needed weapons are very instructive. Again, as I have always said, when a nation is at war, it is not the military alone that is at war, it is the entire nation. Accordingly, every segment of society must see itself contributing to the overall war effort, by presenting a united front against a common enemy.
Therefore, I appeal to the relevant agencies of government to mobilise the huge human and material resources we have in this country towards the development of a vibrant Defence Industrial Complex that would contribute to meeting our critical arms and equipment needs. This is crucial if we must reduce our total dependence on foreign sources of supply for critically needed arms.
That is the only way we can retain our dignity as a nation in order to have freedom of action in international affairs.
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 underequipped 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. This is based on the fact that without security, there cannot be sustainable development. The huge cost that would be required to rebuild the North East and other trouble spots in the country could have been avoided if the military had been adequately equipped and prepared to contain the on going insurgency before it escalated to where it is today.
As I conclude, I want to leave the current leadership and the entire members of the Armed Forces of Nigeria with my very best wishes. Thank you all and God bless.