The former chief of the defense staff, Air Chief Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin (ret. ), was quoted as saying to a Punch Newspaper correspondent that the Nigerian military initially erred by engaging in combat with the Boko Haram insurgency. This information was reported in a news article that appeared online in the Punch Newspaper yesterday.
It was mentioned to Oluseyi during the interview that Nigeria currently faces a variety of security challenges….. Continue Reading
When asked if he believed the government had made sufficient efforts to address these challenges, Oluseyi responded that many of us believed that any issue that required combat should only be handled by the Ministry of Defense. However, this was an incorrect assumption because the problem they faced was persuading the previous administration to support total defense.
“There was one mistake we made that made Boko-Haram attacks lasted for so long, which is total defence because, it ensures that every arm of government, every institution, both public and private and every citizen is mobilised to tackle the challenges facing the country.”
Oluseyi claimed that after the Financial Intelligence Unit eventually intervened and began closing off avenues, they were able to cut off Boko-funding, Haram’s and as a result, the terrorist group had essentially disintegrated. What I mean by total defense is just that.
He responded when asked how the whole defense functions in a society like Nigeria.
“Like I earlier said, the mistake we made was that, everybody was supposed to be involved but we did not do that. For instance, in the North-East zone, religious organisations should have been involved and imagine if we had brought respected Imams from outside the country to come and speak to the people in the North-East,.on the television and radio that Boko-Haram is doing the wrong thing, that alone will reduce the number of people who are ready to join them.”
The mosque, churches, and everyone else were expected to be participating because, according to him, these are the things he meant by total defense. But, it took them a very long time to realize this, which is why the Boko-Haram insurgency lasted so long…