…Seek more funding for Army
In a display of unified support, a group of federal lawmakers from the National Assembly gathered on Friday, August 4, 2023, to confer with senior officers of the Nigerian Armed Forces, led by the newly appointed Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Taoreed Abiodun Lagbaja.
The meeting, which took place at the Army headquarters in Abuja, focused on critical national security matters and the efforts of the new Chief of Army Staff to address them.
The delegation was headed by Hon. Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere Ikeagwuonu, who represents ldeato North and South
Federal Constituency of Imo State, and chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources Downstream.
Other lawmakers present included Hon. Tochukwu Okere of Owerri Municipal/North/West federal constituency of Imo State; Hon. Aliyu Mustapa representing Kabau/lkara constituency of Kaduna State; deputy chairman of Committee on Petroleum Resources Downstream, Hon. Bashiru Zubairu Usman representing Birni Gwari/Giwa constituency of Kaduna State; Hon. Chijioke Okereke representing Aninri/Awgwu/Oji River constituency of Enugu State, and Hon. Peter Aniekwe representing from Anambra State.
During the meeting, the lawmakers expressed their admiration for Chief of Army Staff Lagbaja’s dedication and professionalism, lauding his efforts to combat economic sabotage and restore security across Nigeria.
They highlighted his commitment to local content and the utilization of indigenous technology, emphasising the need for increased funding for Army Research and Development to accelerate national development.
The lawmakers further commended the Army’s offensive against insecurity and economic sabotage, particularly the protection of critical infrastructure. They called for cooperation of the Army Chief in clearing highways of criminal elements, a critical step towards ensuring the safety and well-being of citizens.
The activities of armed vigilantes being used by some State governments, especially in South-East and how to ensure they work effectively without compromising the already challenging security challenges was discussed.
The lawmakers expressed their confidence in his capabilities and experience, which they believed will be instrumental in neutralising security challenges across the nation.
The delegation also underscored the importance of non-military solutions to achieve lasting peace, advocating for improved relations between the Army and civilians. They addressed the need to dislodge non-state actors contributing to insecurity in various regions, with a focus on the South-East.
Highlighting their collective commitment to national security and stability, the lawmakers applauded Chief of Army Staff Lagbaja’s comprehensive agenda for protecting both the country’s security and economic interests. They praised his readiness to tackle issues such as oil theft, pipeline vandalization, banditry, kidnapping, and regional security challenges.
In the spirit of fostering a “people’s national interest-driven Army”, the lawmakers expressed optimism in Major General Lagbaja’s leadership and capabilities, envisioning a safer and more secure Nigeria under his guidance.
Responding, Chief of Army Staff Lagbaja sought greater support from Nigerians and key stakeholders, especially the lawmakers, recognising that a collective effort was essential to achieving lasting peace and security.