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Olonisakin seeks alternative funding for military operations

By Kanayo Umeh, Segun Olaniyi (Abuja) and Isa Abdulsalami Ahovi (Jos)
19 December 2018   |   3:34 am
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin, has canvassed alternative ways of funding military operations in the country.He opined that it would greatly assist in building Armed Forces....

Gabriel Olonisakin

• No nation can force peace on unwilling people, says CDS
• HURIWA says call for information on spending a distraction

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin, has canvassed alternative ways of funding military operations in the country.He opined that it would greatly assist in building Armed Forces that will be able to meet up with contemporary warfare and ensure more effective performance of constitutional roles.

Olonisakin, who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja while addressing members of the Senate Committee on Defence who visited the Defence Headquarters, said budgetary provisions alone could not adequately fund the requirement of the armed forces.He said: “In order to carry out constitutional duties effectively, the armed forces of Nigeria require requisite platforms, which need to be regularly upgraded to meet the ever-changing threats to our nation.

“The financial investments required to effectively equip the armed forces and provide adequate welfare as motivating factor for its personnel are high. Obviously, budgetary provisions alone cannot adequately fund the requirement of the armed forces.In his remarks, Chairman, Senate Committee on Defence, Abubakar Kyari, said the armed forces had achieved a great feat in the war against insurgency.

Besides, the CDS has said that no nation in the world can enforce on the people except the warring factions themselves agree to accept peace in the first instance.He noted that the army or the military does not go to war but that it is the nation that goes to war and uses its military.

Olonisakin, represented by the Director, Defence Information, Brig.-Gen. John Agim, stated this yesterday at Plateau Youth Summit organised by the Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) in collaboration with Civil-Military Relief Initiative with the theme, “Re-energising the Potentials of Plateau Youths for Positive Development” at Hill Station Hotel Conference Hall, Jos.

The Chief of Defence Staff, who commended the OPSH Commander, Maj.-Gen. Augustine Agundu, for the bold initiative in carrying out the responsibility of the command to details, said that was the only way that warring people would come together on their own after seeing what would happen if they continue with the fight and come to a mutual agreement to stop fighting.

Meanwhile, a pro-democracy and non-governmental organisation, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), said the call by some civil society organisations (CSOs) asking the military to provide information on its spending is a distraction to the ongoing fight against Boko Haram terrorists in the North-East.

It also called on the military authority not to order the closure of the offices of the Amnesty International (AI) in Nigeria, adding that what the military ought to do is to look at the merits and demerits of the report by AI.

National Co-ordinator of the association, Emmanuel Onwubiko, who spoke at a press briefing yesterday in Abuja, urged the CSOs in the country to refrain from asking about the military spending on the counter-insurgency war saying they (military) needs to be commended in ensuring that the security of life and property are protected.