president buhari
president buhari

WHEN President Muhammadu Buhari appointed General Abayomi Olonishakin in June last year to lead the Armed Forces of Nigeria, AFN, as Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, and other service chiefs, not a few knew the military direction until the new helmsman unveiled his vision thus: to ensure a well motivated, trained and equipped Armed Forces that is responsive to national security commitments. Fifteen months down the line, the vision clearly shows how the Nigerian military has worked to guarantee a stable, secure, united, democratic, peaceful, progressive, prosperous and violence-free nation that is the envy of the world. Mr. Chidi Omeje, the National Coordinator of Citizens Initiative for Security Awareness (NISA) believe that the military had never been engaged in sundry internal security operations, saying it is assailed by armed conflicts of different scope ranging from insurgency, terrorism, kidnapping, armed robbery, cattle rustlers, farmers-herdsmen clashes, pipeline vandalism, electricity cable vandalism, oil theft, illegal bunkering, ritual killing, electoral violence, cultism which he said are threats to national stability. Corroborating, Dr. Emmanuel Onoja, a scholar whose doctoral thesis was on the ‘Imperative of Military Operations in Combating Civil Disorder in Nigeria’, observed that the Nigerian military has creditably acquitted itself very well in effectively quelling civil disorder and other forms of armed conflicts in the country and has moved from the last to the first in the nation’s line of defense. Lending credence to Dr. Onoja’s submission, the Chief of Defence Staff, who observers believe epitomizes the cerebral top brass of the nation’s military, has said that the military had to readjust its training programs to incorporate maintenance of internal security emphasizing that citizens should play their roles in promoting national security and stability. Gen. Olonishakin theorised that the gamut of security involves the citizens who should play complementary roles to ensure effective homeland and internal security, contending that they could assist security services by divulging useful and timely information to promote peace, law and order in the country. “No single arm of the security agencies can secure the nation alone. We suggest a more coordinated response by security outfits and the involvement of the citizens in tackling our growing security problems”, he said. Onoja explained that where a crisis in any part of the country tasked the civil police, the military is deployed by the President, Commander-in Chief in line with its constitutional obligation to aid civil authority in the restoration of law and order, peace and security. ‘’At critical stages in our history such as the Civil War, the military under former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon fought to keep the country together. Gowon’s name became an acronym of ‘Go On With One Nigeria’ as a battle slogan to motivate the troops to maintain the unity of the country’’, Dr. Onoja noted. Significantly, the military has ongoing interventions across the country such as the OPERATION LAFIYA DOLE in the North East where an aggressive counter-insurgency warfare is being waged by the military against the Boko Haram Sect which has been effectively expanded into OPERATION CRACKDOWN to clear the Sect from Sambisa and OPERATION SAFE CORRIDOR to de-radicalize and rehabilitate the repentant and surrendered sect members. Dr. Onoja explained that the military has displayed skill and capacity to combine delicate strategies in decimating the capacity of the sect and prepare the region for a speedy return to peace to enable the people return to their ancestral homes. He said that the military has displayed immense skill by juggling many balls in the air and still keeping an eye on the ball of the war on terror. He cited the recently inaugurated OPERATION SAFE CORRIDOR in Gombe State as part of the consolidation of the human face of the anti-terror war created to mop up repentant ex-Boko Haram combatants by rehabilitating, reintegrating and de-radicalizing them. In the Niger Delta is the OPERATION PULO SHIELD of the former Administration which has been renamed OPERATION DELTA SAFE with the recent complement of OPERATION CROCODILE SMILE to rout the criminal oil theft, pipeline vandalism, illegal oil bunkering and other criminalities in the Niger Delta region including protecting critical oil installations from militants’ attacks. Malam Tukur Musa Tilde, National Coordinator and Mr. Emeka Nwapa, Chief Media Strategist respectively,
within the border fringes of the states such as Kano, Katsina, Kebbi and Sokoto. This military task force is addressing fears by the people over incessant and sporadic attacks by armed gangs operating from the thick forests around the area. Across all the states of the Federation, military personnel are involved in various security Joint Task Forces under OPERATION MESA to assist the civil police in dealing with violent crimes. General Olonishakin and the service chiefs have worked tirelessly to turn the tide against insecurity in the North East, rescuing territories and an entire Emirate of Bama whose Emir had ran for his life. Troops’ morale is now very high. Nigerians and the entire global community have applauded the military for the successful battle against terror which has steadily decimated the Boko Haram terrorists such that they now lack the capacity to directly confront our troops or hold territories at will. Today, they are fleeing in different directions. Over 20,000 hostages comprising men, women, children were freed from Boko Haram with over 10,000 territories and communities liberated. About 10,000 battle-tired ex-Boko Haram members have surrendered. The operation may not be over yet but certainly these are key indicators that the nation is not far from Uhuru. The media, clergy, the political class and indeed all citizens and stakeholders in the Nigerian Project should lead in supporting the military and other security forces to stop terrorism, militancy, vandalism, violence and bigotry in the country. of Concerned Professionals Congress, CPC, a civil advocacy p l a t f o r m promoting good governance who jointly spoke to reporters in Abuja, described as unique the capacity displayed by the military in conducting its operations across the country. ‘’We have reviewed the present ten simultaneous m i l i t a r y operations in the country, it is good that our military has effectively risen to the various internal security challenges. We are excited that the Chief of Defence Staff and his team have come up with a effective structure and strategy that can decisively address the various armed conflicts in the country’’, they said. In North Central Plateau State is OPERATION SAFE HAVEN covering Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa and Kwara against criminal elements whose activities caused sectarian clashes ethno-religious conflicts including cattle rustling, arms building, kidnapping, armed robbery and sundry criminalities in the area. OPERATION SARA DAJI and OPERATION HARBIN KUNAMA in the North West particularly in Kaduna and Zamfara States were raised to stop criminal activities of armed bandits, cattle rustlers and daylight robbers operating around the thick forests

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