The Conference of Civil Society Organisations for Peace, Security and National Development has described as unfortunate comments credited to Senator representing Sokoto East Senatorial District, Ibrahim Gobir, where he was quoted to have said on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday that the Nigerian military was no longer capable of saving his people from bandits.
The Senator while seconding a the motion moved by the Deputy Chief Whip, Sabi Abdullahi, on the order given by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Nigerian soldiers to flush out bandits from some states, said his people now rely on the soldiers from Niger Republic to ward off the attacks of bandits whenever the hoodlums struck.
But the CSOs in a statement issued on Monday in Abuja and signed by their conveners, Com. Mike Msuaan and Mallam Adamu Kabir Matazu expressed shock that such comments could come from a serving Senator who ought to know the gains that the military has made in securing the north and other troubled parts of the country.
“Ordinarily, we would have ignored such comment but coming from a serving Senator, we are constrained to think that the Senator has either loss touch with reality or is an enemy of the state. No sane person in the country can afford to fend ignorance about the efforts of the military in terming activities of terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and other criminal elements particularly in recent times.
“The opposition elements in the country who have sense of patriotism have also added their voices in commendation of the military for its gallantry. As Civil Society groups concerned about security and national development, we have severally made critical assessment of the situation in the war theatre and have first hand idea how professional the military has been in prosecuting the fight against insurgents in particular.
“It is in view of the above that we are saddened that such despicable remarks could emanate from a Senator. However, this should worry us all as Nigerians the criteria for recruiting our political representatives”, the statement noted.
The CSOs also wondered how anyone could imagine that the Niger army was more powerful and professional than the Nigerian army that is globally acclaimed to parade the best infantry.
The group further advised the military not to allow such careless statement dampen their moral in continuing to defend the territory integrity and safety of all Nigerians.