Former Director, Army Legal services, Major-General Muyiwa Badewole (RTD), on Wednesday, warned that the security situation in the North East region of the country may worsen if the State of Emergency is not effected immediately.
Last week, President Goodluck Jonathan’s request to the House of Representatives to extent the State of Emergency was declined as lawmakers urged him to make use of his powers as Commander In Chief of the Armed Forces to deploy troops to the area.
However, Badewole has faulted this move, insisting that a lid should not be placed on the fight against insurgency as it may affect the soldier’s capability to defeat the terrorists.
Analysing the current situation on Sunrise Daily, Badewole said “I admit that the President can deploy troops. I mean, operational use of the Armed Forces is there for him but at the same time, I’ve just told you that there are certain privileges that will hinder the operation.
“You need to carry out cordon and search operations, you need to mount road-blocks, but these are things that people can go and challenge and say you are impinging on my right but some fundamental rights under the constitution are suspended in a State of Emergency,” he noted.
He described insurgency as a specie of “low intensity conflict”, noting that such situations needed perseverance on the part of the troops as well as the populace and political elite.
“Everyone needs to persevere. It doesn’t end quickly,” adding that low intensity conflict has never ended quickly in any part of the world where it has happened”, he said.
He stressed that Nigeria’s case was already moving towards medium-intensity conflict and the “earlier we get it right, that this operation will not end so quickly, the better for all of us; Because we are not in the minds of the perpetrators of these dastardly acts”.
He highlighted that the fight against rebellion in Libya, Syria and Afghanistan, had not been brought to conclusive ends.
He praised the Military for trying their best in light of available resources, he noted that there were three aspects to capability including the conceptual, physical and moral components; Hence, delays to certain requests such as the $1 billion to purchase arms may affect the fight against insurgency.
“In so many countries where State of Emergency had been declared, like in India during the Hindu-Chinese conflict, State of Emergency was in place from 1961 to 1967.
“Similarly, when they had the Hindu-Pakistani war, there was a State of Emergency for another six years also between 1975 to 1977 under Indira Gandhi, there was State of Emergency.
“So here we’ve had State of Emergency for 8 months and everybody is fretting and getting worried.”
Asked if there are measures used in determining the success of an ongoing State of Emergency and the effectiveness of the one in the North East in light of continued attacks by Boko Haram, Badewole noted that some laws are suspended to enable the troops operate effectively.
He highlighted that soldiers can act upon information without having to go through legal procedures such as obtaining search warrants.