Friday, July 18, 2014 9:42 pm
By Jasper Azuatalam
The story of the Nigerian Army can be compared to that of a baby with kwashiorkor. A poor village woman gave birth to a child and the child suffers from kwashiorkor because the poor woman cannot afford to give him food. The only option available is for the poor woman to present the child to the public and ask for alms.
Who wouldn’t give alms to a young child suffering from kwashiorkor and need to eat food to be ok? The poor woman put the child in a public place and everyone gives alms to the sick child. The return on the first day was surprising as the poor woman got more than enough money to feed the child for the day. The next days, the income started increasing geometrically and the woman understands she is no longer poor.
Soon, the child with Kwashiorkor began to look healthy and the alms were no longer coming as it used to come when the child was in a critical health condition. The mother became angry and decided not to give the sick baby food again. The Kwashiorkor returns and the alms are coming again, but soon the people will ask why the kwashiorkor has persisted irrespective of the huge amount of money they have been giving as alms.
The inefficiency and lack of arms/ammunitions in the Nigerian Army was recently exposed by the Boko Harram insurgence. It became obvious that our security system is suffering from kwashiorkor as our Military men are not well equipped with contemporary weapons and ammunitions. The Military men are also not motivated in terms of remuneration and their families are not sustained when they die in national service. The situation was so pathetic that over 70% of the capital budget was voted for security. International bodies started pouring in financial and material assistance to help our security system. The National Assembly approved all supplementary appropriations for security purposes each time the presidency asks for one.
Today, alms has been pouring in from different parts of the world and Nigeria has given almost the entire capital budget to security, yet the security system is still in a bad state. Those profiting from the vast sum of money earmarked for security and the various foreign assistance will not desire the security apparatus to improve substantially because that will automatically imply an end to the foreign assistances, huge security votes and appropriations.
In the last few months, the Federal government has gulped one trillion Naira (#1 trillion) and has gotten several foreign assistance from various countries, yet the Military has remained under equipped and our Military men are not yet motivated and given a good remuneration. The “kwashiorkor” in the security system has remained, amidst the huge amount of money invested. Now the president is asking for a loan of one billion dollars equivalent to about #170 Billion because the security apparatus is still suffering from acute “kwashiorkor”.
No doubt, the senate led by Senator David Mark will graciously approve the request for a one Billion dollar loan as it has always done, but be certain that we will not have to wait for so long before another one is requested for and approved. Shall we begin to wonder and ask why the child is still suffering from “kwashiorkor” irrespective of the alms that the mother has been receiving?