On Diaspora Conference on National Security
By Mahmud Abdulasalam
To outsiders, talking about foreigners and the international community, security has become a cherished luxury in contemporary Nigeria. Yet, these foreigners will be the ones to first acknowledge the uncommon gallantry, professionalism and fighting spirit displayed by Nigerian military troops.
They will not consider it a broken record to regale whosoever cares to listen how Nigerian soldiers participated, both exceptionally and remarkably, in various peacekeeping missions, few decades ago.
They will not, at the risk of crying out loud, bother to chronicle the exploits of Nigerian troops who helped to, via their peacekeeping missions, restore peace in many troubled States of Africa, and other continents of the world.
Are those days when Nigerian military forces are revered for their combat-readiness and gallantry gone? Yes, it may seem. The lingering counter-insurgency and other unabating violent crimes, may perhaps suggest the ‘incapability’ or the lack of capacity by troops, towards arresting the wave of insecurity.
It is somewhat a clear indicator, also, that Nigerian soldiers, who have been deployed to tackle internal security challenges in recent times, are no match for cold-hearted terrorists, bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers, militia groups, and other ruthless militia groups, who perpetrate their illicit acts of criminalities with reckless abandon.
Nevertheless, human perception of situations does not paint an objective view of any kind of situation. For Nigeria to win the war against insecurity, there is need to first have a clear-cut disposition towards national security and how it can be attained.
To this end, General Lucky Irabor, has pledged that the Defence Headquarters, DHQ, is ready to partner with the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), and Nigerians in the Diaspora in order to add value to the national security disposition.
He stated this while receiving the Chairman/CEO of the Commission, Honourable Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who visited him at the DHQ complex, in Abuja, recently.
Dabiri-Erewa, earlier in her remark, solicited a partnership between NiDCOM and the DHQ towards hosting its forthcoming ‘Diaspora Conference on National Security’.
According to her, Nigerians abroad working in the defence and security sector intend to leverage on the conference in order to contribute their quota in addressing the security challenges bedevilling the nation.
The NiDCOM CEO, observed that Nigerians abroad working in the defence and security sector are excelling, adding that the conference will be a roundtable discussion where they intend to share their expertise with the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) and other stakeholders in the security sector.
She stressed that the AFN could also use the platform to showcase its operational successes, while sensitizing Nigerians home and abroad on issues that border on Nigeria’s security.
She further disclosed that the DHQ could collaborate with these security experts in training military personnel and provision of logistics support for the Services.
The Chairman eulogized the AFN, which she said has continue to receive encomium for its participation and exploits in peace support operations across the globe.
She commended the AFN for promoting gender inclusiveness and advocated for more enlistment of women into the military profession.
The CDS, while responding, noted that the proposed conference is a meeting of like-minds as conversations across the borders will be useful at this critical stage.
The Defence Chief, added that the conference was timely and apt, considering the ongoing reforms in the AFN occasioned by the recent change within its leadership hierarchy.
On promoting gender equity, Gen Irabor maintained that the military will continue to promote and prioritize female personnel’s active involvement in its operations, administration and other activities.
He further explained that the AFN could boast of female senior officers, both serving and retired, as some were able to reach the zenith of their career becoming two-star Generals.
There is a lot Nigerians abroad working in the defence and security sector can offer towards assisting the military troops tackle sundry criminal elements and equally address security challenges in the country, as highlighted by Dabiri-Erewa.
Not until at the forthcoming ‘Diaspora Conference on National Security,’ their invaluable expertise is what should always be at the beck and call of our military authorities headed by Gen. Irabor and other stakeholders in the nation’s security sector.
Anything that must be done to rid Nigeria of insecurity cannot be delayed. Not at all!
Mahmud Abdulsalam is Assistant Editor PRNigeria
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