Many in the community have asked me to comment on the decision of the military to establish a naval base in Kano, Nigeria. But before I comment, let me explain what a naval base is. According to Wikipedia, a “ naval base, navy base, or military port is a military base, where warships and naval ships are docked when they have no mission at sea or need to restock.” Largely, a naval base needs to have water bodies that must “host” warships.
Now – why is Kano a location when we have many locations in Bayelsa, Rivers, Cross River, etc? Simply, it is the fruit of centralized government and the national demon of converging all wealth in Abuja. That is the national demon!
No warship will make it to Kano but with Kano being classified as the official base, all the associated CSRs for communities that host these warships will be executed in Kano. We are all adults in Nigeria now, and it is very offensive for us as a people to say it does not matter. The ships will be docked in Rivers, Bayelsa, etc but the Navy will spend community developments in Kano!
If that is not the case, the military can explain! Decisions like this weaken the national spirit of comparative advantages, creating unhealthy relationships. We love Kano, Owerri, Jos, Osogbo, and all cities in our nation. Each must be chosen for national “posts” on pure technical merits; Kano on this one is a WRONG choice – and I want to tell Mr President that he will confuse primary school kids when they write that ‘Kano shares borders with the Atlantic Ocean because it has a naval base”.
As a response to the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje’s request for the presence of Nigerian Navy in the state, to strengthen the security of the state, the Nigerian Navy has approved the establishment of Kano State Naval Base.
The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, disclosed this yesterday in Kano when he paid a courtesy call to the governor at his office.
The CNS is in the state for the Chief of Naval Staff Annual Conference 2021, between September 1 and 4, 2021.
This is a pure offensive poor policy which diminishes a professional institution like the military. As Afghanistan has shown us that military gears alone do not win wars: hearts do. That explains why Taliban overran fellow Afghans, on the “government” side, within days. Nigeria needs to show in deeds and actions of a nation of justice, fairness and equity.---
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