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It’s difficult to curb insurgency, banditry without weapons —COAS

Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru, has said curbing banditry, kidnapping, insurgency, and secession would be difficult without the required weapons and other hardware.

He, therefore, urged the National Assembly members to, as a matter of urgency, consider these critical needs as they appropriate funds.

The COAS stated this on Wednesday when the Senate Committee on Army, led by its Chairman, Senator Ali Ndume visited the Army headquarters, Abuja, as part of oversight functions.

Attahiru said, “To curb and finally defeat these threats, the Nigerian Army requires equipment, weapons, armour fighting vehicles, platforms and various combat enablers.

“As we all know, Nigeria is faced with a lot of security challenges that include insurgency in the North East, banditry in the North West and part of North Central as well as secessionist agitations in the South East and South-South geo-political zones of the country.

“I urge you to, as a matter of urgency, consider these critical needs as you legislate and appropriate funds. I will be counting on your support so that we can efficiently perform our constitutional roles and defeat all our threats.”

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The army chief said the visit was timely “because it affords us the opportunity to interact and discuss issues that would impact on the funding of Nigerian Army activities and operations while also strengthening the cordial relationship between the National Assembly and Army headquarters.”

While appreciating the Chairman and members of the Senate Committee on Army for “the relentless support extended to me during the process leading to my confirmation as the Chief of Army Staff” the COAS said the military leadership “remains apolitical and committed to the protection of democracy and good governance in Nigeria.”

In his remarks, Ndume said the purpose of the visit was to have a close understanding of the issues and needs of the Nigerian Army and to find a way to address them.

Ndume said that the army had a daunting task of mitigating the various security challenges confronting the country, adding that the National Assembly played an important in terms of giving the necessary legislative support to the military.

He noted, “Fortunately, we understand that the supplementary budget will be laid before the National Assembly to take care of some of the loopholes and lapses that we saw in the 2021 budget and knowing the new security challenges that we are facing in various regions.”

In a similar vein, the Army Chief while hosting the acting Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba Alkali, assured the Nigeria Police of the army’s collaboration in the effort to confront the security challenges in the country.

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