• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Nigerians must take ownership of security challenges, says Chief of Defence Staff

Nigerians must take ownership of security challenges, says Chief of Defence Staff

Christopher Musa, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), has emphasised the need for Nigerians to take ownership of the country’s ongoing security issues.

In a recent Channel Television Town Hall on Security, he highlighted the challenges posed by asymmetric warfare, a modern and complex form of conflict driven by ideology rather than conventional military tactics.

“Asymmetric warfare is different from conventional warfare, and no country should allow it to commence because it is difficult to eradicate,” Musa stated.

He underscored the persistent nature of this type of conflict, noting that it demands a comprehensive approach that involves both military efforts and good governance.

Drawing on his experience as the former theatre commander of Operation Hadin Kai, Musa shared progress in the fight against insurgency.

“By the time I left, over 75,000 insurgents had surrendered. Now, that number has increased to over 120,000, showing that we are succeeding,” he said.

However, he also acknowledged the significant challenges that remain, particularly in areas lacking infrastructure, which hinder effective military operations.

Musa stressed the importance of citizen involvement and good governance in combating insecurity. “We need the buy-in of the citizens. Efforts are being made, and over the past year, things have greatly improved.

Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) law is a step in the right direction but not enough,” he explained.

He also pointed out the vastness of the Sambisa Forest, comparing its size to a European country, and the difficulties in maintaining control over such large areas.

Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) is the state-run defense corporation of Nigeria and operated by the Nigerian Armed Forces. It is responsible for the production of defense equipment and civilian products.

Border management was identified as a critical area needing improvement.

Musa called for better mobilization of the populace to support the fight against insecurity and urged for leaders committed to the nation’s growth and development.

“Some of the security challenges we face are political, economic, and social. Every law we make must consider our unique context,” he added.

On the topic of deradicalization, Musa affirmed its effectiveness due to collaboration with state governments.

He detailed the process, explaining that surrendered individuals are first disarmed and profiled by the Directorate of State Services (DSS) before being taken to camps. “Not all of them are combatants; some are forced labourers,” he clarified.

Musa’s remarks highlighted the multifaceted approach required to address Nigeria’s security challenges, emphasizing the roles of governance, community involvement, and strategic military operations.