It is laughable to see Nigeria’s military leadership trying to show that it is on top of the situation following the invasion of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) in Afaka, Kaduna State, on August 24, by yet-to-be-identified gunmen.

The institution’s spokesman, Major Bashir Jajira, said in a statement that its “security architecture was compromised by unknown gunmen who gained access into the residential area within the Academy in Afaka.”  “We lost two personnel and one was abducted,” he added.

He said security personnel had “commenced pursuit of the unknown gunmen within the general area to track them” and rescue the abductee, and assured the public that the invaders “would soon be apprehended” and the abductee rescued.

Also, the Director of Defence Information, Major General Benjamin Sawyer, said the gunmen “sneaked in after breaching the perimeter fence,” adding that they “went straight to the officers’ living quarters and started shooting sporadically.”

This is one attack that shouldn’t have been allowed to happen. NDA is a military university that trains officer cadets for commissioning into the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force. It is unclear what the security arrangement was in the institution and how the invaders were able to not only get into the institution but also kill and abduct people who were there.

It is noteworthy that the Airport staff quarters and the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation in Afaka had been attacked by gunmen in the past, which should have made the military authorities tighten security at NDA which is located in the same area. In the middle of the country’s security crisis, it is ridiculous that the military left its major training institution open to attack.

Increasingly, the military is showing that it is overwhelmed by the security crisis. This strike at NDA has further shown that the military needs fresh ideas to tackle insecurity.

It looked like a sign of desperation when the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Leo Iraboh, announced that the Army planned to collaborate with retired senior military officers to deal with the country’s security challenges.

During an interactive session with retired senior military officers from the Northeast at the 23 Armoured Brigade in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, on August 24, Iraboh said he was looking for “holistic solutions about how to bring to an end the insecurity challenges in the region.” He added that he expected the retirees to “be ready to open up to us in areas that will enhance security, also be able to tell us areas of our mistakes and for us to make corrections.”

These are strong signs that the military is in a mess. Perhaps the military needs to be saved from itself.

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