Chris Steven, Abuja
Civil society organisations monitoring the fight against insurgency in the North-eastern part of the country have said the Nigerian military needs more troops to ensure effective performance.
They also called for improved recruitment into the various security forces in the country.
The Coalition of Civil Society Monitoring Groups on Insurgency in the North-East said in Abuja on Wednesday at a news conference that a request to this effect should be presented to the Federal Government by the Military, which should in turn treat the increase of troops as a national emergency.
The secretary General and Convener of the group, Comrade Sabo Odeh, also called on the Nigerian Air Force to do more of air support especially on surveillance to avoid the issue of ambush of troops.
He said the Nigeria Police and the internal security agencies must stand up to their responsibilities to carry out more of intelligence work against suicide bombings, deradicalization and profiling of suspected persons whose missions in the society especially in the north east are questionable.
Odeh urged the Nigerian government to discard political considerations and make conscious efforts to arrest sponsors, financiers and collaborators of Boko Haram.
The groups however commended the Military for coming out to set the record straight after the mix-up in communication, describing it as the hallmark of integrity and a genuine sign that the military remains totally committed to sustaining the tempo of its successes against the insurgents.
“Troops are needed to deal with secessionists that are making life unbearable for Nigerians in the Southeast, Niger Delta militants in the south-south, farmers-herders clashes on the Mambilla Plateau, kidnappers that are running riot on the highways.
“The presence of troops to confront these insurgencies across the country has ensured things are not getting worse than they could have been.
“Our staunch belief is that is that instead of engaging in the simplistic ritual of criticizing the military and ignoring the sacrifices they are making for the security of the country, Nigerians should rather be dispassionate in reviewing the prevailing situation and making the right calls”, the CSOS said.
They further condemned any attempt to further demonize the institution of the military aimed at distracting the fighting force and lowering their morale in the war against insurgency.
The CSOs expressed confidence in the military to flush insugents out of the north-east.
They said, “Nigerian military needs more troops and recruitment into the various forces should be immediately scaled up by the Service Chiefs. Request to this effect should be presented to the Federal Government, which should ion turn treat the increase of troops as a national emergency.