By Kingsley Omonobi-Abuja.
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin has urged Nigerians to be security conscious towards averting suicide bombing on soft target by Boko Haram terrorists.
The CDS gave the advice even as he challenged the research departments of the armed forces and other security agencies in the country to come up with viable and up to date technology in terms of equipment and platforms to help curtail insurgency and other crimes in the country.
Speaking at the 2015 Nigerian Navy Research and development seminar, with the theme; ‘Innovation and Research and Development (R&D): Turning Bright Ideas to Operational Solutions’ in Abuja, Olonisakin attributed the high rate of soft target bombings by the Boko Haram insurgents being witnessed in the past couple of months, to the increase pressure on the insurgents in the North-eastern part of the country.
According to him: “The issue of suicide bombings that we have been witnessing is as a result of the pressure on the Boko Haram terrorists in the north east.
“They are now aiming at the soft targets, and Nigerians must be security conscious and report any suspicious movement around them, because security is everybody’s business especially the face we are in now.”
The CDS emphasised that, “the pressure have been on terrorists and they are fanning out, and, in the process of fanning out, they are hitting the soft targets”. He however urged members of the public to be wary, security conscious, and as well as report any area where they observe suspicious movement or activities.
When asked about the effort being in place for the rescue of the Chibok girls, the Defence Chief was sceptical, saying; “we are to ensure that everyone that have been probably abducted or even conscripted by the Boko Haram terrorists are brought safely including the Chibok girls. So, he said, that is our desire and that is what we are working towards.
The CDS also disclosed that the military was working to come up with a strategy to effectively tackle vandalism, illegal bunkering and every issue associated with oil and gas as it plans to improve the security of the sector.
On the theme of the conference, he said, “Today our nation is faced with security related issues; as a result it is challenged by multi facet threats with great manifestations especially in the North eastern region and in the maritime environment.
“These challenges will require enormous material resources to surmount them. Accordingly the research and development efforts of the Nigerian Armed forces would be more than ever before demanded as to innovate towards attainment of self reliance in line with the strategic vision of the President.
“It is most gratifying to note that there is desire and aspiration by the Nigerian navy to transform itself through the tools of research and development for enhanced operational efficiency.
Earlier, the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas said that the Nigerian Navy Directorate of research and development was established in 2004 with the aim of addressing the immediate problems associated with service’s operational, logistics and technology acquisition, but lamented that it performance had been less inspiring.
Ibas pointed out that “the recurring issue of sustainability of the fleet stood imposingly and staunchly to dispel many doubt on this, and the reasons for this poor outing were not far-fetched as its include; poor resource availability, inadequate coordination of R&D activities in the NN”.
To address the challenges, he noted that the seminar was one of the approaches the navy adopted to purse her inventive intentions and to reposition R&D as the pivot of attaining a technological self reliance.
“The past effort of these initiatives have already triggered appropriate R&D activities in some development objectives contained within the extant Revised NN Transformation plan 2011-2020.
“The directorate have made a remarkable innovative progress in design, construction, information, technology and training; including the use of alginate extracted from sea weeds to stabilise late rite to produce Compressed Earth Blocks,” he said.
To this end, Ibas challenged the participants that the value of their deliberations during the seminar is expected to form the key determinant for successful transformation of the naval operations.