AITA Faults Deployment of 173 Soldiers to Guinea Bissau for Peacekeeping Operation

Almushahid Initiative for Transparency and Accountability (AITA) faults the decision by the Nigerian Army to deploy 173 officers and soldiers to Guinea Bissau on an ECOWAS peacekeeping Operation.

In a press release signed by its National President; Ambassador Aminu Abubakar Majidadi and made available to newsmen, AITA stated that the decision is wrong considering the current insecurity bedeviling Nigeria and the need for more soldiers here in Nigeria than anywhere in Africa to fight the incessant banditry, terrorism and other hoodlums currently causing havocs to Nigerians.

It was announced by the Chief of Operations, Army Headquarters, Major General Oluwafemi Akinjobi, at the graduation and pre-deployment training of the troops from the Martin Luther Agwai Peacekeeping Centre in Jaji Kaduna State that the graduation comes ahead of their departure to Bissau, the Guinea Bissau capital as they are expected to leave Nigeria immediately after their induction.

While addressing the troops, the Chief of Operations, represented by Major General Zakari Abubakar, warned the contingent to abide by the rules of engagement, exhibit braveness as professionals, and also respect the cultural sensitivity of the people of Guinea Bissau.

According to him, “Nigeria remains the beacon of peace and gatekeeper of the ECOWAS sub-region. Consequently, the Federal Government of Nigeria is committed to the deployment of a contingent to maintain peace in the Republic of Guinea Bissau.”

Abubakar added that, “the history of peacekeeping in Africa cannot be written without the commitment and sacrifices of Nigeria. The first contingent of Nigerian peacekeepers was deployed in 1960 shortly after our independence.
“Since then, Nigeria has contributed over 100,000 peacekeepers in over 40 peacekeeping missions in Africa and across the globe. I must say with pride that our peacekeepers have had to restore peace in many conflict areas around the globe which has earned Nigeria many national and individual commendations from several nations.” He added.

In response the operation, AITA opined that it is wrong of the Nigerian Army to at this time of insecurity that seems the soldiers on ground are not even enough to face the situation in Nigeria but yet such a number of personnel are going out there to secure other nations and communities while back home the insecurity is increasing daily like bushfire.

AITA further advised the Nigerian army to suspend all peacekeeping missions pending when the security challenges are managed, as “there is no wisdom in helping a neighbor to guard his house against fire while your own is on fire.”

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