CDS: Why military sought polls’ shift


military-pollNigerian military yesterday gave reasons it took this long to respond to the attacks and killings by Boko Haram.

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, told journal­ists that there was no politics in calling for the shift in election date and more time to be given to the military in the fight against the insurgents.

He said the reason behind the call for more time was to enable the military get the hardware it ordered for when the in­surgency started.

He explained that now that the equip­ment have arrived, it has no choice than to crush the Islamic militants operating in the North-East.

His words: “I do not want to bring poli­tics into it, whoever wants to bring poli­tics into what we are doing, it is left for him. I want whoever that is saying that to know that war machines are not picked up from the shelf, if it were, we would not have got them.

“When you make orders, it takes time to produce and it takes time also to train on them. So, we did not place the orders today, we had placed orders before now and when they started coming, we asked for more time to combat the insurgents before the elections and I can guarantee you that there is no politics in the demand for shift in dates, it was just because we were receiving the equipment.”

The CDS spoke while receiving items and drugs worth over N70million donated by the Association of Pharmaceutical Im­porters of Nigeria to the Armed Forces to assist in the war against insurgents.

Marshal Badeh said part of the overall strategy of tackling insecurity is to build a synergy with the civil populace, especial­ly for support and vigilance in reporting the activities of suspicious elements and the movements of insurgents.

He said: “This is borne out of our strong conviction that the war against insurgents is not a war for the Armed Forces alone. As I have always said, when the military is at war, it is not the military alone that is at war, rather it is the entire nation. Accord­ingly, all instruments of national power, ranging from the diplomatic, information­al, military and economic are employed to ensure that threats to national security are contained and defeated.”

He called for the support of Nigerians and the international community, urging them to give the added impetus to the military to conduct successful operations.

Meanwhile, former National Chair­man of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), and now a member of the Board of Trustees of All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Sam Nkire, has accused the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of plotting to cause confusion by med­dling in the electoral process so as to af­fect the May 29, 2015 hand-over. Nkire said from all indications, all the talk about the removal of the INEC Chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega, was to actualize this script, noting that the postponement of elections although favourable to PDP, was a great mistake which should not have happened at all.

In a statement issued in Abuja, Chief Nkire said the polls’ shift was such a grave miss-calculation by the PDP which, according to him, was capable of plung­ing the country into confusion, if care was not taken. -SunNews


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