Sola Ojo, Kaduna
Following the successful rescue of a 27-year-old American Citizen, Philip Walton in Northern Nigeria by The United States Military a few days ago, President, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) and Chairman Board of Trustees, Coalition of Arewa People for Peace and Security (CAPS), Shetima Yerima, believed that the Nigerian Army, could work better with right equipment and morale for foot soldiers.
Shetima, who appreciated swift response by America special troops who mobilise required sophisticated equipment to rescue one of their citizens who spent about 96 hours in kidnappers’ den believed that, Nigerian troops, who do perform credibly well outside the country, can do same if well equipped like their colleagues in the US Army.
Shetima also disagreed with the position of many Nigerians on the inability of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai to stem the Boko Haram insurgents in the North-East despite being a son of the land.
He told Daily Sun that, poor treatment of the families of soldiers who died in action was not helping those alive to want to fight and defend the country wholeheartedly, hence, the continuous threat by the insurgents.
“It is not about being the son of the land, it is about the right morale, equipment and wages. Yes, we expect more from the security agencies. But, we also need to realise that these security agents are humans like every other person.
“If you don’t give them the necessary things to do the needful, how do you expect them to work better? We know that some of them are incapacitated because they don’t have enough equipment to do these things.
“When American troops came in, do you know the kind of equipment they came with to track one of their own and get him rescued? Do we have such equipment? I’m not defending the Nigerian Army or Police, but the fact remains that we need to give them what is needful.
“For example, morally, there is a problem. Most of these soldiers who go to war against these insurgents based on our findings, we realized that some wives of those that were got killed we’re asked to vacate the barracks and relocate them to certain areas which look more like hostels. We found out that, the entitlements of these heroes are not paid to their families.
“While they are inside the hostels, we also found out that some of the wives of these martyrs who died in the course of defending the country are being impregnated by some useless characters.
“So, why do I want to die for a country when I know my entitlements will not be paid to my family in good time? You delay the payment and even if you are going to pay, it takes a long time. And before then, a lot of things would have happened to that family – probably the children work no longer go to school in addition to extortions.
“One wonders what stops the government from having a robust plan like; free education for the children of the soldiers who may die fighting the insurgency whereby they know there is hope for their family even if they died in action.
“Now, let us provide them with proper equipment, check their salaries and make them better. So, let put these things in place so we can look them in the face and tell them they are not doing well”, he said.