- The plan by the federal government to withdraw troops deployed in the northeast continues to generate reactions
- The move has not gone down well with many Nigerians who think the northeast is still a volatile region
- A former comptroller-general of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Chief David Paradang has added his voice to the debate
David Paradang, an ex-comptroller-general of the Nigeria Immigration Service, has called for a gradual withdrawal of the military from the northeast instead of an abrupt demobilisation.
Paradang, who was the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP's) senatorial candidate for Plateau Central District in the 2019 general elections, made the call in a statement in Jos, on Thursday, January 2.
He said the gradual withdrawal would allow paramilitary and other security agencies taking over enough time to integrate and familiarise themselves with the terrain.
According to him, it was imperative for efficient strategic operational requirements in order to sustain grounds covered in the fight against insurgency in the country.
“Considering the complex and sophisticated nature of these military operations in the northeast region, only a gradual and well-coordinated disengagement process of the military will give the desired result.
“Systematic takeover strategy of well trained and equipped paramilitary personnel and other security agencies will sustain the intensity of the ongoing fight against Boko Haram in the region,’’ he said.
He also expressed worry over the increasing number of abductions of aid workers in the region.
“The federal government must network with all stakeholders and do everything possible to ensure their immediate release from captivity,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, it appears that the plan by the federal government to withdraw troops deployed in strategic areas across the country is not going down well with Nigerians.
A cross-section of Nigerians, who participated in an online poll conducted by Legit.ng, said they preferred that the army remains stationed strategically than for them to withdraw and the men of the Nigeria Police Force take over.
This view is shared by respondents on both Twitter and Facebook. Out of about 400 responses on Twitter, 54% said the Army should remain while only 9% thought the army could replace the army.
A higher percentage, 13%, preferred for the government to decide on what is the best line of action. A sizeable 24% said they did not care about the topic.
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