How Ready Is Nigeria To Defend Itself Against External Aggression ? - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Saturday, May 15, 2021

How Ready Is Nigeria To Defend Itself Against External Aggression ?

By Onwuasoanya FCC Jones

When I read reports about the ongoing Israeli-Gaza conflict, one question that bugs my mind is; What if it were Nigeria?

Over the last five days, the Hamas militia group has fired more than 2000 rockets into Israel, but more than 90% of these rockets were reportedly intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome Defence System, with Israel recording just ten human casualties, and as yet, no significant lost in critical infrastructure. 

Within the same time in Gaza strip, Israel has fired less than a quarter of the number of missiles the Palestinians have fired into her country, but they have left that settlement with heavy losses in targeted infrastructures and human casualties. While there have been more than 40 children who died from Israeli fire, the Israeli Defence Force puts the blame for this unfortunate casualties on the Palestinians whom they accuse of entrenching themselves within civilian neighborhoods and using children and vulnerable civilians as shields. Certainly, the Hamas in keeping to the practice of terrorist organizations are more interested in propaganda and care little about the lives of its citizens. Unlike Israel, who values the life of every single one of its citizens.

With all the observed weaknesses of Hamas, will Nigeria be able to withstand its firepower  or country with half its arsenal decides to invade Nigeria today, what chances do we have against them? Or would we depend entirely on the goodwill of the international community to survive such confrontation?

Someone might argue that Israel had to invest the much it invested in developing its war infrastructure and weaponry because it is surrounded by unfriendly nations. As much as this is true, but every nation worth its name has always advertised its attempts at upgrading its weapons base to some of the best and most modern killing or deterrence machines available. But, Nigeria, the biggest black nation on earth doesn't even legally produce single barrel guns in commercial quantity.

I wonder what makes us a sovereign nation, if we cannot comfortably defend ourselves against internal and external aggression. We have failed to defeat what was a ragtag terrorist group for more than ten years now. Rather Boko Haram has continued to acquire more sophisticated weapons and are successfully carrying out very daring operations across, mostly the Northern part of Nigeria.

One of the things that has helped Israel establish itself as one of the most formidable nations in the world is its formidable  intelligence network, which enables her to abort attempts of her enemies before they are executed on Israeli soil. Nigeria has the capacity to build a formidable external and internal intelligence network, but nepotism has made this literally impossible. In the NIA, DSS and other intelligence outfits in the country, politicians and those with good contacts to the powers that be would rather populate the agencies with their children and concubines than allow those with the right mental, physical and temperamental endowments to get such jobs. Budgetary allocations that would have made these agencies improve on their operations are also hijacked by unscrupulous elements in highest places, thereby, leaving our dear nation pitiably vulnerable.

Israel has so much built its armed forces in both personnel and equipment that it has thousands of reservists whom it can easily call up when situations like the present one occur. In Nigeria, we do not even have close to enough regular combatants, talk less of having reservists. Our military, police and paramilitary are grossly understaffed and instead of the management of these different organizations to invest on recruiting competent, patriotic  and well trained personnel, the top officials would rather divert funds meant for the salaries and allowances of these personnel for their personal enjoyment, while most of the rank and file grumble as a result of lacking in the most basic of their needs.

Nigeria's position or reputation as the biggest black nation on earth makes her an attractive target to terrorists and imperialists, and while we may think that the world has evolved beyond the stage where another nation would covet our territory, we cannot be too sure of that belief. 

Nigeria should begin a conscious and aggressive investment in weapon production. Even if not in preparation to repel any external attack, but for pride and even for business. We have a large and untapped market within and outside Africa. We can also produce for our own use alone and we would at least stop depending or begging ordinary South Africa to sell arms to us.

We must improve the welfare of current servicemen and make military service enticing so that we can recruit the thousands more that we actually need. Also, the National Youth Service Corps must be more serious about equipping young graduates with basic military skills and discipline. 


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