From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Chief of Defense Staff, General Leo Irabor on Friday solicited the inputs of retired senior officers of the military in addressing the peculiar security issues of piracy, kidnapping, banditry, cultism, farmers/herders clashes among others in the Niger Delta region.
Irabor said the retired officers would play critical roles in resolving the myriad of security challenges in the region, having be part of the army and now living among civilian populace.
General Irabor spoke during the opening of an interactive session with retired senior military officers in the South-South geo-political zone held at the 63 Brigade Officers’ Mess, Asaba, Delta State.
He said the interaction which has been held in the other five zones, was borne out of the desire to conclusively address security challenges in the country.
Irabor who admitted that there were issues, noted that there was also the will to proffer solutions, adding however that what was “required now is to aggregate the views to speedily bring to an end these issues.
“Among the various stakeholders, you (retired officers) play a critical part because you are on the two sides of the coin as former military officers, and now living among the civilian populace.
“We need you to tell us what we are not doing well and areas of improvement. We believe that you once signed the oath of allegiance and that spirit of patriotism to sustain the unity of this country is still in you.”
He said security challenges in the Niger Delta needed a holistic approach, and called on stakeholders to contribute their quota.
He said: “The military is only a fraction of those to provide holistic solutions. We provide the ambience for other stakeholders to play their critical parts.
“There are other engagements we are holding behind the scenes which you may not see. This is because we have accessed that kinetic effort is only a part of the solution, there are non-kinetic aspect of these engagements that is focal to the holistic solution with respect to challenges within the Niger Delta.”
Welcoming participants, Chief of Defense Civil/Military Cooperation, Rear Admiral Frederick Ogu; and the General Officer Commanding, 63 Brigade, Major General Sani Gambo Mohammed, had urged them to lay the issues bare.
Former Chief of Defense Staff, Samuel Ogomudia and former deputy governor of Bayelsa State, John Jonah were among the participants.
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