As the Presidency relocates to rejigging the country’s security architecture with a view to attending to the wave of insecurity, a former bulk leader of the Senate and Chairman of its Committee on Army, Mohammed Ali Ndume, has actually stated that bringing permanent end to insurgency in the Northeast requires further steps, in addition to replacing the service chiefs.
In this interview with AZIMAZI MOMOH JIMOH in Abuja, Ndume noted correct coordination amongst security companies, rigorous guidance of the service chiefs, prompt release of funds for the military, among others, as a few of the issues that must be urgently resolved.
– ‘NSA Should Coordinate Security Agencies, Not President’s Chief Of Staff’
‘ As chairman of Senate Committee on Army, what hopes are there for a quick end to insecurity, especially insurgency and banditry, especially with the appointment of new service chiefs?
The visit of new service chiefs is a welcome advancement. That goes to reveal that President Muhammadu Buhari is keeping to his words.
He assured to rejig the security apparatus when he made his brand-new year broadcast and ensured Nigerians that the war against revolt and other types of criminality that have actually been disrupting the nation will be correctly resolved. What he just did belongs to the implementation of his promise.
It is simply a change of guards, but the good thing about it is that the brand-new military chiefs are not only certified, however they also have the field and functional experience.
The brand-new Chief of Defence Personnel (CDS), Maj-Gen. Lucky Irabor, is well known to me; he is a gallant, smart, simple and carrying out officer. It was during his tenure that he updated the army-civilian relationship to the next level.
The Chief of Army Personnel (COAS), Maj-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, was likewise a theater leader at one time, despite the fact that it was for an extremely brief time. He understands the terrain extremely well and he has the experience.
The Chief of Air Personnel (CAS), Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Amao, was likewise at the theatre at a time and was deputy commandant of the Operation Lafiya Dole.
The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Rear Admiral Awwal Gambo, is also not brand-new to eliminating revolt.
We are positive that the team, which is extremely familiar with the insurgency problems, will carry out and Nigerians would breathe freely.
The Senate had on several occasions at plenary passed resolutions urging the President to change the service chiefs, and now the change has been effected. Do you think this is this sufficient and does that fix the issue?
No! That is not all! Some efforts have been put in location and more efforts are still being made.
A new military hardware has begun coming in. Twenty-three fighter helicopters have actually begun can be found in and we are expecting the arrival of the Tucano this year.
The budget of the armed forces has actually improved so much.
I believe that if the new service chiefs are provided what they require to carry out the war, they would deal with insurgency, banditry and all types of criminality.
What about the issue of absence of team effort amongst the security firms? What do you believe should be done to enthrone appropriate coordination in the fight against insecurity?
Personally, I would recommend that the workplace of the National Security Consultant (NSA) be enhanced to carry out that job. The NSA must keep an eye on and coordinate the activities of security agencies for the President and report to the President on everyday or weekly basis.
I believe that the war versus insecurity could be brought to an end within six months if the present service chiefs are given what they required.
Also, there should be due date for shipment. There should be a work plan for revolt and work plan for the banditry. The President needs to ask the service chiefs to provide him the time within which they would end the insurgency and the time provided would determine their tenure. If they do not carry out, federal government must not waste time in replacing them.
The war might be brought to an end prior to the raining season starts. the start of the raining season needs to be the target for the issue of insurgency, specifically in the Northeast.
There have been concerns about the efficiency of the militaries, particularly in terms of intelligence event.
How do you believe this can be improved upon?
No! Intelligence event is not the issue; the major issue is the lack of synergy among the security forces.
The concept of the service chiefs reporting to the President’s Chief of Personnel is wrong. It is completely out of location, since we have a senior person in the military hierarchy that ought to do the work.
The role of coordination and supervision of security issues in this country should be that of the NSA. The minister of Defence, who is a retired general, ought to equally monitor them.
How do you think this can be accomplished?
The President must not deal straight with the service chiefs, because they will tell him what he wants to hear. But the NSA would be able to ask questions and put them to more jobs.
There needs to be a scenario space in the workplace of the NSA where reports of what is happening in the operations would be gotten on daily basis. There must be work strategy too to be brought by all the service chiefs. At the minute, everybody is doing what they like.
Given that their budget has actually been enhanced, the performance needs to enhance too. The NSA should coordinate or monitor their activities.
Typically speaking, as a lawmaker who has been representing Borno South, the hotbed of revolt, for over years, what do you believe can completely put an end to this insurgency?
Let me be sincere with you. Anti- revolt operations in the Northeast will not be successful without the cooperation of Nigerians.
The security companies must relate with governors of affected states.
The Army is now coming in with 8, 000 brand-new employees. The security attire must be effectively equipped to deal with the problem of banditry in most states of the nation.
As I stated, the workplace of the NSA, not Chief of Staff to the President, need to collaborate the service chiefs. There should likewise be synergy amongst the security agencies and armed forces. And they should aim to get and use civil intelligence too.
How to bring irreversible end to insurgency in Northeast, by Ndume
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