BOMB BLAST, MILITANCY: ARMY ON RESCUE MISSION
The Nigerian Army has begun training its officers and men to assist the Police in curbing increasing threat to security in the country. Addressing participants yesterday in Kaduna at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Inter-Brigade Combat Proficiency Competition, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1 Division, Kaduna, Major-General Joseph Shoboiki, expressed sadness over cases of armed robbery, kidnapping, militancy, bomb blasts and other social vices in the country.
Shoboiki pointed out that negative tendencies were limited to armed robbery operations in the 70s, saying, the increasing socio-political challenges called for proactive measures.
He disclosed that the armed forces in general were ready to display professionalism whenever it was called upon to salvage such situations.
According to Shoboiki, 'What are the contemporary challenges we are facing in modern times? In the 70s, our challenge was mostly armed robbery. But in the year 2010, contemporary challenges have changed. We now have ethno-religious crises, banditry, armed robbery. The nation is also faced with proliferation of small arms and light weapons.
'We are faced with so many challenges, including militancy. Therefore, we expect that members of the Armed Forces, especially the Army and those of us in 1st Division, will be called upon to assist the police to ensure that insecurity and threat to security is abated.
.'Internally, we have armed robbery, armed banditry, kidnapping and so many other issues like cross border banditry. So, the Army, in almost the States, is involved in internal security.
'We have to train to be able to ensure that we assist the government to bring peace. If the Police are unable to cope and the Army is called in, there must be a difference, the Army must make a difference. So the essence of this training is to remind ourselves of what we have been taught in the past and to ensure that when we are called out for any security duties, we are able to handle such threat professionally.
'Bomb blast has become a world wide issue but the Army is also capable of handling the issue. The police have a bomb unit, the Army also has what we call BOD. There are people that are trained in this aspect. It is not everybody that can do it. They have the equipment. They have the competence.When they are called upon, they will be able to deploy those equipment and counter the bomb blast.
'But, you know that the best way to counter bomb blast is to be proactive before they detonate, you should be able to apprehend them but if you are not able to apprehend them before that time, it means that there is possibility that you must have lost it.
'The training you are going to have is to make you more competent, more professional and to be able to expand that knowledge that you had acquired over the years to your subordinates and then make them more competent too. Therefore, as you go into this exercise, you must put in your best so that you come up with more knowledge, more competence and professionalism.
'I want to let you know that this exercise is in line with the Chief of Army Staff's vision which is to build an Army that is better able to face contemporary challenges.'
'Therefore, what we are doing this morning, you discover that as time goes on, you will need those knowledge you have acquired to ensure that in any operation you find yourself to assist the government in ensuring peace, you will be able to recollect and these knowledge will useful to you.
'I want to enjoin you this morning that you should focus your mind more on the knowledge you will acquire from this exercise rather than the competition.
The spirit of knowledge, professionalism should be behind your mind as you go ahead this morning. Let therefore welcome those of you from other formations outside Kaduna.'