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Insecurity: Rejig NYSC for military training

By Ayodele Fagbohun

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“ For when all able bodied Nigerians have been given security training , no group or groups would be prone to accuse or suspect the other groups of actually using or wanting to use their predominance in the army to dominate the country. Nor would any group or groups have the incentive or audacity to make any open, misguided and inflammatory pretensions to this effect – Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

Thank  God for the  pan Nigerian mandate freely and fervidly given to Ahmed Bola Tinubu of All Progressives Congress (APC) as the nation’s president in the last general election on February 2023.

This political new dawn apparently douse the general tension  in the land, averted before our very eyes the precipice of destruction, disintegration  and imminent collapse due to the infernal and nefarious activities of some  few faceless, disgruntled and ubiquitous groups masquerading as  vicious and unrepentant Fulani/Hausa herdsmen, vile  Boko Haram insurgents and other homeless vandals. They spread  banditry , mayhem and violence  along their routes.

Peace and security have taken flight from the  country as  our political leadership over the years  lacks  the  wherewithal, they do  not properly attend to requisite  political will and right ideological orientation to combat boldly and headlong the simmering and intractable security breaches confronting our  nationhood  from time immemorial .

The problem of the country should be squarely laid at the doorstep of our political leadership and some  few Nigerian elite for their selfish, unholy  and despicable alliance to truncate the cause of good government to the benefit of the masses.

Our political leaders irredeemably fail  to  handle the earnest business of nation hood with all seriousness it deserves.

The lackadaisical, slipshod fire brigade approach and laisez faire policy  to governance, sheer ineptitude and non-commitment and non-dedication to the welfarist programmes and policies enunciated to benefit the Nigerian citizenry are the Achilles’ heel bedeviling  our political leadership.

For instance, education which is sine qua non to, and engine of fundamental growth and development of any nation is virtually relegated to the background in the scheme of things in the national planning. Only  a negligible percentage in the national budget is niggardly allocated to education contrary to UNESCO which advisedly enjoins developing countries, Nigeria inclusive , to commit at least 26 percent  of the national budget to this critical and criminally neglected sub sector of the economy.

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According to the redoubtable African fighter for freedom and first elected black president in the former apartheid  South African, the inimitable  Nelson Mandela, education is a powerful weapon with  which you can change and transform the world.

Unfortunately, education  is regarded  as controversial in Nigeria. Our  leaders  both military and civilian, and some elite fail abysmally to invest in education as a way out of youth restiveness and path to national development.

This naked planlessness of  the economy gave  rise to the mushrooming of universities and other tertiary institutions. We have Bell University at Otta, Ogun State, a privately owned institution by the  former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo who served  as military Head of State and two-term  democratically elected president of Nigeria.

Obasanjo did not deem it fit to declare free education, which the country could easily afford given the right leadership to harness the rich potential of resources for national development.

Secondly, ABUAD University in Ado-Ekiti, is a private concern founded by Chief Afe Babalola, a legal luminary of substance who could have meaningfully  utilized his fabulous wealth to bankroll and develop his home state’s public university, Ekiti State varsity to world class, located in the chief’s country home, Ado-Ekiti.

Incidentally, Chief Obasanjo is a business partner and friend to Chief Aare Afe who munificently enjoys retainership from largesse of the former president .

At the evening of their lives, they i.e Obasanjo and Afe Babalola must have now been contented with what they have accumulated over the years through easy government patronage.

They must now be  prepared to shed the excesses of their wealthy, to be lawfully taxed out, surrendered and be judiciously expended by the state on provision of free education at all levels.

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And to open up avenue for more job opportunities to stem the ever rising incidence of banditry, wanton killings, barbarison and lawlessness a cross the country .

Let me state here and clear that the two prominent Nigerian leaders mentioned, one in the public sector and the other in the private section are only  an eye opener to serve as notice for few rich individuals in our poverty stricken society, rather than the country that they should show more concern and ensure that justice and equity are manifestly. Done to assist and empower the less privileged and the toiling masses.

Our problem of insecurity does not arise from our ethnic differences nor diverse religious backgrounds but essentially through sheer failure of our contemporary leadership ranging from temporal, secular and spiritual that fail to harness the right ingredient of leadership for national development.

According to Dr Myles Manroe, an accomplished motivational speaker, educator and consultant for government and business concerns, every country on earth is challenged by absence of resolute leadership as it struggles under precarious times.

“Politically, economically and socially, our nations are experiencing turmoil and moral decay characterized by crimes, religious conflicts, economic uncertainly, unequal distribution of resources, political corruption, civil unrest and disintegration of family, cyber crime poverty, disease, famine, sexual abuse, greed, racial classes, ethnic cleansing, global terrorism and war”.

Munroe was quick to proffer solution. “However, time and again, history has shown that the most important quality a true leader should  and must possess is the moral force of a noble and stable character” for any embattled nation to overcome her own crises and challenges.

To pull Nigeria out from the present security quagmire, we must urgently reconsider the compulsory military training obtains in USSR and Israel to be enshrined in our constitution.

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Fortunately, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) introduced by General Yakubu Gowon military junta in 1973 could be streamlined, restructured and rejigged to serve and bolster the security needs of the people. Chief Obafemi Awolowo, leader of men canvassed compulsory military training for able bodies men and women out of intrinsic advantages which could be derivable from the bold and innovative policy.

Nigeria will not need the indulgence of keeping and maintaining a large standing army, for Nigeria being the so called giant of Africa has the largest military force in African and sad enough! Is unable to protest herself. Yet, the country spends conservatively about half our total recurrent expenditure on a negligible few of our teeming population in the army uniform.

Indeed, common sense and modern trends in warfare dictate that effectiveness of an army as an offensive and defensive out fit does not necessarily consist basically in discipline, moral and efficiency.

That is the secret of huge success ascribed to the nation of Israel which came into existence in 1948. It is high time we eschewed our arrogance and vain religious piety and learnt fast at the feet of Israel to overcome our security and agricultural problems.

As a result of abolition of large standing army, the nation would be able to divert to economic and social development funds which otherwise would not have been available for beneficial purpose.

According to Obafemi Awolowo, “one of the major causes of inter ethic suspicion in Nigeria would be removed. For when all able bodies Nigerians have been given  military training no  group or groups would be prone to accuse or suspect the other group or groups of actually using or wanting to use their predominance in the army to dominate the country or the audacity to make any open, misguided and inflammatory pretension to this effect”.

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