Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd) has challenged security agencies in the country to rise up to the task of containing the emerging security threats bedeviling the country saying they must explore all avenues within their respective systems to develop new ways of identifying and confronting the challenges bothering us as a nation.
Speaking at the 2019 Defence Attaches conference in Abuja, the minister said, “A look at the security challenges bedeviling Nigeria today reveals a new dimension from what it used to be. Beyond the insurgency in the North East, other contemporary security threats ranging from kidnapping, cattle rustling, farmers/headers clashes and associated banditry have continued to threaten the peace and security of the nation.
“This implies that various security agencies in the country must continue to collaborate in tackling these challenges. It also means that the security agencies must explore all avenues within their respective systems to develop new ways of identifying and confronting the challenges bothering us as a nation.
“Accordingly, this underscores the need for increased coordination, cooperation, collaboration and synergy among security agencies in order to create an enabling environment for economic growth and development as well as the preservation of our democracy.
“There is no doubt that the Defence Advisers/Attaches system plays crucial roles in confronting Nigeria’s security challenges in furtherance of national development.
“It is for this reason that I find the theme of the 2019 Defence Advisers/Attaches Annual Conference which is Enhancing Inter Agency Collaboration in Response to Current and Anticipated Threats in Nigeria’s Security Environment: Role of the Defence Attaché System as timely and very apt.
“It is therefore imperative that you take advantage of the opportunity provided to harness the potentials of the Defence Attaché System in order to effectively contribute to the country’s security efforts.
“The concept of Defence Attaché has evolved overtime and as at today, we cover over 90 countries and 4 international organizations. The scope of your responsibilities has also increased from mere liaison with friendly nations to being the progenitors of contemporary defence diplomacy.
“No doubt, many countries including Nigeria have continued to devise new strategies for improving defence and security with a view to coping with the ever evolving security challenges. We must therefore strive to improve our processes and uphold the values of our great country, Nigeria”.
Chief of Defence Intelligence, Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Sani Usman in his address, disclosed that the Defence Intelligence Agency has crafted several Memoranda of Understanding with relevant partners in Nigeria and across the world to increase ‘our’ intelligence sharing, capacity building, visibility on anticipated threats and a better understanding of the global security landscape.
“These agreements have also allowed Nigeria unprecedented access to information, cooperation and freedom of action in our region. All these efforts will collectively allow us serve our country better with the right intelligence at the right time”, he said.
“Similarly, the Agency has undergone a ‘Smart’ re-organization with senior staff moved into designated intelligence specialties in line with their core competencies”.
He noted that the move is aimed at better productivity, the CDI said, “This action is already yielding expected dividends.
“My focus in the coming days is to bring this collective of values into action. This is where our esteemed Defence Attaches come into play.
He continued, “Given the threat spectrum that we face, ranging from terrorism to transnational crimes, violent attacks and armed banditry, armed robbery and kidnapping, blackmail and extortion, cyber-crimes to fraud, it should be obvious that no single entity will be able to successfully prevent, deter or decimate these threats without the cooperation of other services and the public.
“Our future success is hinged on bringing all our collective effort to bear on securing our people and prosperity through increased interagency collaboration and cooperation at the strategic, operational and tactical levels.
“This conference affirms our commitment to this laudable initiative. You will be required to work on further developing our relationships with our foreign partners, and ensuring the protection of Nigeria’s interests as well as Nigerian citizens and their assets in your designated areas of responsibility.
AVM Usman said, “You must also be keen on political, security and economic developments that could have direct or indirect consequences on Nigeria. Given that Nigeria is gifted with ‘technologically savvy youths’, you must also emphasize on disruptive technological trends, especially those that could be misused, and could have profound security or economic consequences on the nation.
“The Agency has created a new task response paradigm which you must work within, to ensure speedy intelligence to action loop. We are also working to solve most of the operational challenges you face so as to elevate your contributions to the attainment of our objectives..
“The desired outcome is a safe, secure and prosperous country achieved through a fusion of national capacities and capabilities. To achieve this, we must step out of our comfort zones and extend our effort into realms beyond our present envelop.
“It matters profoundly to our armed forces that that we provide top quality intelligence to enable quick and decisive decision making, leading to desirable results. We need to also understand what the consequences of failure to act would be”.
While expressing gratitude the President Muhammad Buhari for his immense support to the Defence Intelligence Agency and its programmes, the CDI said, “We most sincerely express our profound appreciation to Mr. President for assenting to the DIA Civilian Pension Act.
“Our deep gratitude also goes to the National Assembly, the Ministry of Defence, the Chief of Defence Staff and Service Chiefs for incredible support and assurances.”
Present at the occasion were the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin, Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen TY Butatai, rep of Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral BEE Ibe-Now, Rep of Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Bali and Commandant, National Defence College, Rear Admiral Makanjuola.
Past Chiefs of Defence Intelligence who graced the occasion include Vice Admiral Joseph Ajayi (rtd), Major General Mohammed Said (rtd), Major Gen Haladu Giwa (rtd), Rear Admiral Okoi (rtd), AVM Monday Morgan (rtd), Major Gen SY Audu (rtd) and Brigadier Gen Halilu (rtd).
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