Defence Minister tasks security agencies on innovative solutions
Nigeria’s Minister of Defence, retired Major General Bashir Magashi has tasked security agencies to explore all avenues within their respective systems to come up with innovative ways of identifying and confronting the security challenges in the country.
The Defence Minister made this known while addressing participants at the Defence Advisers and Attachés Annual Conference and Maiden Retreat organized by the Defence Intelligence Agency in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
General Magashi advised them to take advantage of the opportunities of their positions to harness the potentials of the Defence Attaché System in order to effectively contribute to the country’s security efforts while urging the participants to evaluate, formulate and build strategic policies to strengthen the country’s security architecture.
According to him, the work of the Attachés is very important and they must continue to represent the armed forces, the Defence Ministry as well as support Nigeria’s Ambassadors in various countries to attain their goals.
“A look at the security challenges in Nigeria today reveals new dimensions with increasing agitations for secession. In the North East, attacks by Boko Haram Terrorists (BH) and the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) continue to pose serious security threats in Nigeria. In the North-West and North-Central Zones, the activities of armed bandits, armed herders/militia attacks and kidnappers are prevalent. The littoral states in the South-South region are plagued with illegal oil bunkering, piracy and militancy while the South-East is challenged with secessionist activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). The South-West region is equally faced with secessionist inclination driven by ethnic agitators as well as occasional tension between herders and farmers. Distinguishing the threats Nigeria is currently facing and understanding their socio-geographic context is pivotal for adapting appropriate and lasting counter-measures
“There is no doubt that the Defence Advisers/Attachés system has crucial roles to play in this regard by forging understanding and cooperation with the security and defence architectures in their respective countries of accreditation. It is for this reason that | find the theme of the 2021 Defence Advisers/Attachés Annual Conference which is ‘Advancing Counterterrorism Efforts through Enhanced Inter-Agency Cooperation: A Whole of Government Approach’ as timely and very apt. This Conference provides participants with the opportunity to appraise the shared vision of stemming the tide of insecurity. through the integrated efforts of all government entities which is the objective of the whole of government approach. It is therefore imperative that you take advantage of the opportunities provided by your vantage positions to harness the potentials of the Defence Attaché System in order to effectively contribute to the country’s security efforts.”
He pointed out that aside from the security challenges the country faces, food security has been adversely affected by the attendant rise in the prices of food stuff across the country which also endangers national security and economic growth.
According to the National Security Adviser, Retired Major General Babagana Mongonu, who was represented by the Principal General Staff officer to National Security Adviser, Major General Abubakar Ndalulo, the federal government acknowledges the role of all stakeholders and citizens in tackling security challenges and continue to emphasize the importance of collaborations among all security agencies in order to attain peace in Nigeria.
“I have always considered this occasion to be very vital, because of premium Nigeria, just like other progressive economies, places on the indispensable contributions of her envoys. Meanwhile, we are all aware that Defence Attaches and Advisers are valuable envoys. The concept of the Defence Attaché System, which emerged in the Seventeenth Century enables countries to establish Defence representation with their allies. This gives the Attaches a key role in National Defence Diplomacy.“
The Chief of Defence Intelligence, Major General Samuel Adebayo stated that the annual event affords the Agency an opportunity to review and
Identified challenges, and modalities to tackling security challenges in the country.
“This conference comes at a time when the nation is facing unusual daunting security challenges characterised by a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment. That is why the theme for this year’s Conference “Advancing Counterterrorism Efforts through Enhanced Inter-Agency Cooperation: A Whole of Government Approach” was carefully chosen. This theme will undoubtedly guide our deliberations and contributions to the current efforts of the Federal Government towards attaining a whole of government approach in our counter-terrorism strategy and create an atmosphere for sustainable national security and development
“It is heart-warming to note that the Armed Forces of Nigeria has made tremendous progress at confronting Nigeria’s security challenges. This is evident from the massive surrendering of Boko Haram fighters in their thousands while the conflict remains confined to the Sambisa Forest and the fringes of the Lake Chad Basin. Also, intensified operations against armed bandits in the North West and North Central regions are yielding desired results. The fluid nature of the threats posed by these enemies of the Nigerian State has once again reinforced the need for collaborative efforts, be it government to government, within the security Services and even through foreign diplomats and Das,” said the CDI
While delivering goodwill message to the participants at the conference, the Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) retired Brigadier General Buba Marwa has commended the armed forces for gallantry towards bringing security back to Nigeria as well as the efforts of the personnel of the agency in tackling drug smuggling into the country.
The NDLEA boss stated that the scourge of drug use in Nigeria is visible in the criminalities that are being witnessed in the country which calls for further collaborative efforts between all the security agencies.
He, therefore, urged the participants to address the issues on ground squarely in the course of the week-long conference.
Also present at the conference were the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya, representatives of the National Security Adviser, Chief of Army Naval Staff, other Principal Officers amongst others.