By Anthony Ogbonna
President Muhammadu Buhari, Tuesday, said that his administration has placed major premium on strengthening intelligence gathering capacity to take terrorists unawares and end their terrorist activities in the country.
President Buhari also said that the intelligence sharing must become the rule among all security agencies so that they can always rob minds together and nip a terrorist act in the bud.
Buhari also said that government would have a major advantage over terrorists through intelligence gathering and sharing.
Buhari, represented by his Vice, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, gave the statement while addressing the 8th National Security Seminar 2018 of the Alumni Association of the National Defence College (NDC) in Abuja.
The theme of the seminar is “Fighting Tomorrow’s warfare Today.”
According to him, “One current focus is the strengthening of Nigeria’s intelligence gathering capacity. For this to happen, intelligence gathering must not be seen as solely a task for law enforcement agencies. It is a task that must involve every citizen, every community.
“And at the level of the military and intelligence agencies, intelligence-sharing must become the rule and not the exception,’’ he stated.
“Land mass on that scale is unquestionably a delight for terrorists and their unconventional tactics.
“The primary advantage that the Government should have over them is in intelligence gathering; the ability to expertly assemble the pieces of various puzzles together in order to be able to progressively contain and limit terrorism.’’
“This necessity of robust intelligence gathering underlies every one of our security challenges in Nigeria, not just terrorism but also clashes between herdsmen and farmers, cattle rustling, armed banditry, cultism and militancy.
“In the herdsmen/farmer crisis, we have seen that herdsmen attackers have included armed confederate from neighbouring North African countries, especially Libya which has in the past few years been a repository of small arms.
“We must significantly upgrade our capacity to collect intelligence, as well as build a culture of sharing it amongst our military and law enforcement agencies in a timely manner.
“We must also increasingly depend on cutting-edge technology to make this task easier.
“Cutting-edge technology will allow you to better anticipate and predict the antics of terrorists, increase your capacity to surprise them before they surprise us.
“And it will make it far less likely that tragic recent events like Dapchi and Rann will ever happen again.”
Buhari also gave three solutions to solving insurgency in the country to include:
“It is first to win the minds of young men and women fed with the false ideologies that promote terrorism.
“Second is to continuously address the material conditions that make it attractive for some young men and women to take up arms against innocent people as an option for economic survival.
“Third is to rebuild and secure the communities destroyed by terrorist acts; the President has asked me to Chair an inter-ministerial team to plan and implement the physical and social rebuilding of such communities.’’
President Buhari lauded the Nigerian army for their gallantry in terminating terrorism and other social vices in order to keep Nigeria safe.
“You have displayed remarkable bravery and professionalism and we are immensely proud of your sacrifice and all that you have achieved on our behalf.”