***Identifying, tracking sources of funding of insurgents, bandits, stifling them
***Calls for whole of society approach to confront challenges
The Chief Of Army Staff Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya has challenged the entire country to take more than a passing interest on issues of security so that together the collective effort will put an end to all forms of insecurity
He therefore advocated for a need to evolve a whole of society approach for the respective security challenges confronting the nation.
He spoke recently at an interactive session with the senate committee on Army chaired by Senator Ali Ndume.
According to him the enduring solution to the security challenges is a holistic assessment of the root causes of the issues however, he lamented that unfortunately there are challenges as to securing adequate buy in of all the stakeholders to come to the understanding that security is a whole of nations efforts.
This lack of buy in he said has limited the flow of information to promptly identify threats to deal decisively with them.
“There is therefore the need for sustained advocacy by the respective national institutions such as the senate committee on Army and the national assembly to further awaken the various stakeholders to their responsibilities.
The COAS indicated that current security situation across the nation remains fluid and requires that collective approach
“To this end the Nigerian army consider it expedient that enhance effort be targeted at identifying and addressing the root causes of the various security challenges across the country.
“It is equally important for the government to sustain efforts at improving the manpower challenges and equipment shortfalls in the Nigerian army while also improving the capacity of the primary responders in internal security.
“There is also the need to enhance ongoing measures to identify and track the sources of funding of insurgents, bandits and other criminal elements with a view to stifling the flow of funds.
He expressed the optimism that he has no doubt that the collective efforts of all Nigerians will be crowned with the required success.
Continuing he said, “In spite of the modest achievements it is evident that there are areas needing more interventions to enhance our operational actives.
“There is a need for additional manpower and force enablers as the Nigerian Army is far stretched beyond any other time in our history. “The plethora of security challenges imply that our troops are largely committed to one operation in one theater or the other with little respite for the culprits.
“It is increasingly becoming clear that a systematic and fast tracking of manpower strength is imperative too be able to maintain the tempo and adequately support the police.
“Similarly the employment of other force enablers as well as further development of the capacity of the primary security agencies responsible for intra security is imperative.”
In these security challenges confronting the nation he observed that absence of buy in of the various stakeholders remains a major setback as he reiterated the fact that Security remains a responsibility of every stakeholder which require their buy in for it to be effective.
“We have challenges really but we are working on the challenges. The Army along with other services, talking about the Nigerian Navy, the Nigerian Air Force, other security agencies and stakeholders are on it and I want to assure of our commitment and dedication to achieving the results for which we are set.
“The mandate given to us by the commander in chief of the armed forces. We are doing that. The challenges sometimes appear pervasive but they are not insurmountable otherwise many successes are being recorded.
“The only thing is that for every event probably you have seen 10, 15, 20 others have been averted, foiled or defeated.”
He said over the past months the Nigerian army made concerted effort at enhancing its operations across the country which are mostly in support of the Nigerian police in order to improve the general security environment.
“In spite of our modest achievements the security situation across the country remains fluid as the Nigerian Army continue to confront security threat scenarios many of which beg for far reaching efforts and tools other than military to sufficiently address them.
“It is therefore important to emphasize at this point that the enduring solution to a number of current challenges require a holistic assessment of their root causes and emplacing multidimensional interventions to address them.
“The Nigerian Army under my command remains ever willing ready to continue to improve our operations and to act decisively. We are therefore confident that the weeks ahead portend optimistic outcomes as we are buoyed by the assurances of the Present leadership and the support of the committees like yours in driving the activities of organs of government to accomplish ongoing operations”
He said they have made remarkable strides in the North east theater since the beginning of the year.
The offensive operations being carried out across the theater and in conjunction with the multinational joint tax force has stabilized situation in the region.
“Our troops have cleared and are dominating most of the hide outs in Timbuktu triangle, Sambisa Forest as well as other locations in Northern Borno.
“There have also been a lot of recoveries in terms of arms and ammunitions as well as various equipments from the terrorists.
“The operations were complemented by a well crafted non kinetic lines of efforts and other enabling activities which ensured a sustained surrender of bokoharam and ISWAP terrorists. Thus as at today over 51000of the terrorists and their families have so far surrendered.”
He said there multiple interventions in the theater in terms of the procurement and the induction of needed platforms, equipments and other logistics, number of theater nations, specific training for the troops as well as targeted welfare initiatives including the emplacement of the routine welfare to boost troops morale were also emplaced.
“All these efforts have contributed to the successes being recorded in the Northeast theater.
He expressed the optimism that by the end of the ongoing operation greater normalcy would have been returned to the Northeast leading to the return of more internally displaced person’s and restoration of civil authority across the area.
“Now armed banditry manifesting in the form of terrorism, cattle rustling and abduction for Ransome have become one of the main issues in the North West region.
“There were concerted efforts and interventions in Zamfara and Katsina States which were earlier identified as hotbeds for the criminals by the number of operations by 8 division Nigerian Army with the support of other services and agencies which helped to improve it’s overall presence with laudable successes.
He said the actions however led to a noticeable drift in bandits activities to some areas in Kaduna and Niger States.
“Furthermore the relocation of some elements of bokoharam and ISWAP terrorists including IED experts to the North West with the ongoing operations in the North East as well as economic gains further exercebated the threats in the region.
“This trans-boundary movement of the terrorist have unfortunately led to the surge in incidents recorded in Kaduna and Niger States including recent attack on the Abuja -Kaduna train service on 28th March 2022 as well as those on isolated villages particularly in Kachia, Zangon Kataf Local Government areas and others. “Expectedly efforts are ongoing with services and agencies to expand our operations to clear the terrorists from their hideouts and rescue the abductees.
“There are also ongoing efforts at improving synergy and cooperation with other services and security agencies for holistic and enduring interventions against criminals.
“In the North Central the security issue is a blend of banditry in Niger State and farmers/herders crises and ethnic clashes in plateau and Benue States. “These necessitated several interventions that have seen an improvement in the situation across the zone, although with some challenges especially in Niger.
“In Plateau and Benue States a deep combination of Kinetic and non kinetic efforts were driven by ‘Operation Safe Haven’ and ‘Operation Wild Stroke’ which has curtailed the farmers/herders crashes in Plateau, Benue and Nasarawa States, though one off incidences are still being recorded.
“On the other hand Niger State witnessed a surge in banditry activities particularly in the month of January and February in 2022 largely due to the southward movement of the criminals in operations in Zamfara and Katsina States
“These necessitated several interventions including the operationalization of a new army unit in Bida. The resultant improvement in the situation is being monitored even as greater stability is being envisaged in North Central in the weeks ahead.”
In the south west he said the security situation has remained largely calm with isolated cases of armed robbery and kidnapping in addition illegal oil bunkering activities continue to received the required attention. “Equally the activities of criminals around old Oyo National Park are being decisively dealt with.”
He said their contingency plans are undergoing the much needed reviews to support the police at the electioneering period kicks in with the gubernatorial election in Ekiti and Osun States scheduled for 18th June 2022 and 26th July 2022 respectively
“Consequently our formations are being resourced and efforts are ongoing in concert with other security agencies to insulate the zone from politically induced security problems. “Security threats in Southeast continue to revolve around the activities of the proscribed indigenous people of Biafra an eastern security network. In this regards intelligent driven operations have led to the arrest and neutralization of a special number of the criminals and domination of their hideouts and camps.
“In spite of the gains made the criminals have shown some resilience with IPOB and ESN trying on piece mill deployment of security agencies Although with very limited success.”
The COS observed that the criminals have also continued to invest in the development and deployment of IEDs with a number if such IEDs being recovered since the beginning the year.
“Nevertheless deliberate operations have continued to senate.leading to special recoveries and improvement in the security situation.”
For the south South geopolitical zone he said it has remained largely calm although with limited incidence of kidnapping cultism and militancy being the main security threat. “Significantly oil oil theft in the region continue to constitute severe economic losses to the nation and provides criminals with funds for their illegal enterprises.
“Accordingly the Nigerian army has stepped up offensive operations targeting oil thieves with significant results.
“The efforts have been complimented in some states of the region through an improved buy in of the local authorities against the menace of illegal oil bunkering.
“This has expectedly led to direct attacks on troops intended to dissuade troops from further anti illegal bunkering operations.
“The Nigerian army will continue to further deepen synergy with other security agencies in order to enhance the flow of intelligence on major oil thieves with a view to countering their actives. In respect of releases for the fiscal year”
Earlier the senate committee chairman Senator Ali Ndume said they invited the army to the interactive session because of rising insecurity
He said it is an opportunity to boost the confidence of the general public those information you will want to share with them because Nigerians have been looking forward to the interactive session due to the worrisome security situation.
He sited the escalated one recently
Starting with the event in the north east, ‘that is what you have been battling with for a decade now and then the recent daring attack on the train last two weeks that led to the death of about 8 or more people and the kidnap of unconfirmed number of people and unaccounted number of passengers
“The most recent one again is in the North west and also in the north central. What happened recently in Wase in Plateau and even now in the last 71 hours over 31 people have been killed in the South East.
South west is relatively calm.
“That is why we want as a committee oversigting the army to share or to get information about what you are doing about this and what is the level of your achievement and what level of confidence you will build on Nigerians
“The second one the issue of funding the committee has been crying out on your behalf.
“We want to know how far these funds have been released overhead and recurrent, what challenges and also we will go for oversight and see for ourselves the level of implementation or utilisation of the fund allocated. “Basically that is the reason why we invited you here today to have an interactive session so that we will know what we would do in order to support you as you continue to do that to achieve what you set out and to overcome the numerous challenges that the Nigerian Army is facing.”
He said the senate knows that most of the issues are internal which is more of policing but the army is now engaged in war and policing at the same time.
“We want to know the challenges and the expectations so that we can interact with other committees especially that of police and security services to overcome this worrisome situation
Okiro insists, State Police is not feasible under Nigeria’s current setting
***State govt can hardly pay workers salary
**may work only with the Canadian Model
The much talked about decentralisation of the Nigeria Police Force can not achieve its desired objective as the inherent factors that led to its failure in the past have not been addressed, Retired Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mike Okiro has indicated
Okiro spoke with journalists on the sideline of the 2023 Convention of the Old Seminarians Association of Nigeria (OSAN), hosted by the Clerk to the Senate, Mr. Chinedu Akubueze, in Abuja.
The former IGP explained that at the inception of the Nigerian police, authorities of the sub regional institutions had their own police separate from the ones being controlled by the central government.
According to him, the state police idea can not work due to paucity of funds at both the state and local government areas.
He wondered how the states and local government areas that cannot effectively pay the salaries of their workers would be able to fund their own police.
Okiro, however said the only way the state police could work was for Nigeria to adopt the Canadian model.
The Canadian model, according to him, would involved the states recruiting the police personnel who would be funded by the Federal Government.
He said, “The only way we can have state police in Nigeria is to adopt the Canadian model, where every region has its own police employed by the region and paid by the federal.
“For example, in Nigeria every governor wouldl employ their own police, equip them while they would be paid by the Federal Government.
“Before the advent of what we have now, we had ‘dandoka’, we had police in the West, we also had police in the East.
“Local governments had their Police, but because of the behaviour of the local police officers, during the time of former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon in 1971 or thereabout, he turned it to the Nigeria Police Force.
“I am opposed to the state police because of the benefit of hindsight, how they behaved in those days, unless you want to throw away the benefits of history”, he said.
The former IGP lamented that the police is going down the drain, confronted with so many problems.
He said, “There is no equipment, no manpower, no welfare. They are demoralized, and frustrated.
“We need to ginger the police to do something, by encouraging them”.
“I have equally said time without number, everything has advantages and disadvantages, merits and demerits.
“If you adopt state police, the state government that cannot pay teachers, nurses and doctors, can they pay the police?
“You cannot afford to owe police one month salary, insecurity will be at the highest level in that state. If the state governments can’t pay the civil servants, I wonder how they can pay the police.”
He appealed to the Federal Government to invest heavily on equipping and training of the police in order to tackle the current insecurity in the country.
Okiro said, “There is gross insecurity in the country. You know Nigeria is part of the world. Insecurity is a global issue, but every country sits down to plan and to devise methods to check insecurity.
“In Nigeria, the government is equally trying to check insecurity. You cannot get 100 per cent but you can be sure you have done your best and leave the rest to God.
“The government should ensure that security agencies are well equipped and trained. Police is short of manpower, they should recruit more people and give them equipment to solve the problem.
“You cannot solve the problem of insecurity with bare hand. We are in a modern, digitalised world.
“So, you fight insecurity with technology. The government should do something to ensure that security agencies are well equipped to confront these criminals, because the criminals go to the internet, they read. So, they are ahead of the security agencies.
“For you to succeed, the security agencies should be ahead of them and tackle them before they do what they want to do.”
The Clerk to the Senate in his welcome address, identified lack of patriotism among Nigerians as a major ill bedeviling the country.
Akubueze said, “The Nigerian society is bedeviled by self-imposed ills. occasioned by our lack of collective sense of patriotism which, ordinarily should emphasize love for the nation rather than undue recourse to ethno-religious cleavages and clannish leanings.
“Here in OSAN, we are set to chart a new course of national consciousness aimed at cementing the bonds that hold us together as Nigerians rather than the dissimilarities that tend to tear us apart.
“Our sense of fraternity is one that recognizes the fact that we are of diverse ethnic extractions, yet bonded together by a common heritage, a scenario that has helped in fostering love, camaraderie and collective sense of responsibility and purposefulness within our rank and file.
“Of course,we have no doubts whatsoever that OSAN is an Association whose future prosperity is guaranteed, a brotherhood of likeminded individuals whose members would, within the next few years, seize the opportunities open to them to advance their wellbeing as well as that of the larger Nigerian society.
“To actualize our dreams within a record time, all hands must be on deck. We must pull resources together, both human and material in order to create a prosperous and glorious future.”
Nabena asks Security agents to arrest Sheik Gumi over attack on Wike
***Says Niger Deltans are not inferior to Northerners in Nigeria
.Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Hon. Yekini Nabena, has charged security agencies to swing into and arrest a Kaduna based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, inciting the public against the minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Nyesom Wike.
The APC chieftain condemned what he called sense of entitlement by some ‘ethnic and religious bigots’ in the Northern part of Nigeria.
Nabena warned that no evil must befall the minister throughout his tenure, adding that Sheik Gumi and others like him will be held responsible by the Niger Delta people if anything goes wrong.
On Thursday, the Cleric had in a video sermon of over 14 minutes posted on his official Facebook page, labelled Wike as “Satan” for receiving the Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria in his office. The cleric in the sermon also asserted that President Tinubu would be stopped from serving for eight years.
Reacting to the development through a statement released to newsmen on Sunday in Abuja, the Bayelsa born APC chieftain said some Northerners’ sense of entitlement is not only dividing the Nation but making them to see Southerners as inferior to them in a country where everyone supposed to have equal rights.
Nabena said the people of Niger Delta and Southerners in general will no longer fold their arms while the likes of Sheik Gumi spit on their faces irrespective of political or religion beliefs.
According to the APC chieftain, No Nigerian is more a Nigerian than anybody in Nigeria.
He said: “My intervention in the recent controversial statement is not about the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike alone, it is about the right of the Niger Delta people and the Southerners in general. At this stage, we expect all the voices of reasoning to speak out because the sense of entitlement of the likes of Sheik Gumi is becoming more satanic.
“How can you justify the rationale behind some Northerners heading some positions that are naturally meant for the people of Niger Delta and the South? Up till date a Northerner is still the GMD of NNPCL.
“If religious and ethnic bigots like Gumi and others are saying a Southern Christian, especially from the oil rich Niger Delta, can not hold the positions of FCT Ministry and the Senate President, we demand explanations on what qualifies a North Muslim in the leadership of agencies like NIMASA, NNPCL, NPDC, NLNG, NPA, and so on”
While cautioning against “reckless public comments” that could lead to a more divided country, Nabena called on the presidency to urgently make a bold statement and reaffirm the right of any Nigerian to hold public office anywhere in Nigeria.
“I will call on the presidency to deliberately caution Sheik Gumi and his co-travellers against statement that is capable of causing disunity and encourage sense of entitlement.
“I will also call on the security agencies to take Gumi’s reckless but deliberate statement serious. Sheik Gumi should be arrested, questioned and prosecuted.
“Let it also be on record that we the Niger Delta sons and daughters will hold Sheik Gumi responsible if any evil befall Nyesom Wike throughout his days in office as FCT Minister,” Nabena wa
Gov Radda gives reasons why citizens should be allowed to bear arms
Governor Dikko Umaru Radda of Katsina State has urged the federal government to allow citizens to allow citizens to buy arms to protect themselves since bandits freely buy weapons such as AK-47 and RPG in the market illegally
He said governors should not be blamed for the security challenges bedevilling their states because they are chief security officers without the authority to command the military forces, the police and other security agencies to deal with security issues in their states.
Governor Radda asked the federal government to play a more critical role in the security of lives and property in the country adding that his administration had legally established a ‘community watch corps’ to deal with banditry in conjunction with the military.
The governor, at a media parley on Thursday in Abuja, said bandits are hardened criminals who must be eliminated in Katsina, stressing that his administration would not leave any stone unturned in ensuring they are exterminated.
He said some traditional rulers in the state are under investigation over their alleged “romance” with bandits, stressing that whoever is found to be a sponsor or ally of bandits would not be spared no matter how highly placed.
He said, “We governors are so-called chief security officers of our states, but we don’t have the authority to command the military, police or civil defense. They receive orders from above.
“In our efforts, we have come up with the intelligence unit within the Katsina Community Watch Corps. This intelligence unit, even the corps members don’t know them. The reason for setting it up is to check the excesses of the Watch Corps and also to gather information.
“There are some traditional rulers who have been identified, adding that they are already under scrutiny. So, we are not sparing anybody even commissioners in my regime, we are not going to spare anybody found to be involved in one criminal activity or the other.
“We are talking about the lives of over 10 million people not one single individual. No single individual is more important than 10 million people or the lives of an innocent person in the village. We are trying as much as possible to gather a lot of information together with the intelligence we are getting from the DSS so that we can build a network that we can arrest and prosecute any person found wanting.
“It is a double-edged sword. We cannot fold our arms and say we will not protect ourselves because we don’t have the sophisticated arms that these bandits have. We have the numbers, we have the zeal and the determination, and you should remember, if they are going for any outing, it is just like the way it was done in Borno through the Civilian JTF.
“They will be covered by the police and the military who are heavily armed. So, I think it is a concerted and joint effort. And I think gradually, we are working within what the law allows us to possess.
“We are driving towards that, and we are seeking reforms within the federal government in that regard. If a bandit can go to the market and buy AK-47, RPG, and all of those weapons, what of the people that want to protect themselves? They, too, should equally be allowed to do so. These people are holding it illegally, we are trying to hold it legally. Why can’t the government allow the people to hold this thing and equally confront the challenges?
“Negotiations with bandits is a no go area in my perspective but I said if I am at the point of advantage, if the bandits come out and say look, ‘we are dropping arms, let us sit down and talk’, we could reintegrate them back into the society.
“But I will not go begging bandits to come for negotiations. Let us deal with the situation. If they are weak, let them come out, let us negotiate, and we will reintegrate them back into society. They are our people, our brothers, but we cannot protect a criminal.”
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