Prominent Security experts, intellectuals and stakeholders in the nation’s security architecture have commended the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Yusufu Buratai for initiating and empowering institutional mechanism to checkmate human rights abuse by the personnel of the Nigerian Army especially during internal security operations in different parts of the country.
The commendations were made at the three days Directorate of Army Public Relations Study Period held at the Auditorium of 1 Division Headquarters Kaduna.
Prof Toba Alabi of the Nigerian Defence Academy, in his paper titled “Developing a Viable Framework Against Human Rights Violations During Internal Security Operations in Nigeria, emphasised the necessity of the military to respect human rights and account for their actions in their day to day operations while on internal Security Operations.
He noted the importance of training of security personnel in the areas of protection of human rights and protection of civilians in conflict cannot be overemphasized.
His words, “To effectively address human rights violations, it is necessary to address the drivers or causes of conflict which made the military to come out in aid to civil authority. The need to reduce the level of involvement of the military in Internal security operations will help in addressing abuse of human rights by members of the Nigerian Army.
“For institutionalising mechanism to checkmate rights abuses by personnel of the service in the areas of rules of engagement, code of conduct, human rights desk and department of civil military affairs at the Divisional and Army Headquarters Abuja, the Nigerian Army and the COAS deserve a massive pat on the back” he said.
On his part, Professor Samaila Mande, the Dean, Post Graduate School of the National Open University of Nigeria, in his paper entitled “Information Operations: Galvanizing Citizens Support Towards Successful Military Operations” disclosed that the military should take information/media operations and counter narratives and de-radicalization modules serious to be able to effectively and strategically deal with terrorists propaganda machinery as well as communicate messages that could achieve the desired impact or douse tension during conflict or in emergency situations.
Professor Mande cited the example of the Nigerian Army Cyber Warfare Command and Nigerian Army Situation room as some of the commendable achievements of the Army especially during and after the 2019 General Elections.
He said this ensured that crisis that could have threatened or disturbed the nation was pro-actively thwarted or effectively dealt with.
He commended the Nigerian Army leadership for its foresight with the establishment of these two important commands for the peace and security of the nation.
Discussants at the study workshop included Brig Gen SI Musa Commandant, Nigerian Army School of Logistics (NASLS) and Commodre Kabiru Aliyu, Retired former Director of Naval Infornation.
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