The National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (retd.), has stated that beyond the pandemic and climate change, terrorism remains the greatest threat to human existence.
He pointed that to deal decisively with the complex nature of terrorism and other transnational organised crimes, the international community must see the threat of terrorism to a particular country as a threat to global peace and security.
Gen Monguno stated this on Monday at the ongoing Second United Nations High-Level Conference of Heads of Counter-Terrorism Agencies of members states, convened by the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, at the UN Headquarters in New York.
He said terrorism has continued to manifest itself as a vicious and relentless global threat, recognising no border, nationality and all religions; noting that it has become a contemporary weapon of violence for non-state actors in this era of globalisation.
Mongonu said, “I can say with total conviction that apart from pandemics, natural disasters and the climate itself, today the greatest threat to the existence of human race is the global scourge of terrorism”.
Monguno added that preventing terrorist attacks, safeguarding borders, empowering national police, improving the criminal justice system, curbing illicit financial flows as well as hurting the abuse of drugs and hard substances remain extremely daunting challenges for most nations, including Nigeria in addressing the scourge of terrorism.
His words, “The fallout of activities associated with jihadist and other forms of terror have collectively heightened insecurity in the greater part of the African continent with serious economic, social and political implications for its people.
“In the North-Eastern part of Nigeria, the activities of Boko Haram terrorists and the so-called the Islamic State West Africa Province with known affiliation to other international terror networks such as Daesh and Al-Qaeda have continued to undermine the security and livelihoods of the whole of the people, while at the same time overlapping into neighbouring countries of the Lake Chad Basin”
Over a million persons have been internally displaced in communities in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states. While over seven million remain in need of humanitarian assistance in Northeastern Nigeria.
Mongonu opined that terror groups have leveraged social media to propagate their ideologies, recruit vulnerable youths, radicalise them and instil fear in the target communities, as well as deflate the morale of defence and security forces.
He reiterated that the terrorists tend to portray the government as incapable of guaranteeing the protection and well-being of the population.
Monguno stated that the Nigerian Government under the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) has continued to confront these challenges by establishing new structures and national institutions and empowering them.
He pointed out that the Federal Government has improved the coordination of humanitarian support for Non-Government Organisations by creating the Ministry of Humanitarians Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
Accoding to him part of these efforts, include the establishment of the National Commission of the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons as well as the National Commission for the Coordination of Cyber Security.
The NSA disclosed that the Government was empowering the National Financial Intelligence Unit to trace the sources of funding of terrorist organizations.
Furthermore, Monguno said the President’s funding commitment to the first regional organisation for countering insecurity, the Multinational Joint Task Force, has continued to yield results, defusing tensions and curbing the activities of Boko Haram and ISWAP within the fringes of the Lake Chad Basin.
He expressed President Buhari’s commitment to working with all nations, not only those in the sub-region and the African continent but the entire international community.
He emphasized that Nigeria is committed to working within the confines of legitimacy and legality in dealing with the multiple challenges of insecurity in the country without hurting innocent people, as well as abiding by the international standards of human rights.