*as Army launches radio station to educate insurgents
By Evelyn Usman
The Chief of Army Staff, COAS Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai , Wednesdy, declared that Boko Haram has become history in Nigeria, saying what was being experienced in the North East at the moment were mere display of defeat.
Buratai made the declaration yesterday, in his lecture titled ‘ Counter Terrorism and Sustenance of National security in Nigeria: Successes and Lessons by Nigerian Army’ at a workshop on national security organized by the Nigerian Army School of Public Relations and Information, NASPRI at the 81 Division Officers’ Mess, Lagos.
Represented by the Director of Information Management, Department of Civil Military Affairs , Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar, he explained that the next phase of the war was to attempt to reintegrate members of Boko Haram into the society
As first step to achieving the goal, he disclosed that the Army had launched a radio station through which Bko Haram members would be educated on the need to be reintegrated into the society.
He said : “ I am glad to tell Nigerians that Boko Haram in Nigeria is history . In order to make impact in this war, we have established radio stations in strategic places and is being utilized appropriately. We also created Jingles and the essence is to preach true religion and other aspects of security operations to educate Boko Haram on the need to become good citizens and be reintegrated into the society.”
“We want the people to know the truth, we want them know the true aspect of what these religions are ; Christians and Muslims. And also to tell them that there is no religion that teaches killings . We believe that with this ,we will get to where we are going .”
While declaring the workshop open, General Officer Commanding, GOC 81 Division of the Nigerian Army ,Major General Peter Dauke, said that the workshop with the theme ‘ Dynamics of National Security: the Role of the citizens’ was coming at a time when the country was faced with security challenges such as insurgency, pipeline vandalism farmers and herdsmen clashes cattle rustling, kidnapping, as well as the current agitation for succession by the indigenous People of Biafra ,IPOB.
Calling on the need to be proactive, the GOC described the present security challenges faced in Nigeria as info-centric, which needed information gathering to tackle.
“ This brings to the fore the important role citizens play in national security. Hence, this workshop is one of the windows through which citizens participation could be galvanized”, he said.
On his part, the Commandant NASPRI, Brigadier General John Agim , in his welcome address,explained that the workshop was organized to reflect the current realities in security environment as well as to highlight the roles of citizens in national security.
He noted that “ globally, the dynamics in the security architecture has presented a number of challenges that calls for a more realistic and holistic approach. The nature of conflicts is basically intra states with actors operating from within the populace. This has indeed presented a new dimension of challenges to the citizens, whose responsibility is to rise to the occasion through effective collaboration. As important stakeholders, generating the right frame of ideas will serve as an antidote to the numerous security challenges bedeviling us as a nation”.
He therefore, expressed optimism that the workshop would bring out significant points of cooperation between security agencies and citizens as well as find zones of convergence that would be workable for both sides.
Lectures delivered at the one-day workshop included: ‘ The Imperative of National Security in the 21st century: Issues and challenges; Nigerian national security:The need for synergy between the citizens and the state’ and The role of Media in National Security.