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Military alone can’t tackle insurgency – Gen Irabor

…wants other stakeholders to be fully involved

Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, has emphasised the need for synergy among all the forces battling insurgency and insecurity in the country. He noted that the military alone cannot tackle these challenges and that all stakeholders have to be fully involved. Irabor, who spoke as a guest of Channels Television on Friday against the background of the celebration of Armed Forces Remembrance Day on January 15, stated that current collaborations have to be strengthened, adding that bandits that are terrorising different parts of the country are feeling the heat of military onslaught against them.

“Asymmetric warfare or if you like asymmetric threat that you find currently is not easy to contend with. Besides, it’s an approach where it’s the entire society’s engagement that will be able to offset it. But the current assessment is only zeroing in on members of the armed forces and discounting other stakeholders that must be assessed,” he said.

“I do not run away from the fact that we’re at the forefront of this fight or this engagement; there is no doubt about it and we stand tall to make our valuable input and it will remain so. But when the assessment is being done, it will appear that the duties of other lines of operation or stakeholders who must take a large chunk of it are not factored in. This is the reason I believe that with the seminars and symposia which we have lined up, some awareness will be created.

“I’m not in any way trying to remove the cap that has been put on the military, but if you’re an analyst you must also know the range of those involved in a particular situation and then understand their roles and responsibilities and be able to know who has performed and those who have not performed, those who have performed optimally and those who have performed sub-optimally. So, these are issues which I believe, in some other forum other than this public domain such as this, we can give greater thought to. “I must tell you however, that the times and engagements are challenging and we’re equal to the task.

The interactions and synergies we have with other stakeholders especially those within the realm of defence and security and intelligence is something that is laudable. Of course we live within a global system and there are engagements outside the shores of this nation that we also undertake to ensure we get the best approach to problem solving in our country. And as time goes on, it will get better and better.” On collaborations among the different services, General Irabor was upbeat, describing them as encouraging. He said: “It can’t be better than this. Hitherto there were issues but like I said, life itself is dynamic. There have been experiences, lessons learnt over the years, these are the things that have brought us to where we are now. It can’t be better than this but I believe we can strengthen the synergies that exist and greater good can then come out of it.

 

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