A coalition of 76 Non-governmental Organisations and Civil Society Activists have knocked the intelligence arms of the military and the Department of State Security Services for continued attacks on military formations and other infrastructure of the state by the Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists as well as kidnapping and robbery by bandits saying the attacks were not only a set back to the war against insecurity but a blatant embarrassment to the armed forces and Nigeria in general.
The group particularly quoted the recent kidnapping of travellers in a broad daylight along Abuja Kaduna road, an attack in Borno state that resulted in the killing of a General and three other soldiers, the attack on a Kaduna-Abuja bound train and several others as clear instances of intelligence failure.
In a statement entitled, ‘poor intelligence frustrating war against insecurity and jointly signed by, Dr Aliyu Bello of Peace and Conflict Resolution Initiative and Ambassador Jude Uchenna of Alliance for Justice and Peace on behalf of the group, urged the Federal government and the military high command to immediately rejig those behind intelligence gathering as war against insecurity cannot be won with a defective intelligence unit.
Recall that members of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) recently attacked a military base and killed Brigadier General Zirkusu and three others in Askira Uba Local Government Area of Borno State.
To this end, the group urged the Federal government and military top brass not to give room to anything that could jeopardise the many gains made in the efforts to flush out terrorists and other criminal elements in the northeast and the country at large.
According to the group, the continued failure of the Department of State Security (DSS) and Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) has made the office of the National Security Adviser a lame dog stressing that the office depends on intelligence provided to act accordingly and called for the sack of those manning the agencies.
“We have x-rayed the several attacks our troops have suffered and have come to the realisation that poor intelligence made our troops vulnerable. The gallantry of our personnel is legendary; the tactical strategies are top-notch. However, we cannot say the same about intelligence gathering.
Therefore, we call for the sack of those in charge of DIA and DSS as the nation cannot afford to keep persons who have demonstrated deficiency in such a critical position.
“The Air Force planes can remain in the air perpetually for surveillance, but if intelligence is missing, the enemy with superior intelligence will continue to explore the missing links. As patriots, we are compelled to draw the attention of the authorities to this critical component of warfare.
“We cannot afford to allow persons who are not committed to the course of defeating insurgents to occupy sensitive positions as far as intelligence gathering is concerned. We therefore in clear terms urge the federal government to immediately sanitise the Department of State Security service and Defence Intelligence Agency to put an end to these painful and embarrassing attacks leading to loss of precious personnel”, the group noted.