Reviewing military operations at a time like this
By Mahmud Abdulsalam
In the past, we had things like Operations Harbin Kunama, Ruwan Wuta, Sharan Daji, Gama Aiki, Lafiya Dole, Crocodile Smile, Cat Race, Sahel Sanity, and Python Dance.
In more recent times, Operations Hadin Kai, Whirl Stroke, Delta Safe, Hadarin Daji, and Safe Haven, are the ones subsisting for now.
Make no mistake about it, they are not nomenclatures of things, or activities that man’s brain cannot just decipher. They are military exercises, or if you like, operations.
They were launched or flagged off, at some point, to address various crimes, constituting insecurity, across the geo-political zones in the country.
Ever since the ignominious heralding of the Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province, ISWAP, terrorism, the Nigerian military have launched several military exercises, aimed at restoring peace and ending the insurgency crisis, in the North East.
Not only that, its troops have also been deployed at various times in the past to tackle crimes like piracy, oil theft, and kidnapping in the South South, South East and South West regions.
There will surely be counter-arguments on whether the various military operations or exercises achieved their predetermined objectives, at various points.
However, it would amount to standing the truth on its head to proclaim that the activities of Boko Haram-ISWAP insurgents, militants, kidnappers, and more recently, bandits, have not been curtailed to an extent, thanks to the gallantry of troops deployed for the anti-criminal operations.
Perhaps, it is in the light of the strides troops of the Nigerian armed forces have over the years recorded that ongoing military operations are been reviewed, at the moment.
Last Friday, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, explained why their leadership of the Nigerian military is currently reviewing its operational engagements in the various theatres.
According to him, it is to restore lasting peace in many troubled parts of the country.
Irabor was speaking at the 6th edition of the CDS security parley with military veterans tagged, “CDS Interactive Session with Retired Senior Military Officers in the South South Geo-political zone”. The parley held at 63 Brigade, Nigerian Army, in Asaba, Delta state.
Prominent among the participants were the former Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha Jonah (rtd) and the former CDS, Gen Alexander Ogomudia (rtd). The Royal fathers that were in attendance include: His Royal Highness (HRH), Maj Gen Felix Mujakperuo (rtd), HRH Air Vice Marshal (AVM), Lucky Ararile (rtd) and HRH Brig Gen Bright Fiboinumama (rtd).
The CDS averred that the security parley which was flagged-off in the South West, have been worthwhile, successful and beneficial to the AFN, as several topical issues emanated from all the geo-political zone. This, he said is guiding the military high command in reviewing its operational doctrines and plans.
According to Gen Irabor, “interaction is a continuous process, so much value has emerged from the interactive session with our retired senior officers, and we are going to leverage the success and benefit to improve on security and safety of lives and properties.”
The Defence Chief noted that the operational engagements of DELTA SAFE, which is in synergy with other internal security arrangement are impacting on the peculiar security challenges, which are illegal oil bunkering, piracy, among others.
He added that the security disposition in the South-South (SS) region will continue to get better. He further explained that the security parley would focus on engaging critical stakeholders such as royal fathers, some of who are equally retired senior officers and among the participants to take some tip bits arising from the interaction in sensitizing their subjects.
The CDS assured that the AFN will continue to foster the right ambience for other stakeholders in order to holistically combat the myriad of security in the region.
According to him, “there are other engagements that are holding behind the scene, as we have assessed that kinetic efforts is only a part of the solution, there are non-kinetic approach which forms part of the engagement that is focused on the holistic solutions to the challenges in the Niger Delta region.
Chief of Defence Civil Military Cooperation (CDCIMIC), Rear Admiral Fredrick Ogu, in his remarks, said as stakeholders in the defence and security sector, the retired senior officers are in a vintage disposition to understand the array of security issues in their domain. He added that they could offer professional counsel on likely strategies to adopt in tackling the security threats.
Ogu, further disclosed that myriad of security issues in the nation and those specific to each geo-political zone were x-rayed, while adding that the outcome of the engagements with the veterans was rewarding.
He listed the heightened insecurity in the SS zone to be attacks on local communities, piracy, militia attacks, cultism, illegal oil theft, vandalizing of critical national assets, sabotage, high sea robbery, kidnapping and other sundry crimes.
Earlier in his welcome address, the General Officer Commanding, 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Major General Sani Mohammed lauded the initiative by the CDS in mooting the idea where senior serving and retired military officers were able to gather to brainstorm on a collective approach towards enhancing operational performance of the military in the SS region.
The Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI), Maj Gen Samuel Adebayo, Director General-Defence Research and Development Bureau, AVM Peter Uzezi, Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Central Naval Command, Rear Admiral Kennedy Egbuchulam, FOC Logistics Command, Rear Admiral Sileranda Lassa and the Air Officer Commanding Mobility Command, AVM Ali Bello were among the top military brass that graced the security parley.
The nature of insecurity and crimes may appear dynamic. But with constant review of its combat strategies, the Nigerian military will be assured that the odds will always be staked in its favour, as they continue to battle criminal elements holding the country to ransom.
Mahmud Abdulsalam Assistant Editor PRNigeria
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