabor made the appeal in his address at an interactive meeting with retired senior military officers in the South-South held on Friday at the 63 Brigade, Nigeria Army, Asaba.
He said the prevailing state of insecurity across the country called for a coordinated and all inclusive approach to deal with the situation.
The current situation we found ourselves today calls for a contributive effort to tackle these security challenges.
“This meeting is one of the meetings that we have held with our retired military personnel in the six geo-political zones to solicit your contributions.
“The meeting is borne out of a desire tap from your wealth of experiences in our bid to conclusively address the security challenges bedevilling us as a nation,” Irabor said.
According to him, the prevailing atmosphere of insecurity requires the views of all stakeholders in the nation on what is required to defeat the nation’s security challenges.
The CDC further stated that the experiences of the nation’s retired military personnel would be of immense benefit to the military high command in forging a united front against insecurity.
“This interaction is an avenue for us to tap from your experiences, as your inputs will no doubt help our country find lasting peace.
“Let me state clearly here that this interaction is going to be very confidential. Feel free to express yourselves on what you think we should do.
“There is nothing to hold back. We must tell ourselves the truth if we must achieve the objective of this meeting.
“Let us know where we are not doing well, and also tell us what you feel we should do to get it right.”
Irabor said the collaborative approach had become imperative if the nation must defeat the threat to insecurity posed by the Boko Haram/ISWAP insurgencies in the North East of the country.
He also listed other threat to national security to include, banditry in the North West and Central, kidnapping, cultism, illegal oil bunkering and sea piracy along the nation’s waterways.
Earlier in a welcome address, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 6 Division, Nigeria Army, Port Harcourt, Maj.-Gen. Sani Mohammed, had lauded the CDC for the opportunity provided by the meeting with ex-military personnel.
He said although the ex-military officers might be retired, their experiences in service remained a vital component to achieving national security.
“This platform provided by this meeting will enable us to interact deeper into the serious challenging issues confronting us as a nation,’’ he said.
Also in a remark, Rear Admiral Fredrick Ogu, the Chief of Defence, Civil Military Cooperation, enjoined the retired officers to rise up and save the nation.
He said as retired senior military officers, the nation needed their tactical inputs on the way forward from the current security crisis across the country.
Ogu said that the contributions and views expressed by the officers at the meeting would be harnessed confidentially in a renewed approach at tackling the present situation.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was attended by no fewer than 30 retired senior armed forces personnel, among them, a former CDC, retired Gen. Alexander Ogomudia.
Also in attendance were retired Rear Adm. John Jonah, a former deputy governor of Bayelsa, and a host of other retired officers from the region.