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700 Soldiers Killed in 18months, Ex-Generals Demand Probe

... Ask Troops to be Alert

Worried by the incessant killing of soldiers by terrorists and other criminals in some parts of the country, especially the North, some retired army generals have called on the concerned authorities to urgently halt the dangerous trend.

Reports revealed that no fewer than 714 soldiers had been killed by terrorists in the last 18 months, while several others had suffered varying degrees of injury. This, coupled with the worsening insecurity in the country, was described by the ex-generals as disturbing.

They stressed that the killing of soldiers, who were grossly inadequate to confront the widespread insecurity in the country and should be protecting civilians and the territorial integrity of Nigeria, could not be allowed to continue.

A report by a geopolitical intelligence platform, SBM Intelligence, revealed that no fewer than 642 soldiers were killed between the fourth quarter of 2020 and the third quarter of 2021. While about 72 soldiers have so far been killed by terrorists this year.

A retired Brigadier General, John Sura, described as unacceptable the way soldiers were being killed by terrorists, saying there was a need for the troops to be equipped with modern technologies to protect themselves and win the war. He also stressed the need for synergy between the security agencies.

Sura stated, “It’s pathetic and terrible; the troops are doing their best because they have no equipment to notice terrorists from afar before they come under attack. It is painful and it is discouraging. I think the Federal Government must help them with modern technologies that can be able to detect and take these people up.

“They (the terrorists) are already taking the battle to the armed forces, which is not too good. Nobody is happy that people, who have risen to protect Nigerians, are losing their lives. As retired military officers, we are not happy with what is happening in the country in terms of security, because the institution of the military, which we served selflessly and what has given us a name as a country, is being seen as failing in its responsibility. As it is, the country is almost being consumed by insecurity.

“What has happened to the A-29 Super Tucano fighter jets purchased by the Federal Government? Why have they not deployed the fighter jets to neutralize the insurgents so that Nigerians can have peace?

“Yes, the military cannot be everywhere and that is why we have the National Intelligence Agency, the Department of State Services and others, who should network, synergize and provide intelligence that will help to track these people wherever they may be.”

He said the Federal Government should reconsider hiring mercenaries like the previous government did.

“The previous administration hired foreign mercenaries and they were almost winning the war against terrorists, but that approach was dropped when the present administration came on board. I think that rather than waste resources that may not get the desired results, why not bring these mercenaries back, pay them and let them trash the terrorists in Nigeria. They may be able to deliver on the task because they will be paid for it,” Sura added.

Another retired officer, Brig.-Gen. Jon Temlong, said it was disturbing that soldiers and civilians were being killed, but that soldiers losing their lives could be tied to the asymmetric nature of the war.

Temlong, who is a former Commander, 23 Armoured Brigade, Yola in Adamawa State, expressed dissatisfaction over the attitude of some Nigerians towards assisting the military to overcome the security situation in the country.





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