The embarrassing NDA attack | Dailytrust

The embarrassing NDA attack

The Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA)
The Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA)

The recent breach of security at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) in Kaduna, is as shocking as it is abhorrent. This is not because a military institution of that magnitude and importance to the country’s security architecture was attacked, as many military formations have come under attacks in recent years, but that they are allowed to continue is what makes the entire situation incomprehensible.

Indeed the NDA, an institution that trains young men and women to become gallant military men should not come under an attack easily. That the gunmen gained access, killed two persons, abducted another and have the effrontery to demand ransom is indeed a slap on the military and by extension Nigeria. The military ought to have learnt from earlier attacks and taken steps to protect their men and institutions.

We, therefore, condemn that attack in very serious terms and ask that the perpetrators be apprehended and brought to book as soon as possible just as we urge that all efforts be made to rescue the major abducted in the attack. We mourn with relatives of those who were killed and pray God to give them the fortitude to bear the loss. The military must note that the continuous attacks on their men and institution are not only embarrassing but dangerous as it erodes the confidence of the people in their ability to keep them safe and something must be done about that. This attack should be viewed as terrorism and  addressed in the appropriate manner.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s initial comment on the issue, where he said, rather than throw a dampener into the morale of the Armed Forces as it is intended to, the attack would buoy their determination to bring a decisive end to criminality in the country was good in light of the development as we believe it was aimed at boosting the morale of the military personnel. However, a later statement from the presidency from presidential spokesman Garba Shehu that the attack might have been a ploy to embarrass the presidency was uncalled for.

In an interview, the presidential spokesman said, “so many scenarios are being painted though. Could this be truly a criminal attempt to violate the sanctity of that military institution? Was this an opportunistic crime? Is it political? Does somebody want to embarrass the government by doing this?”

That statement should not have been made as it made light of a serious problem that the country is battling with. Not all issues are political and as such should not be treated that way. What the presidency and all political leaders must understand is that we have a problem on our hands as a country and rather than pointing fingers or suspecting perceived enemies, all hands should be on deck to address it.

While the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Lucky Irabor has assured the general public of updates on the search and rescue of the abducted officer, after adding that “the armed forces of Nigeria will continue operations to ensure that all those involved in the dastardly act are brought to justice,” we believe more can and should be done.

It is good that the Nigerian Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has set up an inquiry into the attack. We call for a thorough investigation and all those found to have contributed to the success of the attack either through their actions or inaction must be made to face the law. Also, the findings should be made public. Furthermore, the military needs to take a holistic look at the attacks on its formations/institutions in a bid to address them.  In the past, it was almost impossible to consider an attack on a military personnel or any of its formations. It is time they regained that position and took back their place in the security architecture of the country.

Security agencies nationwide and indeed government as a whole should rise up with renewed fervour to tackle the insecurity in the country. While the federal government has achieved some laudable feats in the area of security, much more needs to be done so that past gains are not drowned by losses.