By Kingsley Omonobi
Defence Minister, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd) has challenged security agencies in the country to rise up to the task of containing the emerging security threats bedeviling the country saying they must explore all avenues within their respective systems to develop new ways of identifying and confronting the challenges bothering us as a nation.
Speaking at the 2019 Defence Attaches conference in Abuja, the minister said, “A look at the security challenges bedeviling Nigeria today reveals a new dimension from what it used to be. Beyond the insurgency in the North East, other contemporary security threats ranging from kidnapping, cattle rustling, farmers/headers clashes and associated banditry have continued to threaten the peace and security of the nation.
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“This implies that various security agencies in the country must continue to collaborate in tackling these challenges. It also means that the security agencies must explore all avenues within their respective systems to develop new ways of identifying and confronting the challenges bothering us as a nation.
“Accordingly, this underscores the need for increased coordination, cooperation, collaboration and synergy among security agencies in order to create an enabling environment for economic growth and development as well as the preservation of our democracy.
“There is no doubt that the Defence Advisers/Attaches system plays crucial roles in confronting Nigeria’s security challenges in furtherance of national development.
“It is for this reason that I find the theme of the 2019 Defence Advisers/Attaches Annual Conference which is Enhancing Inter Agency Collaboration in Response to Current and Anticipated Threats in Nigeria’s Security Environment: Role of the Defence Attaché System as timely and very apt.
“It is therefore imperative that you take advantage of the opportunity provided to harness the potentials of the Defence Attaché System in order to effectively contribute to the country’s security efforts.
“The concept of Defence Attaché has evolved overtime and as at today, we cover over 90 countries and 4 international organizations. The scope of your responsibilities has also increased from mere liaison with friendly nations to being the progenitors of contemporary defence diplomacy.
“No doubt, many countries including Nigeria have continued to devise new strategies for improving defence and security with a view to coping with the ever evolving security challenges. We must therefore strive to improve our processes and uphold the values of our great country, Nigeria”.
Chief of Defence Intelligence, Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Sani Usman in his address, disclosed that the Defence Intelligence Agency has crafted several Memoranda of Understanding with relevant partners in Nigeria and across the world to increase ‘our’ intelligence sharing, capacity building, visibility on anticipated threats and a better understanding of the global security landscape.
“These agreements have also allowed Nigeria unprecedented access to information, cooperation and freedom of action in our region. All these efforts will collectively allow us serve our country better with the right intelligence at the right time”, he said.
“Similarly, the Agency has undergone a ‘Smart’ re-organization with senior staff moved into designated intelligence specialties in line with their core competencies”.
He noted that the move is aimed at better productivity, the CDI said, “This action is already yielding expected dividends.