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Stop playing politics with armed forces, security issues, DHQ appeals to politicians

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Members of the Nigerian Armed Forces Sniper Unit stand in their ghillie suits at the African Land Forces Summit (ALFS) military demonstration held at General Ao Azazi barracks in Gwagwalada on April 17, 2018.<br />The African Land Forces Summit (ALFS) is a weeklong seminar held in Nigeria, bringing together land forces from across Africa to discuss and develop cooperative solutions and improve transregional security and stability. / AFP PHOTO / STEFAN HEUNIS

The Defence Headquarters has appealed to politicians to stop playing politics with security issues and the Armed Forces of Nigeria.  

Director Defence Information (DDI), Brig.-Gen. John Agim, at a press briefing yesterday in Abuja, stated that such act is capable of dampening the morale of the military and in the long run, cause more havoc to the citizens.

He said: “The military is the strength of every nation, Nigeria inclusive. If we talk-down on our military, it will dampen their morale, the enemy will be emboldened to cause more havoc and the consequence on our citizens will be dire.’’                        

Agim lamented that some politicians have been inciting the people against the military.

“Regrettably, during the conduct of exercise Ayem Akpatuma, some civil authorities especially in Taraba State did not accord the military the desired cooperation. 

“For instance, the Chairman of Takum Local council did not cooperate with 93 Battalion, but instead portrayed the military in bad light to the locals.  

“His actions before and during exercise were clearly anti-military and he incited his people on many occasions to resist and confront the military.’’

He also informed that the duration of the exercise in Taraba has been extended to May 14, 2018 due to the prevailing security threats in the state.  

“During the exercise, we lost some of our dear colleagues; 13 soldiers were killed, while 7 soldiers were wounded in action. 

We also had our equipment destroyed during the operation.’’

Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai has hinted that the Army is working with some of its indigenous and foreign partners in the defence industry to produce its own prototype helicopters for its operations.

Buratai, who disclosed this yesterday in an interview with journalists after inspecting some stands at an exhibition of locally manufactured military equipment, said: “The Nigerian army is already working on its own prototype helicopter.

This is one issue –prototype helicopter that we are very much concerned about and we hope to have it on the ground very soon.”

According to him, the army had been working in the past few years to get value for the research it had embarked upon to produce some of its equipment locally, saying that “this is our target.’’

He also said that the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna, had made remarkable improvement in the mobile concept of using motorcycles for operations.

While declaring open the second Nigerian Army Research and Innovation Summit, Buratai said the Nigerian army had benefited from major partnership with some local manufacturers, adding that the partnership had resulted in the development of platforms, spares and equipment in support of the army’s operations

The Army chief added that the army would continue to carry out research, go into partnership and encourage local production of its equipment with its limited resources and also solicit for funding from both government and private sectors.

Also, a chieftain of the APC in Benue State, Shima Ayati has backed the call by the National Assembly on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack all the service chiefs for their inability to stop the killings in the country.

Ayati who spoke with reporters yesterday, in Makurdi maintained that with the kind of killings taking place in Nasarawa, Benue, Taraba and Adamawa states clearly shows that the accusation leveled by former Chief of Army Staff Gen. Theophilus Danjuma of security agents colluding to kill innocent Nigerians is not in doubt.

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