Nigeria’s former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, has advised the Federal Government to re-engage ex-servicemen to add to the number of soldiers in the country towards tackling the worsening spate of insecurity.
In a statement to the media on Tuesday, Atiku lamented the continued killings and kidnapping in the country by terrorists without adequate effort from the federal government to check the situation, stressing that the time had come for the government to be more proactive and take decisive decisions.
According to him, “I am aware that Nigeria has a sizable population of military veterans, who are alive, and were trained locally and internationally, and it serves no purpose to allow these valuable national assets lie fallow when there is an existential threat to our nation. Call them up immediately. Mobilise them to the field. The time has come for us to put in all our effort and stamp out this menace from our nation.
“The men and women of Nigeria’s armed forces, whether serving or retired, who restored peace to Lebanon, Liberia, Sierra Leone and São Tomé and Príncipe can, and should be used to do the same in the motherland”.
Atiku, who was the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 presidential election, noted the government must work out efficient means of sourcing weapons and delivering them to the troops at the battlefront.
He added that Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria should offer the men and women of armed forces special concessionary mortgage loans so they can own homes.
“The men and women of Nigerian Armed Forces, whether serving or retired, who restored peace to Lebanon, Liberia, Sierra Leone and São Tomé and Príncipe can, and should be used to do the same in the motherland.
“But they need arms and ammunition. It is incumbent on the Federal Government to develop a more efficient means of sourcing weapons and delivering them to the troops at the battlefront.
“A situation where terrorists and criminals are better armed than our troops on the battlefront is intolerable. We need to urgently improve the conditions of service of the men and women of our armed forces and not just the government.
“The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, working in concert with primary mortgage institutions, ought to offer the men and women of our armed forces special concessionary mortgage loans so they can own homes”, Atiku added.