The immediate past Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Kenneth Minimah yesterday asserted that he left the Nigerian Army better than he met it, stressing that the Army he headed successfully forced leaders of the Boko Haram sect into hiding.
Speaking at his Pulling out Parade organised to signify his formal exit from the military in Abuja, Minimah was optimistic that the days of Boko Haram sect was numbered as they no longer had the strength to intimidate the public with propaganda as it used to do.
Like the former Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh, the ex-COAS noted that he was “confronted with a decay in the service due to long periods of neglect the Army had suffered” at the time he settled into office.
According to him, “There was spate of bombings across the country. Attacks on soft targets such as civilians and vulnerable communities were on the increase.
“The Armed Forces and security agencies appeared helpless to address the situation and sadly, the nation began to lose confidence in its army and military.
“The situation was no less grim in the North-Central and North-Western zones where armed bandits, cattle rustlers and militias held sway.
“The nation seemed to be heading towards the much publicized disintegration many had predicted would occur in 2015.
“An assessment of the situation revealed that the Nigerian Army needed to harness its capabilities and optimize its capacity to deal with challenges bedevilling the nation.
“I inspired and rekindled fighting spirit in troops backed by military sanctions. I am happy to state that the story is different today, and the situation is much better than I met it. Today the country is much better than I met it.
“Today, the country is more secure and stable. The ability of Boko Haram terrorists to confront our security forces in open combat is virtually non-existent.”
Minimah noted that if the Army is to succeed in the fight against the insurgents, it is pertinent that the government rises to the occasion by equipping the military and also boosting its morale.
“A nation is as strong as its Armed Forces and the strength of the Armed Forces is in the quality of the individual soldier and his fighting spirit.
“Fighting spirit imbues him with confidence to stand up to the adversary rather than flee like we witnessed in the recent past; while adequate attention to his welfare demonstrates his nation’s commitment to his wellbeing and motivates him to sacrifice everything, including his life, discipline and sanctions confines him with the military laws.
“Government must provide the necessary and right political environment to recruit, train, equip, kit and remunerate our service men,” he stated.