Chief Olabode George, a former deputy national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Sunday said there is no way the Federal Government can win the war against insurgency in the country except it adopts a new strategy which will also help in confronting the growing insecurity challenges.
Speaking with Daily Independent, George, a retired Commodore and ex-military administrator, said Nigeria is fighting guerilla warfare which nobody has won in any part of the world.
Also speaking on calls for sacking of service chiefs, George said while the law states that officers should leave the force after attaining the retirement age of 60 years or 35 years of service, it is wrong to assume that sacking them will bring an end to Boko Haram insurgency in the country.
“On the issue of service chiefs, I left the military about 30 years ago. The law that I know, the commander-in-chief can hire and fire them. He appoints them, he also has the capacity to fire them. 35 years of service or 60 years of age, those are the two conditions. Once you hit one first, then you should go.
“I don’t know how long these service chiefs have served but we are making it look as if it’s a matter of throwing them away that will resolve the Boko Haram crisis. The hood doesn’t make the monk. That kind of insurgency, the war that is going on is a like a guerilla warfare. Nowhere in the world have they fought guerilla warfare and somebody wins or somebody loses.
“I was a Weapons Systems Officer in the Navy. I went to the United States War College and I taught at our own War College here. The Boko Haram is very unconventional and nobody will win it. Those people you are fighting have the same physical structure like those who live in the North-East. They look alike, they speak the same language, wear the same cap.
“So, how do you open your fire at them? They will come in the daytime like anybody else and there is no way you can differentiate who is Boko Haram or not. They mingle with the crowd and at that time, they are surveying you and in the night they strike. As a soldier, do you fire anybody you see? Because the rules of engagement will be well defined.”
George also called on the Federal Government to urgently put in place a high powered panel to interface with the Boko Haram sect, saying, “They are also Nigerians.”
“There is need for a dialogue. Do you know how long America has been in Afghanistan? Even the Russians came there but ran back. In Germany, they are now discussing with the Talibans. Americans with all the powers and technology they have, they have not been able to win that war. They are even setting an army up now in outer space.
“Let us jaw-jaw. It is not about buying of equipment because those guys also have sophisticated weapons. It is not a shame to dialogue with them, they are Nigerians.
“We can get the United Nations or African Union to get a committee of leaders who will call for a dialogue between the government and insurgents. Check the Vietnam War, how did it end? Check the one that happened in Bangladesh; nobody wins. I hope they go to their tactical table to come up with solution.
“From my own knowledge of military affairs, Nigeria cannot win the war against Boko Haram. What differentiates these Boko Haram insurgents from the locals? Unless the one you caught red handed wearing bombs. They are the same”, he said.