COAS seeks streamlining of efforts in countering security threats

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By Sumaila Ogbaje

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt -Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, has stressed the need for the military, other security agencies, government and non-government actors to streamline efforts in countering all threats to national security.

Lagbaja, represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans (Army), Maj -Gen. Abdulsalami Ibrahim, made the call during the Army War College Nigeria Inter-Agency Seminar for Participants of Course 8/2024, on Thursday in Abuja.

The theme of the seminar is, ‘Consolidating Existing Relationship towards Effective Inter-Agency Collaboration in Addressing Multi-dimensional Security Threats in Nigeria.’

He said that the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous security environment require operational leadership that understood the changing dynamics.

According to him, the society is still faced with violent crimes and extremism that has led to radicalisation, terrorism, banditry, militancy and other criminal tendencies while traditional measures of countering these criminalities have been insufficient.

He therefore said it was necessary to streamline efforts by all actors and stakeholders to fully contain the security threats.

”For us to tackle the security challenges this nation is bedevilled with, the cooperation and coordination between relevant government actors is required.

”Additionally, dialogue and cooperation between government and non governmental actors is vital in preventing and countering terrorism and other forms of violence.

”As an armed force, we need to see the broader public, local communities and the private sector as partners and stakeholders in our collective efforts at countering the threats around us.

”They must no longer be viewed as passive but active objects of security and law enforcement activities. This we must achieve through streamlining our efforts for the collective goal of enhancing our national security.

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”Streamlining all initiatives for the country’s interests to security will be premised on effective partnership between all the actors,” he said.

The COAS also said that civil societies were important stakeholders that could help to create the space for constructive engagement between the state and its citizens, so as to foster trust and understanding as both take ownership of the strategies put in place to counter the collective threats.

Lagbaja added that partnership between the stakeholders would eliminate mistrust, conceptual misunderstandings and differences in understanding national security issues.

”It is with the understanding that no stakeholder or single actor by themselves can successfully counter the internal security challenges in the country.

”Accordingly, this seminar on the theme ‘consolidating existing relationship towards effective interagency cooperation in addressing multidimensional security threats in Nigeria’, could not have come at a better time.

”Aside from serving as a medium for appraising our collective efforts at securing Nigeria, the seminar will also afford us an opportunity to appraise our collective performances in the conduct of various ongoing joint and multi agency operations around the country,” he added.

The Commandant of the college, Maj.-Gen. Ishaya Maina, said that the seminar was part of the college’s course module for the participants drawn from the Army, Navy, and Air Force, as well as allied countries of Cameroon, Cordova, Liberia, DR Congo and Eswatini, among others.

He explained that the interagency cooperation module was designed to equip participants with the knowledge required to operate with government and non-governmental agencies.

He said the participants had been acquainted with the fundamentals of civil military affairs and legal considerations for their actions and inactions during operations.

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Maina added that the course had improved the knowledge of the participants on inter-agency cooperation and coordination, legal implications and competencies in joint operational environment.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, represented by Director of Defence Affairs, ONSA, Maj.-Gen. Peter Mallam, delivered the main paper on ‘Consolidating Existing Relationship towards Effective Inter-Agency Collaboration in Addressing Multi-dimensional Security Threats in Nigeria’.

Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo was among the panel of discussants. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Deborah Coker/Maharazu Ahmed

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