A traditional ruler in Osun State, the Olowu of Owu Kuta, Hammed Adekunle, has advised the Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, to tread cautiously in his criticism of the Nigeria army.
Mr Zulum has publicly expressed his displeasure over the manner in which the army has been tackling insecurity in his state.
Earlier in the week, he blamed the recent spike of abductions along the major road leading to his state on the Nigerian military.
PREMIUM TIMES reported him as saying that the people were being killed because the army failed to do their assigned jobs.
Mr Zulum spoke while reacting to last weekend’s abduction of 35 travellers and many other such incidences that had become a daily occurrence on Maiduguri-Damaturu road, the only safe route that leads to Borno State.
Earlier, Mr Zulum’s convoy was attacked by Boko Haram terrorists in Baga, a town under Kukawa Local Government Area in July this year, and even though he escaped unhurt, he wasted no time in blasting the Nigerian Army for failing to protect the people.
Also in November, Mr Zulum did not spare the military after Boko Haram slaughtered about 34 farmers in the state.
He said there was corruption and saboteurs in the military, and unless these were dealt with, the fight against the insurgents would be ineffective.
On Monday, the governor visited a location along Maiduguri-Damaturu road, the only safe route that leads to Borno State, where Boko Haram insurgents struck and abducted 35 travellers.
He expressed shock and annoyance on the magnitude of attacks being perpetrated by the terrorists under the watch of the soldiers and police special squads deployed to protect the highway, saying the army has failed to do their assigned jobs.
“Surprisingly we have a Brigade Commander with his team in Jakana; we also have a commanding officer with his battalion in Auno; both teams cover a distance of only 20 kilometres, and they have failed to protect the commuters,” the governor was quoted as saying.
“The Nigeria Army has failed us; they have failed in discharging their role of protecting the commuters.”
However, apart from criticising the military, the Borno governor has also supported the military with resources and equipment.
But the Osun monarch described Governor Zulum’s attacks on the military as demoralising.
He said Mr Zulum should stop demoralising the Nigerian Army with his constant condemnation.
He said rather, the governor should encourage them to boost their morale to tackle the intractable insurgency in the north east.
The monarch, who spoke to journalists at his palace on the state of security in the nation, urged the governor to be less frontal in his attack on the military as they needed all the encouragement and support to battle those insurgents to submission.
“I am disappointed in Governor Zulum for his constant attacks of the Nigeria Army at every opportunity he has over the activities of the vicious Boko Haram insurgents in Borno,” said the monarch.
“He should stop demoralizing the soldiers but rather encourage and boost their morale.
“I have no doubt in my mind that our military will survive any form of blackmail from any quarter.”
The Olowu further noted that instead of blaming the military over the spike in the level of insecurity leading to more people being killed in the state, the governor should encourage a symbiotic effort to tackle the menace.
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