Nigeria’s military and burden of tackling insecurity
By Mahmud Abdulsalam
It will amount to living in denial to assert that Nigeria, at the moment, is not contending with mounting insecurity. Rampaging insecurity has made peace elusive in some parts of the country.
It is threatening the nation’s educational system. It has made it difficult for socio-economic activities to thrive well, in many a commercial towns and cities in Nigeria.
The agents provocateur of Nigeria’s insecurity challenge is the dreaded Boko Haram terrorist sect, together with their sister organisation, the Islamic State of West Africa Province, ISWAP.
Together, they have both made the North East region a hell on earth. No thanks to the menacing activities of the two extremist sects, the education, agricultural, economic sectors of States in region, particularly, Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States, have long been gasping for breath.
Thousands residents have been killed, and many others displaced. A mass number of female students of secondary schools in Borno and Yobe States were kidnapped in 2014 and 2018 respectively.
Key infrastructure like school institutions, security agents’ offices, public buildings, and other government facilities have been destroyed.
In the North West and recently, North Central, residents have not known peace ever since bandits turn their heat on them; maiming lives, sacking communities, rustling livestock and abducting people.
There is the case of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, militants who have since declared war against security agents in the South East. They have been unleashing terror on police posts across the region.
Hundreds of police officers, Department of State Services, DSS, and local vigilantes’ members, have paid the supreme price in the course of engaging the daredevil agitators and militia group members.
It is imperative to state, however, that military operations are ongoing to contain the criminal and savage activities of the aforementioned terrorist and militia groups.
There may be scepticism in some quarters on the efficiency of the operations troops of the Nigerian military are prosecuting, but not as far as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, is concerned.
For Irabor, the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN), remains at the forefront in tackling the myriad of security threats confronting the nation.
Gen Irabor stated this at the ‘Chief of Defence Staff Interactive Session with Retired Senior Military Officers’ in the North Central Geopolitical zone, held on Wednesday 18 August 2021.
Speaking at the Headquarters of Tactical Air Command (TAC), Nigerian Air Force, in Makurdi, Benue state, he observed: “the military as an institution remains at the forefront of leading the war against every form of criminalities as the Constitution avails the AFN the mandate of supporting civil authorities which in this case is championed by the Nigeria Police.”
Gen Irabor noted that the one-day security parley is in continuation of the nation-wide consultation and engagements with military veterans towards proffering lasting solutions to the security challenges in the country.
The CDS while admitting the wave of insecurity in the North Central (NC), occasioned by farmers/herders and communal clashes, said the ongoing military engagement is crucial, as such require the inputs of its veterans towards sustainable peace and progress.
He urged the senior citizens whom he described as military officers even in retirement to be open minded in proffering suggestions to the security threats, promising that there would be interventions in the security dispositions in the NC and the entire nation.
In his remarks, the Chief of Defence Civil Military Cooperation (CDCIMIC), Rear Admiral Fredrick Ogu said the CDS security parley with retired senior military across the six geopolitical zones is to identify the threats in terms of its intensity and peculiarities with a view to addressing the challenges.
The CDCIMIC recalled that the maiden edition of the CDS security parley held in the South West zone, while the second and third editions took place in the North West and South East geopolitical zones.
The Air Officer Commanding (AOC), Tactical Air Command (TAC), Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Idi Lubo, who acknowledged the critical roles being played by military veterans in the defence and security sectors, was optimistic that critical issues bothering on intelligence gathering, information sharing and security management would dominate discussion during the close door session.
The AOC expressed the commitment of the Command in sustaining the ongoing synergy with sister Services and other security agencies towards ensuring peace and stability in the NC, noting that the AFN is leveraging on the support and goodwill of the people in tackling security challenges in the region.
AVM Lubo, enumerated the air operations which the Command is actively participating in the various theatres, including Operation HANDIN KAI in the North East, Operation DELTA SAFE in the South South, Operation HADARIN DAJI in the North West, as well as Operation WHIRL STROKE and SAFE HAVEN in the NC.
He further attributed the recent successes being achieved in the theatres to the collaborative efforts among the various security outfits. This, he said, is in line with the CDS Leadership focus of fostering a professional Armed Forces capable of effectively meeting constitutional imperatives.
Tackling insecurity in Nigeria, certainly, is one challenge that is already giving the security agencies, including the military, a migraine. But evaluating the military’s efforts, the job of securing the country from internal aggressions, particularly at this critical juncture, is not a burden for men and officers of the Nigerian Armed forces if the words of Gen. Irabor is anything to go by.
Mahmud Abdulsalam is Assistant Editor PRNigeria
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