Solid Soldier!!!

By Desmond Ekwueme

Posted  432 Views updated 2 years ago

Everyone including the recruits in the three arms of the Nigerian Armed Forces especially in the Army is applauding the appointment of Maj-Gen Lucky Eluonye Onyenuchea Irabor as the new Chief of Defence Staff.

His record is clear for all to see. His antecedents are faultless and fiery. His pedigree is exemplary and enviable. His character is impeccable. His bravery is distinctive. Indeed, he is a solid soldier...a thoroughbred professional...a highly disciplined officer and a gentleman.

He brings all these nice qualities to bear on his new post or position as the leader of the Armed Forces....not Commander-in-Chief anyway.

All is convinced that Irabor will do a damn good job.

But judging from what the world has seen so far in the Theatres of War as regards the battle against insurgency, Irabor may need more than these qualities to excel.

Yes, he is not the Chief of Army Staff but he is the clearing house of the Armed Forces as it seems presently. This suggests that he will mid-wife the whole process of this assignment. He will coordinate the entire defence and security achitecture.

Irabor understands the terrain. He is familiar with the tunes of war particularly this war. He knows it's colour and language. He once recaptured 12 Local Government Councils lost to the insurgents before he was withdrawn or removed from the battlefront...in the same battlefield. Why he was removed is a story for another day.

But experts in military intelligence say, there is a great difference between being in the battlefront as a fighter and soldier...and being a sort of director of the whole war process which includes air, sea and land.

This makes Irabor's new assignment more critical, tactical, radical and even suicidal if he fails to apply the needed caution. Yes, suicidal because in war an error...in fact the slightest of errors could be very fatal.

He should beware of sabotage...talking about the enemy or enemies within. The Pull-Him-Down syndrome could raise its ugly head. Loyalists to those who failed may not want him and the rest of the team (Service Chiefs) to succeed.

If it is true that two of the former Service Chiefs were secret enemies and they fought cold war, Irabor must ensure that he closes the ranks to bring all four Service Chiefs including the IGP together in the same boat. There should be a synergy and unity of purpose in the execution of duties.

Irabor must ensure that the welfare of junior officers within the Armed Forces is looked into. Feelers suggest that there was suppressed anger among the junior officer over their welfare which may have affected them psychologically in war against the insurgents.

Irabor knows that this won't be an easy task. He has to keep vigil with his eyes wide open. Those who know say, intelligence gathering is the war itself. Most wars are lost when the Generals focus more on physical battles than intelligence gathering.

Best of luck General....Best of luck Service Chiefs


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