By Omonobi, Ndahi Marama & David Odama
The Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari has charged the Nigerian military to be merciless against ISWAP at the opening of the 10th National Security Seminar organized by the Alumni Association of the National Defence College, AANDEC, in Abuja.
The seminar with the theme: “Combating Insecurity in Nigeria” was organized in collaboration with the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, and NDC.
President Buhari, represented by the Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi, said new threats in the areas of insurgency and terrorism had emerged due mainly to the defeat of ISIS.
He stated that the security agencies had been given a renewed mandate to deal mercilessly with all forms of criminality such as terrorism, banditry and kidnapping.
“This is a major concern and threat to us, as their presence in the West African Sahel region poses a great danger not only to Nigeria but the entire region. Thus, we are exploring higher levels of collaboration among all nations and international organizations to effectively curtail the spread of terrorism and defeat insurgency and terrorism.
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“No doubt, our forces have over the years worked hard to defeat Boko Haram and they will as well re-examine their strategies to deal with ISWAP that has invaded parts of the country.
“The criminal elements using kidnapping and other criminal activities as a way to get rich quick should either stop such acts forthwith or face the full weight of the law as security agencies have a renewed mandate to deal with such acts of criminality,” he said.
The President said the government would continue to prioritize security, adding that the seminar was necessary, especially at a time when the government was making efforts to ensure attainment of sustainable peace in the country.
He said that AANDEC’s close collaboration with ONSA, NDC and other security agencies presented the type of desired collaborative efforts towards addressing major security issues and challenges facing the country.
He said it is therefore expected that at the end of the seminar, we will have some implementable recommendations that can move the nation forward.
“As we all know, security should be the concern of everyone, hence we must all co-operate and work collaboratively to address security issues from all perspectives, be it physical or human.
“The nexus between physical and human security makes it necessary for all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to be highly productive.
“States and Local Governments should also view workers’ welfare with utmost priority while all security agencies in particular must deal appropriately with extremist tendencies that are capable of affecting peace and development of the nation, according to the law.
“The National Security Strategy 2019 is very clear on these and we shall implement every aspect of it.”