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Nyiam wants Buhari to rejig military structure



The most senior officer in the 1990 Major Gideon Orkah military coup, Col. Tony Nyiam (rtd), has urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly to deploy necessary political will to rejig the nation’s military formation and strategy, otherwise the appointment of new security chiefs will not yield expected results.

Nyiam, who spoke on the backdrop of the appointment of new security chiefs by President Buhari after pressure on him to drop the former service chiefs said: “Lack of a combined or unified command or joint command under the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), or better put, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is the cause of the Armed Forces Chiefs’ rivalry and duplication of their war efforts and consequent National Security failures and unnecessary waste of public funds, which were major bane to effectiveness of the immediate past chiefs.”

The retired Army colonel said it was sad that though new security chiefs have been appointed, “the fundamental challenges in the security architecture are still there and I wonder what the new security chiefs hope to achieve if the political leadership is still not mindful to address the fundamental factors.”

He also noted that some of the possible challenges the incoming security chiefs will encounter, especially the new CDS, whom he described as an intelligent, professional military officer and combat-tested, is that with the existing higher command structure, he will ab-initio occupy a redundant position.

According to him, “the extant structure makes the Chief of Army Staff the most powerful instead of the CDS.” He pointed out the ethnic lines, wherein the CoAS may eventually not see himself as a subordinate to the CDS just like his immediate predecessor because of the kind of puerile military formation operated in the country.

Nyiam said that the problem of the management of Nigeria’s national security challenges was lack of effective leadership, saying that there are no social, political and economic security strategy from which the higher command can come up with appropriate military strategic direction and those charge with the management of tactical operations can do so effectively.

He said the Buhari needs facilitators and facilities to make up for this shortcoming in the modern management of national security, especially the one challenged by unconventional warfare waged by home and transnational non-state armed entities.

He warned that the changes of the service chiefs is the tip of the iceberg, saying: “It will come to nothing if the country continues to have political leadership failure that is not befitting Nigerian security architecture, no appropriate military strategic direction, low combat forces levels as the military is stretched thin, no improvement of the weaponry and equipment of the troops and no genuine moves to have the people have a buy into their own security architecture.”


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