100,000 Soldiers Not Enough To Tackle Nigeria’s Security Challenges – COAS

Chief-of-Army-Staff-Lt-Gen-Azubuike-Ihejirika-480x300Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Onyeabor Azubuike Ihejirika, on Monday said that for the Nigerian Army to be able to effectively tackle terrorism and other security challenges bedeviling the nation, its current manpower of just about 100,000 will have to be beefed up to 150,000 soldiers.

Ihejirika who was speaking when he received the new Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Alhaji Aliyu Ismaila Numan, stated that since Nigerians now see the Army as the first line of defence on the issue of tackling terrorism challenges, it was working on establishing new battalions especially in areas like Azare, Mubi, Yobe, Kafanchan while units in Sarti for instance will be upgraded to battalions.

According to the COAS, “the security challenges we are facing today, are a result of years of neglect in the area of proper policing of the country’s borders as well as our inability to observe good neighbourliness with countries that share border with us.”

Lamenting some of the challenges confronting the Nigerian Army which he said had impacted negatively on the force, Ihejirika said, “We have about 100 barracks for our personnel scattered all over this country but many of them are in bad shape.”

He also said “rather than the Presidential Committee on Barracks Rehabilitation doing their work picking individual buildings from difference barracks, I suggest they choose particular barracks and do wholesale rehabilitation because it will make more sense.

“The Army has helped a lot to ensure peace and stability of the nation, our priority is to ensure unity of this country and protect its territorial integrity and we will continue to perform this constitutional task but personnel welfare must not be toyed with,” he said.