President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday kicked against a proposed guideline of the Heads of State and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission and Benin that recommended six months duration for change of the command and control structure of the Multinational Joint Task Force.
He urged his colleagues to allow Nigeria retain the position of the Force Commander of the MJTF throughout the period of the war against insurgency.
Buhari made the appeal in his opening remarks at an extra-ordinary meeting of the commission’s Heads of State and Government held at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
A Nigerian, Maj.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, was recently appointed the Force Commander.
The President argued that military operations that are subjected to rapid change of command and control structures would not be efficient.
He said Nigeria should be allowed to retain the position of the commander since the country would be providing the bulk of the troops and the main theatre of the war is on Nigerian soil.
He said, “While I agree that this is a joint operation with shared responsibilities, I am, however, of the opinion that military operations that are subjected to rapid turnover of command and control structures, six months duration, as it is being proposed in the documents before us, do not augur well for effectiveness and efficiency.
“Such a process will undermine, even if it not intended, the military capacity to sustain the push against the insurgents, who also have the uncanny ability to adapt and rejig their operational strategies.”
“I am inclined, on account of the above, to suggest for your excellencies’ consideration that Nigeria retains the position of the Force Commander of the MNJTF for the period of the war effort.
“This command will be to the effectiveness of military strategy, since Nigeria will be providing the bulk of the troops and the main theatre of the war is on Nigerian soil.”
Buhari also promised to redeem the pledge made by Nigeria to contribute $100m to the force.
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