Olonisakin: I knew Nigerian forests would be invaded by bandits  


Immediate past Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin, says he knew that bandits would invade Nigeria’s forests based on a study he conducted while in office.

He also said  the nation’s defence architecture under him tried its possible best to stabilise the country and save it from insecurity.

Speaking at a thanksgiving service held in his honour in Ode Ekiti, his hometown in Gbonyin LGA, Ekiti state, the former defence chief said the military adopted futuristic intelligence to address  the problem of insecurity in the country.

He said they identified 14 security challenges and developed strategies that bordered heavily on intelligence gathering to tackle such attacks.

“We went through the storm and came up with those babies of necessities. The system did not have those structures to do what we were facing, so we had to come up with ad hoc arrangements like the platforms we created with the intelligence agencies,” NAN quoted him to have said.

“So, I encouraged the officers under me to add value wherever they found themselves. And we always think outside the box, because if you don’t do that, you might not add value and more importantly, to give the system their best.

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“That was why we were coming up with strategies on a monthly basis to address the challenges we were facing on security threats, ranging from terrorism, insurgency, to theft.

“We were also futuristic in our approach to address some of the strategies. This invasion of our forests by bandits we are experiencing at the moment, I saw it years back. I did a kind of study and I knew that our next target was going to be the forests.

“We also made sure we encouraged a lot of research and development in the army formation. So, we did our best for this nation in terms of resolving this pathetic insecurity issue — that I can boldly say.”

The former CDS said all security forces worked hard to overcome insecurity, saying the  Nigerian Army in particular, in partnership with other security formations worked tirelessly to checkmate insecurity in Nigeria.

“We also created a platform to synergise with intelligence agencies, because unknown to the public at that time, there was a lot of synergies between the security and the intelligence agencies.

“We also made sure we encouraged a lot of research and development in the Army formation.

“So, we did our best for this nation in terms of resolving this pathetic insecurity issue,  that I can boldly say”, he said.

He, therefore, advised his successor, Lt Gen Lucky Irabor and other security Chiefs to be diligent, patriotic and build on the gains made by their predecessors, for the country to subdue the lingering insecurity crises.

Speaking on his plans as an Ambassador-designate, he thanked  President Muhammadu Buhari for counting them worthy appointment as Ambassadors-designate.

“As ambassadors, we will represent the country well and also project its image wherever we find ourselves,” he said.