Political strategies

Wanted – Testing new strategies to fight insecurity

CDS Gen Lucky Irabor

Wanted – Testing new strategies to fight insecurity

By Abdulsalam Mahmud

The insecurity in Nigeria has been going on for so long. He has caused so much havoc to the nation and its people. Hundreds of thousands of lives were lost, and many Nigerians became refugees in their own country.

Boko Haram and the Islamic State of West Africa Province, ISWAP, the insurgency, as well as the threat of armed banditry and kidnapping for ransom, among other heinous crimes, have never were also prevalent.

In the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) 2020, Nigeria was ranked as the 3rd most insecure country in the world behind Afghanistan and Iraq.

Despite massive government funding in defence, border security, a collaborative effort with other neighboring countries, changes in security structures, the repentance of hundreds of terrorists and the internal crisis between Boko Haram and the Islamic State of West Africa (ISWAP) over supremacy, a lasting solution is still a concern for experts and the government.

Attacks on security in different parts of Nigeria, especially the kidnapping of school children in the North West, North Central and North East, have increased the number of out-of-school children. This statistic counts more than 10 million children out of school, the highest in the world according to the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Charged with protecting the territorial integrity of the country from external aggression, most notably, the Nigerian military has largely taken on the responsibility of dealing with various types of internal unrest. Its troops are those conducting various counter-insurgency and counter-banditry operations in the North East, West and Center.

While a permanent victory against the enemies of the Nigerian state is a long way off, Chief of the Defense Staff, CDS, General Lucky Irabor says the Defense Headquarters is implementing several new strategies that will put an end to various security challenges in the country.

Irabor said this while presenting a graduation lecture for 30 course members of the National Defense College, NDC on the theme “National Security and Development: Strategic Options for Nigeria”.

He identified the need to deepen strategic communication, implement a press code for responsible journalism and pursue proactive security measures to reduce the impact of regional dynamics in the country.

Irabor said there is a need to encourage a whole-of-society approach to security by deepening strategic communication to educate people that security issues are a collective responsibility.

According to him, everyone in society should be a relevant stakeholder.

“Timely information about suspicious movements of strangers in a community could be the main lead in providing the early warning needed for the relevant government agency to take action.

“As a result, we must formulate a robust and proactive communications strategy that engages all citizens in fulfilling their role in protecting the nation while using the same medium to anticipate and counter insurgent narratives.

“The strategy could also incorporate modalities for the reorientation and practical reintegration of insurgents who have surrendered into society.

“The National Guidance Agency (NOA) needs to be reinvigorated, revamped and properly funded alongside all other relevant actors in society.

“This will encourage people to have renewed confidence in government and they will be encouraged to provide relevant information to relevant government agencies.

“It will enhance national security and development in Nigeria,” he said.

Regarding the press code for the media, Mr. Irabor said the strategy required the development of guidelines for reporting difficult stories, including stories of conflict and terrorism.

According to him, the German press code, for example, stipulates that in reporting actual and imminent acts of violence, the press must carefully weigh the public interest in the information against the interest of the victims and others. involved persons.

He said the media should report these incidents independently and authentically, but not allow themselves to be the tool of criminals.

He urged the Nigerian media to emulate and domesticate the German Press Code as the guiding principle of reporting.

The CDS said it has become imperative for Nigeria to constantly keep abreast of the security and development dynamics within its strategic neighbourhood, particularly in West and Central Africa.

“To this end, we are working to upgrade the defense and security sector intelligence management procedures to strengthen the overall security architecture in the country.

“Furthermore, the orientation of our foreign policy should also be rethought to ensure that Nigeria actively engages in the promotion of peace and security within our sphere of influence in West and Central Africa.

“To this end, the Federal Government, through relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), could as a matter of priority explore available bilateral and multilateral opportunities available to us to steer the course of security and development in the countries of interests. keep in mind the realities of the domestic base of our foreign policy,” he added.

Irabor said an overview of the plethora of security challenges besetting the country indicated the need to consider a review of the strategic approach to addressing them.

He said the assessment of the current security architecture revealed concerns about a limited divergent approach to dealing with emerging threats, ineffective media management as well as regional security dynamics.

NDC Commander Rear Admiral Murtala Bashir said it is the tradition of the college to hold a graduation conference to commemorate the graduation ceremony of each course.

Bashir said Nigeria had faced and still faces several security challenges such as terrorism, banditry, militant secessionist agitation, kidnappings among others in recent times.

He said security challenges were aided to a very large extent by the illicit proliferation of weapons and the emergence of sectarian groups that engage in banditry, kidnappings, political violence and other mafia-like violent activities. .

The situation, he said, had a negative impact on the country’s development with concomitant implications for national security, adding that Nigeria currently ranks at the bottom of the world rankings on the Human Development Index.

The commander said there was a need to think outside the box and develop strategies that would enhance national security and development.

He urged 30 course participants to begin to realize that success can only come from carefully cultivated attitudes, commitments and management processes that build up slowly and steadily.

“By soaking up these attributes, we could therefore see you contributing positively to the development of the country.

“It’s not too late for us to start building these attributes to move our company forward.

“So, I urge you to listen carefully to the conference and then reflect on how you, your department or your organization can best contribute to society, especially on issues of security and development,” he said. he declared.

The graduation conference is one of the planned activities for the graduation of the 30th batch of NDC graduates as well as the celebration of its 30th anniversary.

Mahmud is the Deputy Editor of PRNigeria and can be reached via, [email protected]

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