Maj. - Gen. Bashir Magashi (retd), a ministerial nominee from Kano State, on Thursday said during ministerial screening in the Senate that infighting
Maj. – Gen. Bashir Magashi (retd), a ministerial nominee from Kano State, on Thursday said during ministerial screening in the Senate that infighting among Nigerian service chiefs was affecting the war against insurgency and other efforts against other forms of insecurity.
The Senate had on Thursday screened additional 14 ministerial nominees, bringing the number of people so far screened at the red chamber to 24, having screened 14 on Wednesday. The nominees who were screened on Thursday were Senator Tayo Alasadura (Ondo); Chris Ngige (Anambra): Abubakar Aliyu (Yobe): Mustapha Shehuri (Borno); Bashir Magashi (Kano); Zubauru Dada (Niger); Timipre Sylva (Bayelsa); and Ramatu Aliyu (Kogi). Others were Richard Adebayo (Ekiti); Mohammed Abdullahi (Nasarawa); Mohammed Bello (Adamawa); Sunday Dare (Oyo); Sa’adiya Farouq (Zamfara) and Zainab Ahmed (Kaduna).
Magashi, who was reacting to a question by the Senate Chief Whip, Orji Kalu, on insurgency in the country, said the relationship among the service chiefs was not cordial. He said, “Regarding the issue of the service chiefs, in my own view, we are caught in a situation where you find out that each commander or service chief tries to please the nation.
“Anytime the service chiefs conduct operations, you find radio coverage that the Air Force has done this, the Army has done this; thank God we are not near the ports where we can see that the Navy is also involved. If the Navy was around here, then the three services would have been on the same collision course. In an ideal situation where I served as an ECOMOG commander, it was a single unit that was overseeing the needs, the aspirations, welfare of our troops in combat zones.”
He added, “In Nigeria today, what we call command structure is now being seen as weakness. We have almost disseminated all our forces and I do not think the current structure is a true reflection of the manpower requirement in this country. We only have divisions probably by name but I do not think we have the required manpower to man them.”
He said that to fight an insurgency war or general insecurity, the Army, Air Force and the Navy should have a common troop working together and should not operate independent of one another. According to him, a single commander should take care of reinforcement, operations, change of troops, among other needs.