The former Chief Of defense staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh revealed today that he inherited an ill equipped Army and advised the present administration to increase funding for the armed forces.
He alluded to the successes recorded while he served as Chief of defense staff while acknowledging the challenging nature of the assignment; “Notwithstanding the modest successes we recorded in the fight against terror, I must say that the task or coordinating the military and other security agencies in the fight against the insurgents, is perhaps the most complex and challenging assignment I have had in my 38 years in service”
He made the comments at his pulling out ceremony today in Abuja where he admitted that the Army was ineffective in fighting terrorism as a result of neglect, under funding and soldiers who had no weapons to fight.
He said; “The activities of these unpatriotic members of the military not only blunted the effectiveness of the fight, but also led to the needless deaths of numerous officers and men who unwittingly fell into ambushes prepared by terrorists who had advanced warning of the approach of such troops”.
“Permit me to also add here, that nation’s militaries are equipped and trained in peace time, for the conflicts they expect to confront in the future. Unfortunately, that has not been our experience as a nation. Over the years, the military was neglected and under-equipped to ensure the survival of certain regimes, while other regimes, based on advice from some foreign nations deliberately reduced the size of the military and underfunded it”.
“Unfortunately, our past leaders accepted such recommendations without appreciating our peculiarities as a third world military which does not have the technological advantage that could serve as force multipliers and compensate for reduced strength”.
“Accordingly, when faced with the crises in the North East and other parts of the country, the military was overstretched and had to embark on emergency recruitments and trainings, which were not adequate to prepare troops for the kind of situation we found ourselves in”.
“It is important therefore for the government to decide on the kind of military force it needs by carrying out a comprehensive review of the nation’s military force structure to determine the size, capability and equipment holding required to effectively defend the nation and provide needed security” Badeh said.
Alex Badeh, who served as the Chief of Defense Staff between January 2014 and July 2015 has been succeeded by Major General Abayomi Olonisakin.