By Olufemi Kayode
There is nothing wrong for anyone to aspire for a political position. But it is one thing to aspire and it is another for the aspirant to genuinely prove that he or she is qualified to take up such position in the overall interest of the 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 as a struggle between the military and civilians or police in particular. 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 Office of NSA is reserved for the military. It is neither in the 1986 Act creating it as the Office of the Coordinator on National Security, nor is it in the Constitution.
It is just a matter of coincidence that due to the nature of security threats since 1999, past Nigerian Presidents found it more convenient to appoint persons with military background. However, the manner at which some persons seeking for the office are approaching their interest to be appointed makes it look as if retired or even serving military persons, knows 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 they attend Defence Colleges or NIPSS in Kuru, for strategic course. Program on crisis management and conflict resolution are regular in these strategic institutions.
More than 90% of the 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 or convince President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to appoint you as National Security Adviser, you should do so without seeing the military as a threat to your ambition.
Please stop trying to create gap between the military and society, and seek for 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*