By Olufemi Kayode
There is nothing wrong with anyone aspiring for a political position. But it is another for the aspirant to prove he or she is qualified to take up such a position in overall interest of society.
In most cases, people who know that they are unable to meet the standards, become mischievous in their approach. This is exactly what is beginning to happen in the race for the position of NSA.
It looks like some people are trying to turn it into a struggle between the military and civilians or the Police. There is no doubt that the Nigerian military is still the institution we rely upon to tackle most of the security challenges, particularly the violent attacks from criminals and terrorists.
In doing so, they sometimes pay the ultimate price. No one argues that the government may reserve the Office of NSA for the military. It is neither in the 1986 Act creating Office of Coordinator on National Security, nor is it in the Constitution.
It is a matter of coincidence that due to the nature of security threats since 1999, past Nigerian Presidents found it convenient to appoint persons with military backgrounds. However, the manner in which some persons seeking the office are approaching their interest makes it look as if retired or serving military persons, know nothing other than the gun.
For those with such ignorance, the training of every officer in the military starts with acquiring a Bachelor’s degree from the Nigerian Defence Academy in such areas as Strategic Studies, International Relations, Defence Studies, Engineering, Political Science, Pure Sciences etc.
This is followed by middle cadre training in Staff Colleges, before attending Defence Colleges or NIPSS for strategic courses. Programmes on crisis management and conflict resolution are regular in these strategic institutions.
More than 90 per cent of officers possess a Masters degree in various fields. There is no institution in Nigeria that has manpower that is well trained as the Nigerian military.
If you want to lobby to appoint you as NSA, do so without seeing military as threat to your ambition. Stop creating gaps between the military and society. And seek whatever you are aspiring to be, on your own merit.
We must be proud of our military who sacrifice themselves for us to live. And you may need to visit the widows and orphans in the barracks to appreciate how much they sacrifice.
Olufemi Kayode, a Public Affairs Analyst, contributes this piece from Abuja.
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