When DIA Meets Expectations in Tackling Insecurity
The act of intelligence gathering and information sharing has proven to be a veritable weapon in the fight against terrorists and terrorism globally.
With actionable intelligence at the disposal of security agencies, activities capable of breaching national security can surely be confronted and averted successfully.
Nigeria is also not left behind in utilizing intelligence in fighting insecurity. This is achieved through established security organizations that are mandated to carry out such functions.
The Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), an organization responsible for gathering intelligence for the military and equally coordinating their operations, is one of such bodies known to perform this vital security role.
The recent successes by the Armed Forces of Nigeria against non-state actors across the length of the country are largely attributed to the behind-the-curtain operations of the DIA, in collaboration with other sister security agencies.
At the moment, a lot of high profile terrorists in the North East and bandits’ war lords alongside their followers in the Northwestern region have been eliminated, and their hideouts been equally destroyed.
It is evident that there is nationwide reasonable improvement in the level of security as a result of sustainable onslaught against the criminals by the security forces.
These giant efforts by the DIA did not skip the eyes of the public and other stakeholders responsible for ensuring security within the government.
To that effect, the National Security Adviser, NSA Babagana Monguno, a retired Major General, recently extolled the Chief of Defence Intelligence, CDI, Major General Samuel Adebayo on intelligence gathering, saying that the new strategies are yielding positive results in the fight against insecurities.
Monguno heaped praise on DIA, emphasizing that the important role played by the agency in these victories can never be over-emphasized as a result of their invisible activities.
The NSA stated this at the opening of the Defence Advisers and Attachés Annual Conference, organised by the Defence Intelligence Agency, last week in Abuja.
The week long conference had the theme, “Sustaining Nigeria’s Defence and Security: Role of the Defence Attaché System”.
He maintained that the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies have been striving to significantly address the security threats across the country.
According to him, DIA has continued to play a central role in the intelligence community, particularly in providing technological capabilities and external and domestic security assessments, mainly of military nature.
The NSA commended the agency for strengthening alliances to promote Nigeria’s regional and international interest and equally harped on the need for the DIA to broaden its horizon to explore avenues to improve indigenous capability in the various dimensions of national security.
“This is a key function of the agency of which the Chief of Defence Intelligence has discharged with great zeal, commitment, and determination under my coordination.
“I therefore implore you to always provide us with timely and actionable intelligence in order to shape the global strategic landscape to our advantage.”
The transnational nature of the current threats has made regional cooperation through strategic partnerships a matter of utmost necessity, which can be achieved by the Defence Attaché System.
Therefore, Monguno added by saying “We have continued to strengthen collaboration with our international partners in terms of capacity building, and strategic intelligence sharing.
“Let me also share with you from my experience, that developing strong partnerships and relationships in your host countries as well as countries of accreditation is very vital for a successful tour of duty as defence advisers and defence attaches.
“In addition, I need not stress the overarching importance of your subordination to the ambassador or High Commissioner, as well as the cordial relationship between the defence section and the embassy staff.
“You must note that you are all military actors expected to perform established institutional tasks in a civilian setting.
“That is why you were specially selected as elite carrier officers, considering that your work schedule involves directly dealing with civilian diplomats, which requires a lot of tact and professionalism.” Monguno said.
Monguno enjoined the Defence Attaches to align their responsibilities with the prescribed guidelines in the relevant portions of Nigeria’s National Security Strategy of 2019, the National Defence Policy of 2017, and the National Military Strategy of 2022.
Speaking in the same vein, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor commended the DIA for regularly hosting the Conference of Defence Attaché towards broadening their horizons on their statutory mandates.
The CDS also urged the defence attachés to use their positions in the various countries of assignment to correct the wrong security narratives being given by the foreign embassies in Nigeria.
He said the conference organised by DIA had engendered deliberations and produced very useful resolutions, as well as a review of the defence sector’s operational activities during the present year,with a view to projecting for 2023.
He therefore expressed confidence that the attachés were better poised to contribute more effectively to the efficient performance of their different sections across the world.
Gen Irabor used the opportunity of the conference to reiterate the commitment of the military in working with other security agencies and constituted authorities to ensure
Irabor pledged to support the civil authorities in ensuring a safe and secure environment for the conduct of the 2023 general elections.
He urged officers and men of the armed forces to bear in mind that democracy is essential for Nigeria ,if the nation must aspire for development and greater progress.
“Therefore, I urge you to respect the rule of law and remain loyal to constituted authorities and shun partisan politics and acts that are prejudicial to the interest of the nation.
“… For the operations across the various theatres, we will also maintain alertness and the aggressive posture which we have continued to display in order to ensure that the lives of citizens and of course, properties of all Nigerians are protected,” he said.
Earlier, the Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI), Maj.-Gen. Samuel Adebayo, said the critical resolutions reached and captured in the conference communiqué would be forwarded to the appropriate quarters for implementation towards enhancing national security.
Adebayo said the outcome of the conference attested to the relevance of the Defence Advisers/Attachés system in advancing Nigeria’s national security and defence objectives.
He promised that the agency would continue to leverage the defence attaché system in support of on-going engagements of the armed forces, especially in contemporary security context.
According to him, the conference highlighted the need for synergy and collaboration among the intelligence and security agencies as well as Ministries, Departments and Agencies, to ensure that no effort would be spared in dealing with the threats to Nigeria’s corporate existence as a nation.
“It is, therefore,my belief that this year’s conference will go down as a milestone achievement in our efforts to refocus ourselves on the challenges of re-engineering the Defence Attaché system in furtherance of our national security interests through effective collaboration.
“Against this backdrop, I believe you all have learnt new and better ways to carry out your assigned tasks in enhancing our national security.
“Without sounding trite, it would be necessary for me to emphasise that you should endeavour to use your vantage positions to make valuable contributions to the Federal Government’s efforts to secure our dear nation.
“This would go a long way to justify the huge investment of the Federal Government in the operations of the Defence Sections,” he added.
The CDI thanked all stakeholders for their support to the successful conduct of the conference.
He also thanked President Mohammadu Buhari, the Ministry of Defence, Office the National Security Adviser and Defence and Services Headquarters, for their assistance.
Over the years, the importance of this Defence Attaches System to Nigeria has been immeasurable. The annual conference gives the agency the opportunity to appraise the activities of its defence sections all over the world. It also helped the DIA to identify new lessons, discuss modalities for common challenges, as well as to strategize for the future, especially as the election year approached.
The conference came at a time when the nation was facing unusual security challenges characterised by a volatile, uncertain, and complex environment.
In spite of that, the DIA had continued to play a key role in support of the armed forces in confronting the myriad security challenges being faced by the country.
It is quite understandable that the nature of threats posed by the enemies of Nigeria reinforced the need for collaborative efforts between government departments within the security service and through foreign diplomats and defence attachés as well
Mukhtar is a staff writer with the Emergency Digest
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