NSA: Stop creating gap between military and society

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There is nothing wrong to aspire to a political position. But it is one thing to aspire and another for the aspirant to genuinely prove that he or she is qualified to take up such position in the overall interest of society. In most cases, people who know that they are unable to meet the standards, become mischievous in their approach.

This is what is beginning to happen in the race for the position of national security adviser, NSA. Some people are trying to make it a struggle between the military and civilians or police in particular. There is no doubt that the Nigerian military is still the institution we rely on to tackle most security challenges, particularly the violent attacks by criminals and terrorists.

Thus, they sometimes pay the ultimate price. No one argues that the office of NSA is reserved for the military. It is neither in the 1986 Act creating it as the office of the coordinator on national security, nor is it in the constitution. It is just a matter of coincidence that due to the nature of security threats since 1999, past Nigerian presidents found it convenient to appoint persons with military background.

However, the manner at which some persons seeking the office are approaching their interest to be appointed makes it look as if retired or even serving military persons, know nothing other than the gun.

For those with such ignorance, the training of every officer in the military starts with acquiring a bachelor’s degree from the Nigerian Defence Academy in strategic studies, international relations, defence studies, engineering, political science, pure sciences, etc. This is followed by middle cadre training in staff colleges, before they attend defence colleges or NIPSS in Kuru, for strategic course.

Programmes on crisis management and conflict resolution are regular in these strategic institutions. More than 90% of the officers possess masters degree in various fields. There is no institution in Nigeria that has manpower that is as trained as the Nigerian military. If you want to lobby or convince President Bola Tinubu to appoint you as NSA, do so without seeing the military as a threat to your ambition.

Please, stop trying to create gap between the military and society, and seek whatever you are aspiring to be on your own merit. We must be proud of our military who sacrifice themselves for us to live, and you may need to visit the widows and orphans in the barracks to appreciate how much they sacrifice.

Olufemi Kayode,