The Nigerian military on Wednesday explained why it sought for the shift in the general election from the dates earlier scheduled for them.
Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, on Wednesday, in Lagos said that the military called for postponement of the election because it coincided with the period it was taking delivery of military hardware it had long ordered for at the dawn of the Boko Haram insurgency.
The CDS said this while receiving items and drugs worth over N70 million donated by the Association of Pharmaceutical Importers of Nigeria to the Nigerian Armed Forces to assist in the war against insurgents.
The military chief denied political consideration behind the call for the shift in the polls. He also explained why it took longer period to respond to the attacks and killings by the Boko Haram sect. He explained that now that the hardware have been delivered, it has no choice than to move to crush the insurgents operating in the North Eastern part of the country.
Said he: “I do not want to bring politics into it. Whoever wants to bring politics into what we are doing, it’s 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 date, it just because we were receiving the equipment.”
Air Chief Marshal Badeh said that part of the overall strategy of tackling insecurity in Nigeria 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 instrument 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 added impetus to the military to conduct successful operations.
He commended the Association of Pharmaceutical Importers of Nigeria for donating the drugs to the military and also other companies such as Chikki Chikki noodles and Beloxxi Industries Limited for donating to the military despite antics of some unpatriotic persons.
Earlier, President of the Association of Pharmaceutical Importers of Nigeria (APIN), Sir Nnamdi Obi said they were “making available to the Nigerian Armed Forces over 70 million naira worth of drugs that cut across various therapeutic class including antibiotics, antifungal, antimalarial, antihelminthes, haematinics, 150 bags of rice, 1200 cartons of Chikki Instant Noodles, 600 Cartons of Chikki Chips snacks valued at 10 million naira and 1000 cartons of Beloxxi biscuits from Beloxxi Industries valued at 2 million naira.”