DEFEAT OF BOKO HARAM TERRORISM VERY NEAR – Defence Minister.
***Declares 2015 Defence Advisers/Attaches’ conference open
Minister of Defence, Monsur Mohammed Dan-Ali yesterday declared that the defeat of Boko Haram is at hand noting that the bigger picture of the impending defeat of the terrorist group is the restoration the legendary capability of the Nigerian military that has vaulted Nigeria to the top of global peacekeeping nations.
Speaking while declaring open the 2015 Defence Adviser/Attaché’s conference with theme ‘Enhancing the Defence Attaché’s System towards Sustainable National Security in Nigeria’, the minister explained that “the sharp turnaround in the war against Boko Haram, which had hitherto seen the terrorists gaining territories and striking at times and places of their choice is also an indication of what a nation can achieve under a committed and sincere leadership”.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has made great strides by focusing attention on tackling the underlying causes of the insurgency rather than just its symptoms by re-energizing the military and relocating the military high command to the North East which is the epicenter” he said.
Recalling the efforts of the President to revive the government’s campaign against Boko Haram which has resulted in the Nigerian Army reclaiming territory from the extremist group, the minister said, “Some of the immediate benefits of the President’s efforts and trips include the proposed $2.1billion fund from the World Bank for the re-development of the Boko Haram battered North East.
“Others are the $5billion from US investors in Nigeria’s agricultural sector; $1.5billion in the health sector and another $5billion investment in the country’s power sector” he said adding that, “The government is determined to make substantial investments in the base of the armed forces such as personnel and communication equipment which is key to its operations”.
To the Defence Advisers, the minister posed the following questions, “Have we considered and appreciated the new realities of the 21st century or do we still believe that the world should be run in the same old way as the 19th century or the early part of the 20th century?
“Do we advocate a new concept for security that stands for common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, or do we try to achieve our own absolute security at the expense of others?
“Do we work together to build broad based partnership that will enable us to effectively confront the local and global issues for common interest, or do we still keep a narrow focus on cold war type of alliances that actually restrict vision, reduce the choices and render the world more divided and less secure?
Earlier, Chief of Defence Intelligence, Air Vice Marshal Monday Riku Morgan noted that one of the tasks of the DIA and the Defence Attaché system is to enable our armed forces and the entire national security system to function within the nation’s environment.
“Without the appropriate economic, sociological, technological, and alliance comprehension, our military forces cannot be equipped, cannot function, and cannot succeed. These trends in the wider world dictate whether we will have allies or lose them; whether we have markets for our energy and other products and whether transnational ideological trendswill infect our own society”.
Continuing AVM Morgan said, “We have already embarked upon a significant programme of cooperation in military operations and intelligence with our multi-national Joint Task Force coalition of which Niger, Cameroon, Chad and Benin Republic are members, with support of out of continent allies”.
“As a provider of internal and external defence intelligence for defence planners, the agency has deployed technology in intelligence gathering and further evolved a sustainable psychological operations mechanism for the armed forces to address and compliment the counter insurgency operations in the North East” he said.
“It has similarly embarked on de-radicalization, re-integration and rehabilitation programme dubbed Operation safe Corridor in the North East” the CDI added.