A cross-section of security experts from across the country has scored the Nigerian Army high on its efforts in combating insurgency, especially in the last one year.
The security experts who spoke at the presentation of the Annual Report On The Federal Government’s War Against Insecurity/Insurgency In Nigeria by the Centre for International And Strategic Studies, CISS, in collaboration with the Coalition Of Civil Society Organizations On Rights And Security (CCSOHRS) held at the International Conference Centre in Abuja, on Wednesday, also lauded the army for upholding Human Rights.
Over 500 Civil Society Organisation (CSOs) across the country attended the well planned event.
In his welcome address, Chancellor, Centre for International And Strategic Studies, Prof. Shaibu Danfulani, gave the Federal Government, the military; especially the Nigerian Army, a pass mark in the war against terrorism.
He said terrorist groups like Boko Haram, IPOB, bandits, and other insurgents have been fought to a standstill by the Nigerian Army’s special forces such as Operation Lafiya Dole, Operation Python Dance, Operation Crocodile Smile, among others.
Prof. Danfulani noted that “between 2015 and 2022, Boko Haram has degraded significantly. They no longer carry out attacks on government facilities and public institutions.”
He commended the efforts of the government and the military in the ongoing war against insurgency.
“The government is working. Nigeria is safe. Kudos to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The new inter-agency collaboration is very strong. We have several departments; the diplomatics, the DSS, the Army, the Air Force, the Navy, everybody is working.
“Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, and other service chiefs have shown their passion and they have carried out the best war against insurgency…It’s a pass mark that I’m giving to the government in their efforts in addressing the security challenges.”
Similarly, Dr. Abdul Ahmed, a seasoned politician and security expert, hailed the Nigerian Army for collaborating with other sister agencies to ensure maximum security in the country.
Harping on the imperatives of inter-agencies collaboration, Dr. Ahmed said, “the importance of inter-agencies collaboration cannot be overemphasized. The military agencies have been complementing one another beautifully, which I think deserves commendation.
“The Nigerian Army under the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Farouk Yahaya, has done beautifully well in terms of inter-agencies collaboration. And it has yielded positive results. Today, I can travel from Kaduna state by road to Abuja without experiencing any terror attack because of the relentless efforts of the Nigerian Army in collaboration with other security agencies.”
A security expert, Dr. Abu Dahiru, applauded the Nigerian Army for collaborating with other government agencies to ensure that surrendered ex-terrorists are rehabilitated and de-radicalized.
Dr. Dahiru said: “There is a programme that is in place by the Nigerian government to rehabilitate ex-Boko Haram combatants that willingly surrendered to authorities. And I’m aware they have a camp somewhere in Gombe. The programme is called Operation Safe Corridor. And I’m privileged to have stepped that camp in 2020. I was there. It’s a multi-organizational planning facility. You’ve all security agencies working hand-in-hand with the National Orientation Agency, religious groups, and other authorities toward the rehabilitation and decriminalization of ex-Boko Haram militants.
“And, what I saw at the camp was actually very revealing. First, the ex-combatants are actually very well taken care of. And they have learned skills like carpentry, laundry, weaving, welding, and tailoring.
“Religious and traditional leaders visit the camp from time to time to de-radicalize them and try to make them normal citizens. It is a very successful programme, I must admit,” he added.
The keynote speaker, Prof. Katuka Yaki, urged Nigerians to be patient and have faith in the Nigerian Army, stressing that even developed nations have their own security challenges.
Prof. Yaki who was represented by Associate Professor Okpe J. Okpe said despite Nigeria’s huge size, the army has been able to achieve significant success in the war against insecurity.
He said: “Irrespective of the fact that Nigeria’s security is overstretched, they (army/military) have achieved a significant goal. They have achieved the goal that would be difficult for any country to write off.”
He also praised the role of the army in the management of Human Rights in Nigeria.
Other speakers including ASP. Olugbenga Joseph (rtd.), Rev. Dr. Theodore Orji, and Dr. Steven Audu, among others, all praised the Nigerian military especially the current service chiefs for changing the narrative in the last one year and urged them to maintain the tempo.