Replacing Soldiers With Police Inappropriate – Oyati | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Cover Choice, POLITICS

Replacing Soldiers With Police Inappropriate – Oyati

Posted: Jun 28, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)


What is your opinion on the recent directive that military men should leave road blocks, especially in the North-East?

That is a question that is based on the informed assessment of the situation in the country. Nigeria, particularly the North East, is place where we now have so much insecurity. Those road blocks were set up to meet a particular purpose, to wit, the Boko Haram issue.  So, taking such a decision could mean that the situation that informed the military manning those road blocks is no longer there. The decision could be based on the report that the situation is no longer there. Remember, President Buhari, as the chief security officer of the country, and the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces has access to the best information that is not available to ordinary Nigerians. He must have been advised by those who should know. It is either that the road blocks were not serving the purpose for which they were set up, or that they have outlived their usefulness. It is also possible that the military is trying to strategise or they want to adopt other methods to deal with the issue of insurgency in the North East. I believe there is nothing to be afraid of. If the decision has been taken to remove the military from the road blocks, there must be good reason for doing so and Nigerians should understand. As to the other parts of Nigeria, when the former IG, Mohammed Yusuf, was there, he gave a directive that checkpoints nationwide should be dismantled; it was done and we did not witness any rise in security problem as a result of that. This means that the checkpoints were not serving any purpose then.  In the same vein, if Buhari says that the military should vacate road blocks in some parts of the country I think it’s a wise decision.

Do you think that the police are equipped enough to handle the issue of insurgency?

I do not believe that the police are equipped enough to handle the issue of Boko Haram anywhere. Whether by way of manning checkpoints or by way of going into full-scale war against Boko Haram, I don’t believe that the police can do it; they are ill-equipped for that, they cannot in any way handle insurgency at all. If the military men have been asked to leave road blocks, it cannot be that the police are a proper replacement for the soldiers at all, it can only be because the reasons the military were asked to man the road blocks no longer exist. And to replace the military with police, to me, it has no useful purpose as far as the issue of Boko Haram is concerned.

The kind of situation we have in the North-East is something that can only be handled by soldiers and not the police. Our police are not equipped for such a situation at all. So if they say that policemen should replace soldiers in those areas, to me, it is .