A retired Squadron Leader of the Nigerian Airforce, Ben Williams, has expressed misgivings over President Ahmed Tinubu’s choice of politicians without expertise in security matters as ministers of Defence.
He noted that Nigeria needs persons with core competence in areas of security to address current and merging threats to the nation’s security.
Williams, who is a security consultant and chieftain of the Delta State chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress, said this while speaking to journalists in Abuja, on Friday.
According to him, the Nigerian defence sector can better be serviced by the administration of security experts who abound across the length and breath of Nigeria.
The retired military officer explained that Nigerians deserve men and women who are trained to provide security and defend our territorial space stretching over 923,000km land area.
Nigeria, he argued, is blessed with a pool of serving and retired officers in whom huge amounts of tax payers money was spent training at home and abroad.
Williams equally said he completely agrees with the thoughts shared by a political analyst, Mahdi Shehu, who appeared on Arise TV and described the appointments of Mohammed Badaru and Bello Matawalle, as Ministers and Minister of state for defence respectively, as an “insult.”
He said, “The task of superintending over critical formations across the country in the police Commands in the military cannot be done on experimental basis or requiring people to learn on the job.
Security matters are very specialized, the training are detailed and demanding, it is why military resources and assets are not taken for granted anywhere in the world whether they are serving or retired, Nigeria cannot be an exception.
What exactly is the president up to with this “insulting” appointment to use the words of the analyst Mahdi Shehu, who conveyed the minds of many serving a retired military officers and the whole of Nigeria, who have records of incapacitation, especially of the former Zamfara state governor who did not impressively handled the security challenged that tested his will in his home state while he governed.
“I want to believe the President deliberately made these names public to sample public opinion and that would help him fine tune his decision on the final list.
“For a listening president, I would advise that he does not create and ego problem in the ministry of defence from the onset of ministerial appointments.
“The President has access to retired military generals, who rendered their invaluable service to the security committee during the presidential campaigns.
“He cannot deny that they services offered by these officers led by a distinguished gentleman was top notch, he should tap into that asset.
“This call is very important because The security challenge in Nigeria today required experience to tackle, we are dealing with criminals of all kinds, pirates and economic saboteurs of all kinds, kidnappers, bandits, Terrorist, armed groups in different part of the country stretching the capacity of the military.
“Only a tactician with specialized military training can appropriately deploy men and resources to tackle this challenge.
“President Tinubu must know that it is the right of Nigeria as a nation to use her assets which she has invested in their training over the years.”
Williams further said, “These assets are replete in the pool of retired military officers available for him to access, assess and explore for nation defence benefits, we all know the president means well for Nigeria, therefore he should remove the ‘insulting appointment’ on the nation’s security and make us all feel safe.
“Let me directly request the President to tap into the national asset of retired officers and ensure Inclusion of the defence team.”