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Obasanjo’s grand strategy for national security (2)

SOCIAL Well-being: The greatest danger to national security outside external aggression is individual, family or community insecurity brought about by preventable or avoidable social condition of poverty, food insecurity, unemployment, community strife, inequity, oppression lack of justice. These conditions easily lead to indiscipline, loss of trust in authority, frustration, apathy, desperation, agitation, anarchy, lawlessness and violent conflicts. Every effort must be made to deal effectively with the issue of poverty eradication, ensuring justice and equity, eradication of corruption, provision of essential services, food security, potable water, universal basic education, basic healthcare delivery and employment.

(c)             Foreign Policy: The relationship between Nigeria and the world, especially neighbouring West Africa is vital to her national security. The magnitude of attention paid to national security may invariably be graduated in concentric circle of proximity, shared interest and like-mindedness. I believe strongly in the economic integration of the ECOWAS sub-region. This is why we are pursuing the Fast Track Integration of the community with other members. Nigeria’s other commitments in the international community, namely, OPEC, UN,OAU, NAM,G77, etc. demand a very active and vibrant foreign policy. The changing realities of the international economic and political landscape require us to rekindle friendship in the Far East. The objective of our foreign policy vis-à-vis the grand strategy is peace, security and prosperity through friendship. We will strive to resolve any dispute through dialogue, resorting to force only as the last recourse and only to defend our sovereignty and integrity. Our foreign policy shall include the promotion of foreign investment, trade and debt remission while we protect Nigerian interest everywhere and we work for justice, fairness and equity globally.

(d)            Defence: The armed Forces are the bastion of our national defence. They provide deterrence against physical aggression. They are also to provide aid to civil authority in the event of national emergencies and internal crisis.

We shall continue to pursue the strategy of adequate defence. To this end, I have directed the infusion of fresh funds for the rehabilitation of the armed services and the upgrading of their equipment, training and readiness up to the standard demanded by our national, regional and international commitments and territorial defence needs. The armed forces face the challenge of modernisation and transformation from a praetorian guard into a nimble, effective and efficient defence machinery. Our defence strategy shall include the development of local defence industries. It will include assistance to friendly neighbouring countries and participation in sub-regional and regional defence initiatives.

(e)Law and Order: The safety of lives, the security of property and the maintenance of law and order are, to me, very important priorities. We will continue to invest in the Nigeria Police Force so that they can be more effective. We are examining other strategies for encouraging the development of efficient and orderly private security enterprises to aid the police in curbing the high crime rate. We are also enhancing the capacity of the appropriate agencies to fight corruption, detect crimes, ensure the quick dispensation of justice and the reformation of offenders. I am impressed by the cooperation between the law officers and the law enforcers. The increase in the effectiveness of the security and the Law Enforcement.

Agencies in the past year are noticeable and must be encouraged. The promotion of internal security at all levels will continue through proactive intelligence, the reduction of tension, the management of traditional agitators and prompt action against those who are bent on disrupting peace and instability. Law Enforcement Agencies should treat individuals with civility and firmness, respecting the rights of the individuals and obeying the rule of law and due process. The judiciary is an indispensable and crucial part maintenance of law and order.

(f) Information:

The management of public has to be integrated into our grand national security strategy. Often times, the voices that are loudest are those of the rabble rousers and the disgruntled. The average citizen is often ignorant on the remarkable positive achievements of Government. Deliberate effort to keep the public informed of government activities, programmes and progress must be sustained. Similarly, inciting propaganda, from any quarter, must be countered with presentations of the true perspective of issues. Truth, transparency and openness must characterise all government policies, programmes and activities.

(6) I have outlined the above grand strategy, in detail, to provide Ministers and Chief Executives concerned a clear idea of what I want this administration to achieve. The policies, which we have pursued to promote change for the better, through transparency, integrity, incorruptibility, fairness, equity and Justice, can only be sustained through adequate security. The future of Nigeria and democracy in Nigeria depends on the commitment, dedication and personal sacrifice of all citizens, especially those appointed to protect her integrity. There is the need for smooth flow of information among the various agencies and departments. There is the need for constant consultation, coordination and the harmo-nisation of policies.

The spirit of willing cooperation must prevail. Every Nigerian must  feel that he can be protected, guaranteed security and defence by his country. And every Nigeria is obligated to contribute his utmost to the upliftment of Nigeria, no matter where he lives.

(7) I expect that each and every one of you will strive assiduously to make this grand strategy work effectively for the enhancement of the welfare of all Nigerians, to the greater glory of Nigeria and for the honour of the Almighty God.”



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