Insecurity: Ribadu Recalibrates Security Architecture

When President Bola Tinubu appointed the pioneer chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu, as the National Security Adviser (NSA), he charged him to work together with the security agencies to restore security and order in the country. The charge came against the backdrop of the insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and other violent crimes that are threatening the corporate existence of Nigeria. Responding to the directive, Ribadu assured the President that the security agencies will accomplish the objective of securing the country as well as re-establish peace and stability. “We’re going to work tirelessly to ensure we accomplish that objective of securing our country, establishing peace, and stability and let’s get our lives back. He gave us the assurance that he’s with us one hundred per cent. He told us we must work as a team and that there’s work to be done, he’ll expect us to deliver and we’re grateful for the opportunity. That’s why we are here…..CONTINUE READING....CONTINUE READING

“Where we are today, you can see already, things are improving in our country. If you see the record of crimes and activities of criminals going down, it will continue to go down. So, we’ll secure the country. Nigerians have seen the quality of the people who are given the opportunity. They are probably some of the best we have and they are not going to fail you, they’ll certainly deliver,” he said. With the enormous task before the NSA, the first 100 days in office of Tinubu’s administration have shown that the President didn’t make a mistake in appointing the former police officer as the NSA. For instance, the administration has recorded success in the fight against insurgency in the last three months. The military has neutralised 817 terrorists, apprehended 1,326 criminals and rescued 721 hostages in different operations across the country. Those apprehended include 42 kidnappers, 231 terrorists’ collaborators, 33 armed robbers, 80 cattle rustlers, 325 militias, 27 rail vandals, 73 gunrunners and 191 suspected oil thieves.

A total of 4,560 terrorists and their families surrendered to troops in the North-East during the period. The troops also recovered 501 weapons, 3,577 livestock, 3,269 assorted kinds of ammunition, and 674 other equipment within the period under review. In the North-East, the troops of Operation HADIN KAI neutralised 240 terrorists, arrested 276 terrorists and collaborators, and rescued 147 kidnapped hostages, as well as surrendered 4,560 combatant fighters with their families to troops. They also recovered 169 assorted weapons, 1,195 assorted ammunition and 199 other equipment, comprising 57 AK47 rifles, one GPMG, 2 HK21 rifles, one FN rifle, one G3 rifle, one pistol, 22 dane guns, one double barrel, 73 AK47 magazines and three hand grenades. Also recovered were two LMG magazines, one RPG tube, two tear gas launchers, 674 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 500 rounds of 7.62mm x 54mm, 20 PKM rounds, one cartridge, two vehicles, 29 motorcycles, 47 bicycles, 18 mobile phones, 13 steering rod and pumps, five gear boxes and four boafeng radios and 158 livestock. In the North Central, troops of Operation Safe Haven neutralised 94 terrorists, arrested 477 suspects and rescued 76 kidnapped hostages, as well as recovered 82 assorted weapons and 760 assorted ammunition. The breakdown includes 20 AK47 rifles, five revolvers, 27 fabricated rifles, six fabricated pistols, 13 dane guns, five pistols, two pump actions, six AK47 magazines, 523 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 190 rounds of 5.5mm ammo, 31 rounds 9mm ammo, 18 cartridges and 1,722 livestock.

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Troops of Operation Whirl Stroke also neutralised 83 terrorists, arrested 104 suspects and rescued 18 kidnapped hostages and also recovered 37 weapons, 68 assorted ammunition and 127 items and recovered two AK47 rifles, one FN rifle, five locally fabricated pistols, two dane guns, one pistol, 15 AK47 magazines, two G3 magazines, two FN magazines, one GPMG barrel, one Ak47 barrels, three rifle butts and one locally fabricated bullet. In addition, the troops recovered four woodland camouflage, 15 motorcycles, nine mobile phones, six vehicles, five cutlasses, two pairs of black boots, one fragmental jacket, one generator set, three knives, two machetes and one saw and metal. In the North-West, troops of Operation Hadarin Daji neutralised 248 terrorists, arrested 116 suspected terrorists and rescued 359 kidnapped hostages as well as recovered a total of 67 assorted weapons, 926 assorted ammunition and 160 other incriminating items. In the South-South, troops of Operation Delta Safe neutralised 69 combatants, arrested 191 oil theft collaborators and rescued 12 kidnapped hostages. The troops also intercepted 6.6 million litres of stolen crude oil, 3.5 million litres of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), 188,650 kerosine and 65,600 litres of petrol. The troops also discovered and destroyed 249 boats, 28 pumping machines, and three vessels, as well as recovered a total of 51 assorted weapons. In the South-East, the troops of Operation UDO KA neutralised 80 combatants, arrested 162 IPOB/ESN criminals and rescued 109 kidnapped hostages.

The troops also recovered 63 assorted weapons, 320 assorted ammunitions and 166 other incriminating items within the period under review. These achievements have been attributed to the efforts and leadership qualities of the NSA and his resolve to ensure that the mandate of President Tinubu is achieved. Despite these successes, Ribadu is aware that he has to work harder to meet the high expectations of Nigerians, who in the last decade have waited in vain for a solution to the high level of insecurity that has negatively impacted the country’s growth and development. Apart from Ribadu’s success with the military, the NSA has promised to reposition the police. He said that the goal of his office is to ensure that the police take full control of internal security without any need to invite the military. Speaking at the recent annual conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Abuja, Ribadu said achieving the goal will help the army to focus better on external security and terrorism.

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He added that there must be closer inter-agency collaboration as well as capacity building to ensure success in the fight against insecurity. According to him, national security is a collective effort where all ministries, departments, agencies, civil society groups and citizens have to work collaboratively to ensure a secure nation. His words: “Community support is also critical for the success of curbing insecurity. The goal is to get the police to take full charge of internal security without having to invite the military to wade into the internal security of the country so that they can focus on external security.” The NSA further said there is a need to strengthen the legislative framework and review strategies and policies on security. He noted that the government will spare nothing to ensure synergy among all security agencies. He added that it was important to work with the media to reach a wide audience to ensure that any information on security was accurate and not fake news.

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Interestingly, the President’s choice of Ribadu as NSA has continued to attract positive responses from Nigerians. His choice has been hailed as being in line with the global trend where there is now a growing shift to intelligence-led security. The reason is that the consensus that has emerged among security experts, in recent years, is that the key to tackling Nigeria’s myriad security issues is to go beyond focusing on the deployment of troops to emphasizing intelligence gathering and the use of soft power. A public analyst, Musa Balogun, was quoted by a national daily as saying: “When you look around the world, National Security Advisers are not necessarily military people. The office is not a preserve for the military people but because we have been practising it since 1999, it is felt that it must be a military person.

“The battles we are fighting are largely with fellow Nigerians. We are not fighting external forces. Now, if you are not fighting external forces that means the instruments you need for defeating terrorism in Nigeria are the police and secret service people because it is an internal warfare. The National Security Adviser (formally called Assistant to President on National Security Affairs) in the United States of America, whose presidential system the Nigerian presidential system is modelled after, coordinates defence, foreign affairs, international economic policy, and intelligence. “This job description reflects the recognition that national security extends beyond military security and encompasses foreign affairs, international economic policy, diplomacy and increasingly technological policy. It also suggests that the occupier of that office is versed in a practical approach to creating, enhancing and sustaining peace in the land.’’ Also, a former Kaduna Central senator, Shehu Sani, said Nigerians expected the new NSA to employ a different approach to achieve a better result in the fight against insecurity in the country. He tasked Ribadu to end the criminality of terrorism, banditry, killings, and kidnappings across the country. He urged Ribadu to bring innovations that will ensure the protection of schools and farmers from terrorists. With the seriousness and inclusiveness deployed by Ribadu in the fight against insecurity across the country, many Nigerians expect the NSA and his team to double their efforts to restore the needed peace and order in the country…..CONTINUE READING

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