Reps Committee Chairman On Defence Expresses Worries Over Insecurity

 

…as 174 battalion fetes troops during WASA

By: Okosun Dennis

The Federal House of Representatives Committee Chairman on Defence, Hon. Babajimi Benson, has expressed his deepest concerns and worries over the spate of insecurity in the country saying that Nigeria has the capacity to overcome bandits and terrorists with increased budgetary allocation to the military.

He noted that to combat all the criminal malfeasances, the house has “granted all the military’s request for security budget and they have also added a supplementary budget which we approved” to get needed equipment.

Babajimi spoke on Saturday as the Special Guest of Honour during the West African Social Activities (WASA), organised by the 174 Battalion, at Odogunyan Parade Ground, Ikorodu.

He empathized with the victims of the growing insecurity especially people from the North, saying that with the benefit of time, the Armed Forces with the kind of motivation they are getting would be able to deal with it.

In his words during a brief interview with our correspondent explained that, “It is indeed sad with the level of insecurity and I empathize with the people from the North. Banditry has eaten deep into the fabric of their society.”

To deal with the monstrous security problems confronting us, “I moved a motion to classify bandits as terrorist and we been able to do that.

“It is sadden that the rot in Nigeria has long been in existence. It is a building block and in the fullness of time, Nigeria will be safe again.

“However, Nigeria is not immune to the global spate of insecurity as the world is violite, uncertain and ambiguous but by the grace of God, Nigerian will be out of it and we will be great again.

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“In the history of Nigeria, the Armed Forces has not gotten so much respect and funding as under the watch of the President.

“On my part, I set up the armed forces support fund that seeks to provide extra budgetary funding for the Armed Forces on five years bases so that they can meet up with their growing challenges. Unfortunately, it is only in Nigeria Armed Forces are funded from the balance sheet.”

Hon Babajimi Benson also spoke on the improved welfare of military veterans adding that their “pensions are adequately paid. Welfare is also good as they are met to go through the Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre (NAFRC) before passing out. The Armed Forces have tried to ensure that veterans are adequately taken care of.”

On the activities marking the 2021 WASA at the battalion, the lawmaker from the Ikorodu Federal Constituency, expressed joy as he felicitated with the Commanding Officer and families of officers and soldiers.

He observed, “Ikorodu used to be known for a lot of things. Since he came (Commanding Officer), the narratives has changed. It is now a peaceful environment and people are moving in in droves. The community is growing as it has got a Seaport, University, Polytechnic and the biggest power plant in Nigeria – Egbin,” he reiterated.

The General Officer Commanding, (GOC) 81 Division, Nigerian Army, Major General Lawrence Fejokwu, who added colour and panache as the Guest of Honour, inspected all the stands that had different traditional foods reflective of the cultural and ethnic identities in the barracks.

Earlier in his opening remarks, the Commanding Officer, 174 Battalion, Lt Col Emmanuel Oluseye Sholotan said WASA enhances comradeship and espirit-de-corps, which provides avenue to interact and socialize in a relaxed atmosphere that galvanises enhanced social interaction amongst its personnel.

Adding that it serves as a veritable means for improving Civil-Military relations while providing platforms for families and friends to close ranks and socialise.

While restating its commitment to ensuring that every iota of security infractions is dealt with added that the “Battalion in curbing insecurity within its area of responsibility, and would ensure security and satety of all law-abiding citizens while dealing appropriately with criminal elements in the society.

On his expectations for 2022, Lt Col Sholotan said it will be a peaceful year despite the doting challenges across the country which the military is adequately involved. We hope and pray things would get better in the next year.

The Royal Father of the Day was His Royal Majesty, Oba Engr Abdulkairu Shotobi, the Ayangburen of Ikorodu. Others present were the Chairman of the Occasion, Chief Adewunmi Ogunsanya (SAN) (Odofin of Ikorodu); the Area Commander Nigeria Police Division, Area N, ljede and a representative of the Commander, 9 Brigade, Col Amah and members and families of the Nigerian Army Officers Wives and Nigerian Army Soldiers Wives Associations.

WASA in the Nigerian Army is an inherited rich customs and traditions as well as noble code of ethics from the British Army and this laid sound foundation for the NA Traditions, Customs and Ethics which are cherished and preserved.

There were beautifully costumed troupes and cultural display from major ethnic persuasions in the country including an anaerobic ingenuity of “Flexible Blessing.”

Post Author: Friday Ekeoba