By SUMAILA OGBAJE
ABUJA- The National Security Adviser (NSA), retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, says Nigeria will surmount the challenges of terrorism in the nearest future given the successes so far recorded by the military.
Monguno said this at the opening of Non-kinetic Coordination Course organised by the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) in collaboration with Peace Building Development Consult on Wednesday in Abuja.
He was represented by retired Rear Adm. Yaminu Musa, Coordinator, National Counter-Terrorism Centre, Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA).
He said that aside the kinetic efforts of the military, the Federal Government had put measures in place using all of government approach to tackle the menace of terrorism in the country.
Monguno said that defeating the prevailing security threats required effective coordination or collaborative efforts of the nation’s armed forces and other security agencies.
He said that proffering analytic solution towards enhancing the national responses to emerging security threat to the country had become a key guiding principles with which to ensure national development.
According to him, from our experiences as a nation in combating terrorism, we have come to realise that kinetic means alone is not sufficient to defeat the threat.
“What this threat therefore demand is synergy of effort involving stakeholders across governments and across the society that includes citizens which is what we refer to as whole-of-government and whole-of-societal approaches to ensure national security.
“The splitting of Boko Haram into Islamist States West Africa Province and the reemergence of Ansaru group created additional challenges for Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin countries.
“Nonetheless the less the comprehensive approach being employed our counter-terrorism effort has continued to significantly degrade the threat resulting in the mass surrender of terrorists and sympathisers in the North Eastern part of the country,” he said.
The NSA added that Transnational Organised Crimes such as illicit financial flow, money laundering and proliferation of small arms and light weapons amongst others had continued to create security challenges in the country.
He said that while illicit financial flows had linkages to terrorism and other transnational organised crime, the proliferation of small arms posed a major challenge facilitated by porosity of Nigeria’s borders.
He said that ONSA had taken several measures to tackle the threats of insecurity vis different approaches and strategies.
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor, in his lecture titled, “Understanding Non-kinetic Operations and Capabilities for Irregular Warfare”, said the armed forces had achieved a lot through non-kinetic means in combating terrorism.
Irabor, who was represented by the Director of Operations, Defence Headquarters, AVM Bashir Mamman, said that military force alone was not a sufficient panacea to ending violent agitations and extremism.
He added that governments often utilised soft power or non-kinetic approaches amongst other means to resolve conflicts.
According to him, non-kinetic operation, therefore, seeks to counter ideology of violence and relies on utilisation of non-military methods to achieve set objectives and by extension, consolidate peace building and security.
Irabor recommended that a review of the National Counter Terrorism Strategy (NACTEST) was needed to ensure that actions at all levels of operations were in accordance with the information strategy.
He also recommended inclusion of non-kinetic operations doctrine in pre-deployment training as well as emplacement of planned maintenance of Infrastructure and road network in operation areas.
The Director-General of NIPSS, Prof. Ayo Omotayo, said that the of strategy of kinetic and non-kinetic had to be shuffled and improved upon.
Omotayo said the workshop was organised to find ways towards discussing the ever changing strategies of war and conflicts and the need to apply technology, psychology and communication in the art of warfare.
He said the course emphasised the need for proper capacity for decision makers, both military and civilian to work together towards achieving the national goal.
He said that the workshop was borne out of the fact that the nation had been using the kinetic approach to solving some of the security problems, adding that it was necessary to look at alternative approaches.
“We believe that at the end of this engagement, we will finally be able to come up with the essence of kinetic or non-kinetic approaches, and then sell it to the security agencies as an alternative to kinetic approaches.
“These approaches have been tried as well, and they have worked so we believe that Nigeria should not fail to explore other means of solving national security problems.
“The participants are drawn from all walks of Nigerian life and from all sectors, from the military, the customs, immigration and other agencies that engage with issues of national security,” he said. (NAN)