Defence Minister Major General Salihi Magashi (rtd) on Monday warned of the critical security threats Nigeria was faced with .
The minister spoke at a National Defence and Security Summit organized by the Defence Headquarters with the theme “Promoting Kinetic Operations as a Major Plank for Counter-Terrorism and Counter-Insurgency in Nigeria.”
According to him, the security challenges require the support and collaboration of the civilian populace and critical stakeholders in the national task of securing the country.
“We are in a critical situation that requires the understanding, buy-in, support and collaboration of important stakeholders and key players in this strategic option and national task.
“This is important to minimize distractions and maximize civil support in order to facilitate operational success and mission outcomes.”
Magashi stated that the summit was timely as it was coming at a sobering time in the life of the nation.
“A time, when merchants of violence are threatening to tear the very foundations of our nation; a time when diverse manifestations of security threats dot the landscape and impact individuals, communities and almost all sub-national entities in disconcerting ways; a time when fear and uncertainty pervades the land; and a time when global indicators of national insecurity give room for serious concern
“Physical insecurity in Nigeria expectedly has both forward and backward linkages to different shades and forms of national security. Indeed, it is linked to political instability, economic under-development and social inequalities. Others are food insecurity and cumulative environmental degradation. These indicate the multi-dimensional nature of national insecurity.”
He, however, said that to arrest the ugly development, the Federal Government had taken a series of measures that were already paying off.
He said : “In view of these realities, the Federal Government of Nigeria has over the years applied a multi-lateral approach with our contiguous neighbours and multi-dimensional efforts domestically. In Southern Nigeria, the security approach includes, but not limited to: the convening of various stakeholder dialogues in the Niger Delta; mounting of Single-Service, Joint and Special Task Forces; establishment of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC); establishment of the Ministry of Niger Delta; declaration of the Presidential Amnesty Programme for repentant Niger Delta militants; proscription of the Independent Peoples of Biafra (IPOB); and the establishment of the Multinational Maritime Coordination Centre Zone E in the Gulf of Guinea.
“In Northern Nigeria, the security instruments applied include, but also not limited to: the mounting of different Single Service, Joint and Special Task Forces such as Operations Lafiya Dole, Safe Haven and Hadarin Daji; the mounting of the Multi-national Joint Task Force (MNJTF) with neighbouring nations and operational collaboration with Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF).
“Other areas of intervention are the establishment of the Presidential Committee on the North-East Initiative on humanitarian interventions, transformational and development efforts; the establishment of the North East Development Commission as well as strategic and operational collaboration with the Safe Schools Initiative; a global coalition to protect schools. These efforts have been backed by enormous resource provisions through budgetary appropriations and special interventions.
“I wish to state with a sense of responsibility and without any exaggeration that the results of these efforts have been mixed.
“Although the territories of the Niger Delta have recorded relative peace in recent times, there are manifest threats in the littorals and the prognosis shows potential threats of resurgent militancy. In all other areas, there are causes for serious national security concerns, ranging from terrorism, insurgency, farmers/herders conflicts, ethno/religious conflicts and lately kidnapping and banditry
“The Federal Government has inalienable responsibilities to provide security to the people and territories of Nigeria and would not shirk these responsibilities.
“The Federal Government is therefore single-mindedly committed to the sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity and security of the nation. We will therefore leave no stone unturned to deliver on these national aspirations and values.
“Admittedly, the presidential directive to the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies underscores the use of all the instruments of power to stabilize the security situation in the nation and provide good governance as well as promote peace, stability and development. The focuse and objective use of kinetic operations therefore becomes very obvious.
“The Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies in league with strategic Ministries Departments and Agencies are critical to this security initiative. It is in this light that I consider this National Defence and Security Summit organized by the DHQ as both apt and timely.”
Meanwhile, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, said that there was no cause for concern as the Armed Forces of Nigeria under his leadership was making efforts to restore sanity in all the nooks and crannies of the country as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to him, “it is no longer news that the nation experiences a wide range of national security threats including terrorism, insurgency, farmers/herders conflict, ethnoreligious conflicts, kidnapping and banditry, These threats pose immediate and present danger to the corporate existence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity, stability and sustainable development of the nation.
“Consequently, the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Force of Nigeria (AFN), President Muhammadu Buhari has given a clear mandate for action. I am sure not a few of our guests and participants at this summit will be wondering why the DHQ is organizing this summit rather than overseeing operations at the different theatres.
“First and foremost, let me state clearly that as a result of the presidential directive the Armed Forces of Nigeria is already seized with actions to immediately stabilize the situation.
“The specific objectives of the summit are to create functional awareness of the rationale for the kinetic efforts; promote buy-in and support of crucial stakeholders in the polity, promote viable Civil-Military Reasons (CMR) structures in support of the kinetic effort.”
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Obaseki Accepts Deputy Governor Shuaibu’s Apologies
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has accepted the public apologies made by his deputy, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, noting that as a person of faith, he was under obligation to accept the apologies.
In a letter titled, “Re: Public Apology By The Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu,” the governor said in good faith, he trusted that the public apologies as expressed by Shaibu were genuine and followed by contrite steps to improve his conflict resolution skills.
The letter reads: “I have noted the public apology made by the Deputy Governor of Edo State, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu. This apology followed an aberrant behaviour that contradicts what the people of Edo State stand for.
“To name a few, the Deputy Governor needlessly filed unfounded petitions in the Nigerian courts restraining me, the State House of Assembly and Security agencies from a non-existent impeachment process, followed by repeated breaches of protocol; unwarranted and unprovoked attacks in the media on my person and the State Government. The media frenzy as a result of the above and more, provided an impression of crises that has been precarious and distasteful to Edo people in the State and across the world.
“Although these unwarranted provocations caused me severe personal discomfort, as a person of faith, I am under obligation to accept this apology because as they say, “to err is human, to forgive is divine.”
Obaseki further noted, “In good faith, I trust that the public apology as expressed by the Deputy Governor is genuine and followed by contrite steps to improve his conflict resolution skills. I also enjoin the Deputy Governor to guide his proxies to act in accordance with his piety.”
He added, “It is my sincere hope and that of my other colleagues in government and all well-meaning Edo people, that these rhetorics will be put to an end forthwith to enable this administration finish strong and deliver the dividends of democracy to the greatest number of Edo people over this final twelve (12) months.”
Return Of Amosun’s Loyalists: Abiodun Displayed Exemplary Political Maturity – Group
A youth group within the All Progressives Congress (APC), APC Progressive Front, has commended Governor Dapo Abiodun for what it termed an exemplary attribute of political maturity he displayed over the weekend.
It would be recalled that hundreds of APC members, loyal to ex-governor Ibikunle Amosun, across all the 20 local governments in the State, led by the one-time Chairman of the party, Chief Derin Adebiyi, were on Friday received back to the mainstream of the party by Abiodun, alongside the Chairman of APC in the State, Chief Yemi Sanusi, and other party bigwigs.
In a statement signed on Sunday by its coordinator, Rasheed Sanusi, and made available to newsmen in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, the group lauded the leadership capacity displayed by the governor, saying it was unprecedented in the political space of the state
According to the statement, the governor has proved his capacity as a leading figure in progressive politics beyond every reasonable doubt, adding that it is now incumbent on the returnees to reciprocate the gesture and prove their loyalty to the party.
It opined that the action of the governor has given new hope of a better future to the party in the state and an undiluted testament that APC is truly a progressive party with clear-cut ideology based on popular interest.
“Prince Dapo Abiodun has truly proved himself as a leading democrat among his contemporaries. He has achieved what other leaders before him could not achieve; he has indeed redefined progressive politics in Ogun State.
“The Governor has exhibited unprecedented magnanimity in power and in governance. No one could have imagined that a governor of a state would navigate such a level of gang-up and conspiracy within the party to win an election, and after the victory, he decided to reconcile with those who worked against him and warmly received them back to the party.
“The Governor has taught us a big lesson of inclusive governance and purposeful leadership. He deserves an award in progressive leadership. He remains an institution to study,” the statement read.
The statement further noted that the party remains a formidable force in the state with focus on aggressive development of infrastructure and human capital through the ‘Building our future together’ agenda of the governor.
Thousands Dump Amosun, Re-Align With Abiodun
Thousands of loyalists of former governor Ibikunle Amosun from the 20 local government areas of Ogun State have rejoined the mainstream of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led by the State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun.
Receiving the returnees led by the factional Chairman of the Amosun-led party Executive at the Presidential Lodge, Abeokuta, the State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun commended them for their loyalty and being steadfast with what they believed in.
The governor said: “I want to congratulate your sense of loyalty to leadership, which I will say is not only commendable, it is enviable.
“This is a culture that we must promote and entrench. It is a culture that is fast eroding; it is a culture that we are fast losing. Loyalty is 100 per cent.
“For some others, they move once things are not working well, but for you, you stay put. This sense of loyalty is worthy of emulation. We must appreciate the fact that there can only be one leader in a party at a time.
“Even when we have ambitions and desires, we must subordinate ourselves 100% to leadership and believe that it is in that subordination that will allow us to flourish and achieve our objectives, our dreams, our desires and aspirations, not by forming factions or by breaking away.
“Because by so doing, it only weakens the fabric of that collective union that we call our party. You must appreciate that there can be only one leader of the party at a time in the state, and that leader is the governor.
“As the leader of the party, I appreciate the task bestowed on me and it is my duty to work towards individual and collective welfare of our members,” the governor noted.
The governor urged all members to put the past behind them and work towards repositioning the party to achieve its aims and work for the socio-economic development of the state.
“Let us put the past behind us. Let us promote what unites us as a family. I welcome you back. The future of Ogun State is in your hands and it is for us for the taking. The same joy with which the father of the prodigal son received his lost son back home, the same way I receive you today.
“To those who did not leave, please let us receive our brothers and sisters back. To those who are joining us, please let us display a sense of loyalty. I can assure you, you will be fully integrated. ”
The Chairman of the State All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Yemi Sanusi, said in every human relationship, there is bound to be disagreement, adding that even in time of war, there is always a place for peaceful settlement of conflict, calling the returnees to fully integrate themselves with other members of the party.
Leader of the returnees, Chief Derin Adebiyi, said they had all agreed to return to the mainstream to contribute to the development of the party and the state in general, thanking the governor and the party members for receiving them back.
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