A former Minister of State for Defence and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, has described the ongoing counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations against the Boko Haram sect as a strange war without boundaries.
Obanikoro stated this on Thursday during the presentation of materials to the military by the Support Our Troops Foundation at the Nigerian Army Garrison headquarters, Mogadishu Cantonment in Abuja.
He said for the first time in its history, the country was struggling with war because of its unconventional nature, but assured Nigerians that the war must be overcome.
Obanikoro further assured the people that vital lessons were being learned from the ongoing war against terror that would be helpful on how the country tackles its security challenges in the future.
“Yes we are, it not a conventional war, it is a war that is strange to us, and it is a war that the boundary is not drawn. It is a war that for the first time in the history of our nation, we had to struggle and learn from it with a view to putting it behind us.
“Beyond the fact that we are at war, I know pretty well that we are equally engaged in other security activities in this country and beyond,” he said.
Speaking further, the former High Commissioner to Ghana noted that it was the second time that he has been called upon to participate in the distribution of materials for the troops and their families.
According to him, “We are indeed very proud of your records and what you are doing for us as a nation today. The essence of this initiative is to encourage you, strengthen you, and to let you know that you are not alone.
“For our society; it is a way of introducing a culture of showing respect, recognition and identifying with our military men and women. I don’t know of any service that can give to a nation other than being willing to pay the supreme sacrifice in the service to humanity and the nation.
“I salute you; I salute your courage and this is my own way of identifying with what you are doing…
“This effort, to me, is very laudable, and particularly when you have a section of our society that is doing everything humanly possible to reduce or discredit the activities of our men and women in uniform, for me the only thing for all of us is to identify with you openly and also privately.”
According to Obanikoro, the military needs all the encouragement in the world to perform at their best and to perform optimally, as anything short of that is unacceptable.
He further advised that “even when eventually we are able to conquer the activities of terrorists within our boundaries, this effort must continue.
“I make bold to say that any where you see our military men you feel more
comfortable because they are men and women who you can bank on anywhere in the world.”
Earlier, the Commandant of the Garrison Maj-Gen. Barry Ndiomu, commended the support group, saying: “It’s a unique and kind gesture to give so much back to the Nigerian army in recognition of the enormous sacrifices of our officers and soldiers in the operations of our soldiers in the North-east region.
“There is no doubt in our minds that this very kind gesture is appreciated by the officers and soldiers, and that it will go a long way to boost the morale of our soldiers who are out there in the North-east.”
The commandant expressed hope that other citizens of Nigeria will tow the line and appreciate the efforts and enormous sacrifices being made by the officers and soldiers out there in the field.