Actionable Intelligence: Adopting the new Strategy for Ending Insecurity
By Mahmud Abdulsalam
Already, Nigeria is bedevilled with whatever adjective anyone chooses to describe insecurity. From the malady of armed banditry in the North West and Central, to the Boko Haram and the Islamic State of West Africa Province, ISWAP, insurgency, it has been tales of massacre, sorrow, death, anguish and frightening carnage.
The cankerworm of kidnapping for ransom, militancy, robbery, piracy, ritual killing and sundry other crimes, are things that have contributed to make Nigeria a nation that is everything, but safe, peaceful and secured.
So, when the ‘Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Annual Conference 2021′ kicked-off on Monday, many knew that the discussions of senior military officers at the Conference, will surely revolve around tackling insecurity.
Among the strategies the Nigerian military has been deploying to tackle crimes in the country, include launching military exercises and operations; and also, massively deploying troops to quell violent upheavals perpetrated by groups such as Boko Haram terrorists, the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and ISWAP fighters, among others, occasionally.
However, there is need for security agencies, especially the military to accord huge premium on harnessing the potentials of actionable intelligence, to swiftly nip in the bud and permanently end insecurity, President Muhammadu Buhari, thinks.
He is also of the opinion that addressing security challenges demands multi-stakeholders’ synergy, among the various security arms of the Nigerian military.
Intelligence gathering and synergy among security agencies, PMB, said have been described as major catalysts in winning the war against terrorism and other security challenges in the country.
The President spoke in Abuja while declaring open the ‘Army Chief 2021 Conference’, held at the Command Officers’ Mess 1, in Asokoro.
Buhari stated that actionable intelligence and synergy among security agencies is vital in the conduct and success of operations.
He charged the military to do more in information gathering to comprehensively defeat all forms of security challenges in the country.
The President, who was represented by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, acknowledged the successes so far achieved by Nigerian Army (NA) and other security agencies in the North East and other theatres of operations across the country.
He noted that the Army is a key element of national power and diplomacy.
President Buhari,who commended the COAS for his sterling and exemplary leadership of the NA, also expressed satisfaction in the progressive restructuring of the NA to a value oriented professional Army.
He added that the invigoration will enable the NA function more efficiently.
The President maintained that for democracy to thrive, there must be adequate security of lives and property.
He stated further, that his administration is doing its best to equip the Armed Forces to optimally perform its constitutional roles.
He charged the NA to remain apolitical and continue to operate within the framework of the principles of fundamental human rights and strict adherence to rules of engagement in its operations.
He assured the Armed Forces and all security agencies of adequate and prompt provision for their welfare and entitlements.
In his remarks at the conference, the Honorable Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd) represented by the Director, Army in the Ministry, Mr Sunday Attah, appreciated the President for his unflinching support for ongoing operations across the country, assuring that all resources will be judiciously utilized.
He expressed optimism that decisions taken during the conference will generate new strategies for enhancing security and assist in charting a better course for the NA in 2022.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya, stated that the conference is an annual event of the NA, in line with his vision to have a “Professional Nigerian Army, ready to accomplish all Assigned Mission, within a Joint Environment in Defence of Nigeria”.
General Yahaya pointed out that year 2021 was full of activities for the NA, adding that the NA was confronted with enormous security challenges across the country.
He vowed that the NA will not relent in its efforts to root out terrorism, banditry and other crimes in the country.
The COAS added that the conference will provide opportunity to evaluate efforts on ongoing operations, towards achieving overall national defence and security objectives and chart the way forward for better performance in the year 2022 and beyond.
The Nigerian military, and most especially, the Army’s commitment to bringing an end to insecurity is one that is clearly manifest, and indeed irrefutable.
Like Mr. President has canvassed, working with actionable intelligence and building synergy, should be sacrosanct for the military.
At a time military force seemed not to be yielding the ‘perfect result’ many will desire, as far as winning the counter-insurgency war is concerned, experimenting with actionable intelligence and robust collaboration among the Nigerian army, navy and air force, will not be a bad idea.
Mahmud Abdulsalam is Assistant Editor, PRNigeria