Army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Farouk Yahaya says the country’s growing population has partly contributed to the insurgency in the country, despite creating a larger pool of talent for economic activities.
Similarly, Air Chief of Staff Air Marshall Oladayo Amao said illegal oil refining in the Niger Delta region is a growing threat.
The nation was grappling with the Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast and terrorism, which started with banditry, in the northwest, in addition to other crimes like kidnappings in different parts of the country.
Speaking in an interactive session with editors on Friday, Yahaya said he shared the pain of those who have lost family members and friends to the activities of criminals and terrorists and that he had also felt the heartbeats of those rescued.
He said the military remained committed to ensuring that every Nigerian was safe from internal and external aggression, noting that the synergy between the armed forces had never been better.
When asked what the greatest obstacles to ending terrorism are, Yahaya said, “One thing most stakeholders agree on is that the high rate of population growth has been a double-edged sword. . Usually, a higher population means that there is a larger pool of talent for economic growth activities, but this larger pool of talent has also resulted in a significant growth in the number of those who are attracted to use their energy of negative way.
He asked Nigerians to beware of fake news and publicize the activities of terrorists so as not to encourage them. While congratulating the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret’d) for the difficult choices and decisions he has made in the fight against insecurity, Yahaya added, “However, security and defense should not be the responsibility of the military alone”.
Meanwhile, the NAF chief said the Air Aforce would continue to maximize the air advantage it has over terrorists, noting that the NAF was providing support across the country.
Asked about the accuracy of the Super Tucano jets, Amao said the jets had had a significant impact on the deployment of guns and bombs, adding that the jets would soon be optimized for night operations.
Regarding the situation in the Niger Delta, he said that there are more than 3,000 creeks in the Niger Delta. “Illegal crude oil refining is a growing threat. What is required goes beyond a security-only solution. Stakeholders must dialogue, negotiate and design innovative ways that lead to a Win-Win solution.
“We think there should be more political will followed by action. There is a growing gap in exemplary leadership in some of the local government areas. Some executives have been accused of sponsoring illegal crude oil refining sites.
He pointed out that some leaders in the region trying to please everyone had created more problems than solutions. He also noted that the development of modular refineries should be explored in partnership with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company and communities.
Regarding the recurrent attacks despite reports that the insurgents were surrendering to the government, Amao said that 36,000 people have so far surrendered but “bandits and terrorists are recruiting fast. As we take them out, they recruit. We are now removing them faster than they are recruiting.
Meanwhile, the theater commander of the operation Hadin Kai, Maj. Gen. Christopher Musa, instructed the troops to flush out the remains of Boko Haram terrorists to put an end to the insurgency in the North East.
Speaking on Saturday as he addressed troops of the Nigerian Army’s 5th Brigade in Damasak, a neighboring town in the Niger Republic, which is the headquarters of Mobbar Local Government Area in the state of Borno, Musa promised a special promotion to the valiant soldiers and those who have distinguished themselves in the fight against the insurgents who hibernate in the region.
“Your deployment to serve in the North East is a privilege that puts you ahead of your colleagues outside the region,” he added.
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