Insecurity: Implement Civil War Strategy, Recruit More Soldiers, Archbishop Yahaya tells FG

  • Korede Akintunde
  • January 4, 2024

The Archbishop of Kaduna Province and bishop of Kaduna Diocese of the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion, The Most Revd Timothy Yahaya who is worried by the prevailing insecurity in the country has charged the Federal Government to apply what he called the civil war strategy in tackling terrorist attacks and kidnapping going on in the country. Archbishop Yahaya disclosed that during the Nigerian civil war, despite the 10,000 population of the armed forces, 250,000 soldiers were recruited within six months to prosecute the war and called on the Federal Government to recruit more soldiers to curb the menace of insecurity.

Addressing journalists yesterday during his New Year message to Nigerians, the Archbishop asked the President Bola Tinubu-led administration to revive rubber, cocoa, palm plantations and groundnut pyramids to discourage overdependence on oil for national development He said: “The rate of insecurity in this country is becoming very alarming whether we believe it or not.

The strategy may not be correct, or the strategy is correct, but the manpower is low. During the Nigerian civil war, I am not sure we had up to 10,000 soldiers, but in six months we were able to recruit 250,000 – that was in the years of the civil war, what was our population then? Many years later today, the number of boots we have on the ground is not up to the number we had during the Civil War. Are we progressing or retrogressing? And whether we like it or not, this war cannot be decisively prosecuted with the number of soldiers we have.

“I am not saying that only arms will solve this problem. We need to call ethnic nationalities and sit down with them, everybody must be a stakeholder. Let us know what their grievances are. What I see happening in this country, Nigeria is still a geographical expression like the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo said many years back. People don’t feel a sense of belonging in our nation. We need to sit down and ask ourselves; which is the way forward.”

He said his New Year message to Nigerians, particularly to the Federal Government is that people are hungry in a land where we can export food better than Ukraine and Russia. “Israel is a very small state, not up to one state in Nigeria and yet it can feed the whole of the Middle East. What are we doing with the potential of our agriculture?”

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