The Nigerian Army is presently considering options on how to increase the number of troops in the troubled northeast-Nigeria, a top military source has revealed.
According to the source, who spoke with The Nation, the depletion of troops as a result of security challenges in the country made the measure necessary.
“From all indications, the Presidency may soon consider recruiting qualified, competent, courageous members of Civilian Joint Task F orce, CJTF, into special security forces to be well-trained and equipped in the war on terror.
“Rather than arming the volunteer groups who are proving their worth and staking their lives to protect their communities with mere sticks and knives against Boko Haram terrorists, the system is considering proposals from security and military experts who believe recruitment of qualified youths may be the best option against creating militias that could be problems in future.
“Background checks, antecedents and past exploits and contributions of individual volunteers will be taken into consideration to avoid recruiting those with evil and criminal intents into the specialised forces.
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“Other considerations include the fact that such local volunteers understand the terrain of such environment and politics of the insurgents,” the highly-placed military source informed.
Another source said: “It has also been discovered that if members of the CJTF are adequately trained and equipped, they could dare the terrorists in the held communities.
“They had in the past with bare hands arrested Boko Haram kingpins and handed them over to security personnel.
“A lot of members of the CJTF have been killed by terrorists because they are not armed and trained in counter-insurgency operations.
“Many have also called for the recruitment of courageous and qualified young Nigerians who are passionate to build career in the military rather than the jobless ones who join the military only to engage in acts of indiscipline, desertion and mutiny at a critical period of national life,” the source said.
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According to findings, the new recruits are to be trained in the use of arms and basic ethics of rules of engagement, among others, before they would be deployment.
“It takes three to four years to train well-qualified troops. The nation cannot afford the luxury of waiting for some years to train troops while leaving security challenges unattended to,” a source said.
It would be recalled that the leader of Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau, had recently warned the CJTF against supporting the Nigerian military.
The insurgents leader, who the Nigerian military claimed had been claimed some weeks ago, had also shown the execution of captured CJTF members in a recent video.
In spite of the victories recorded by the Nigerian military against the terrorists recently, the Islamist group has been attacking villages in northern Nigeria, especially Borno for sometime now.
Only last week, the insurgents attacked a village in Michika Local Government Area in Borno where houses were burnt and many residents displaced from their communities to neighbouring town in Yola, Adamawa state.