September 29, 2022

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At Blueprint 2021 Annual Lecture/Awards: Dambazau seeks safety overhaul, counter-terrorism reform technique


Former Chief of Military Workers Lt.-Common Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau (rtd) has known as for complete reform of Nigeria’s safety sector to deal with the present safety challenges confronting the nation.

Dambazau additionally mentioned a drastic evaluate of the present counter-terrorism technique was inevitable, significantly within the face of accelerating actions of non-state actors making life insufferable to Nigerians.

The previous minister of inside spoke Tuesday jin Abuja on the 2021 Blueprint Annual Public Lecturers and Impression Collection Awards on ‘2003 Politics: Nationwide Safety and Nigeria’s Stability.’

The reforms, he mentioned, wouldn’t solely handle the seemingly lack of synergy and coordination amongst safety businesses thought of as main handicap to a profitable confrontation of the rising actions of non-state actors, but additionally  help in no small method to restore confidence within the polity.

He lamented that lower than 200 thousand (200,000) army personnel (Military, Navy and Air Power) to safe over 200 million (200million) Nigerians, was grossly insufficient.

The previous minister additional mentioned with over 400,000 personnel, Nigerian Police was underutilised and misused, including that a lot of the policing duties have been carried out by the army.

The keynote speaker mentioned aside from the drastic reforms, a deliberate enchancment within the welfare packages for the police and constructing of belief with the civil populace have been important instruments that may be deployed to sort out insecurity and restore waning public confidence in safety businesses.

He recalled that former President Obasanjo had tried reforms within the army, however he didn’t transcend retiring politically-exposed army officers (PEMOs), and subsequently contracting a US-based non-public army firm, the Navy Skilled Useful resource Inc. (MPRI), to hold out audits of the armed forces.

Dambazau additionally mentioned the Nigerian Military then beneath Common Martin Luther Agwai, got here up with attitudinal change mission geared toward re- professionalising the military, a coverage he (the visitor speaker) inherited and continued with by emphasising on civil-military relations, “significantly of subordinating the army to political authorities, realizing that the establishment’s lengthy publicity to army rule had carried out plenty of injury to it.”

He spoke additional: “The reforms of the safety sector in step with the present and future safety challenges are inevitable, and there aren’t any choices apart from to hold them out. And the earlier we start the method, the higher. I imagine that this ought to be the very first merchandise on the agenda of the federal government coming in Could 2023.

“Apart the problems or elements earlier talked about, the the reason why these reforms are mandatory are that firstly, there seems to be no synergy among the many safety businesses by way of cooperation, coordination, and collaboration whereas finishing up their actions, fairly they function in silos with no position convergence; they hoard data; and are reluctant to share intelligence, as if they’re in competitors.

“Secondly, there may be poor safety governance, making accountability and transparency nearly not possible; and thirdly, there are duplications of efforts, resulting in wastage of assets. Unsuccessful makes an attempt at reforms have been made previously, however utilizing a stove-pipe strategy, fairly than trying on the sector holistically. There have been a number of committees of police reforms that ended with reviews that have been left on the cabinets.

“At present, it’s the army that performs most routine policing duties, and in reality that is one other cogent motive why safety sector reforms are mandatory. The police are solely one of many three legs of the felony justice system, and the opposite two legs, the courts, and prisons, are additionally weak establishments, a state of affairs that results in poor supply of justice, being one of many main causes for the insecurity in Nigeria, particularly in conditions the place victims undergo neglect.

“A big a part of safety sector reforms is safety governance, centered on strengthening the effectiveness of safety establishments. One of many areas we have to focus our consideration on is emergency response planning and coordination. Nationwide response to emergencies should be strong and people-centric, profiting from the distinctive competencies and assets of every entity in any respect ranges.

“Successful the ‘hearts and minds’ is a mandatory think about successful counter-terrorism and counter insurgency operations. With the full power of lower than 200,000 all ranks, the armed forces have severe deficiency within the required power essential to take care of the type of safety challenges we’re confronting in Nigeria.

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“That is along with the truth that they’ve the constitutional accountability of defending the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a rustic with land measurement of 923,768 sq km, and a inhabitants of over 200 million individuals.

“This case the army finds itself underscores the truth that the establishment is overstretched amidst insufficient funding to hold out these duties successfully and effectively. The police are each underutilized and misused, a state of affairs that poses difficulties in environment friendly legislation enforcement.

“With a power of about 400,000, a big proportion are deployed for personal safety for people, organisations, and establishments. The very best instance for an company being under-utilized is the Nigerian Safety and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), they usually may serve the identical goal because the US Nationwide Guard, thus making a power between the army and the police,” Dambazau mentioned.

 2023 elections

On the 2023 elections, he mentioned zoning, restructuring, and faith have been a number of the points that might influence the 2023 basic elections.

He mentioned since independence, Nigeria had undergone six elections, and by 2023, the nation would witness the seventh election.

To this finish, he mentioned Nigerians had began the 2023 elections with mundane points, and known as on them to be all for poverty discount, high quality and inexpensive well being care companies, amongst different loft programmes. 

The previous military chief additionally mentioned: “It’s obvious that we’ve began 2023 politics with the mundane points that introduced us to the extent of insecurity and instability we’re immediately. We have now greater than sufficient challenges or points confronting us. Relatively than directing our power on non secular or ethnic controversies, we ought to be extra all for such points as poverty discount; meals safety; youth unemployment; improved energy sector; high quality and inexpensive healthcare companies; and improved schooling system.

 “The event of crucial infrastructures can also be a key space of concern, and though the APC authorities beneath Buhari has carried out remarkably effectively by finishing most of the initiatives it met in 2015, along with new ones it originated, there are nevertheless roughly 60,000 deserted initiatives in Nigeria, estimated to price about N12 trillion. And what can we do to mitigate such waste? These are just a few crucial areas the 2023 politics ought to focus consideration on, not faith and ethnicity.”

On latest Kuje correctional assaults

On the latest assaults on Abuja-Kaduna practice and the Kuje Correctional Centre, Dambazau mentioned the incidents indicated that the insurgents “are regularly establishing cells near the Federal Capital, particularly within the neighboring states of Kogi, Kaduna and Niger.”

He, nevertheless, described the event as audacious, and known as on the army to take the struggle to their hideouts, put stress on them and make them very uncomfortable.  

“From the latest assaults on the Abuja-Kaduna practice; the Shiroro mining website; the Kuje jail; army patrol in Bwari; and the assault on troopers deployed at Madallah checkpoint, it’s evident that Boko Haram insurgents are regularly establishing cells near the Federal Capital, particularly within the neighboring states of Kogi, Kaduna and Niger.

“For all terrorists and kidnappers, the punishment should be extreme and sure, to ship a robust message to all violent entrepreneurs. They should be put beneath fixed stress, and there ought to be no respite for them. We should not permit violent criminals to carry the nation hostage, making individuals stay in perpetual concern and uncertainty, and no matter get together politics, all fingers should be on deck in assist of presidency efforts even whereas focusing consideration on the 2023 politics.

This case will encourage their audacity. Relatively, to any extent further, we must always take struggle to wherever they’re, put stress on them and make them very uncomfortable, the place the chance avails itself, eradicate them. We should stay our regular lives, and never permit some violent gangs to make us stay depressing lives, stuffed with uncertainties,” he mentioned.

Kukasheka’s intervention

In his intervention, a former military spokesman, Brigadier-Common Usman Kukasheka, who featured as a discussant of the paper, revealed how Common Dambazau resisted makes an attempt by some politicians to lure him into taking energy from the then ailing President Umar Musa Yar’Adua.

He mentioned the previous COAS ignored their overture due to his love for democracy.  

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Kukasheka, who was the Military Public Relations Officer beneath  Dambazzau because the COAS, challenged his former boss to show these politicians who lobbied him to undermine Nigeria’s democracy and take over the reins of presidency 

He additionally acknowledged that the worldwide neighborhood later met with Common Dambazzau who promised them the military wouldn’t take over authorities.

In his account of the way it all occurred,  Kukasheka mentioned: “I’m not shocked that when they’re displaying him (Dambazzau) on the display, they mentioned he’s now a politician, I do know he’s a soldier per excellence however one factor Nigerians have no idea about him and I’m not shocked it was juxtaposed within the paper, was the truth that if we’re counting champions of democracy on this nation, there isn’t a approach you’ll not point out the title of Lieutenant Common Abdurahman Bello Dambazzau, CFR and I’ll inform you why.

“Approach again within the days when President Umaru Yar’ Adua was sick, he (Dambazzau) was the Chief of Military Workers and I had the privilege of being the Public Relations Officer within the Workplace of Chief of Military Workers and we all the time moved collectively. 

“Until now, that’s the reason although he’s a prolific author, he’s but to return out together with his memoir. The a part of that memoir is an expose of these people who undermined democracy on this nation. 

“I’m saying this with each sense of accountability as a result of that point, some teams of politicians have been those lobbying him to take over authorities unconstitutionally. 

“We have now the information; in truth we’ve began writing the memoir. With due respect to him, I mentioned let him point out the people in order that posterity will know them for who they’re and what they’re. 

“Up until now, we’re nonetheless contending with that difficulty and I do know the worldwide neighborhood confirmed concern to the extent that they needed to meet with him the place he promised that he wouldn’t take over authorities. In some elements of the nation, they name us girls as a result of a chance had come and we didn’t make the most of it to take over authorities.

 “Some individuals have made sacrifices. In these days each time we go to Kaduna to examine the then rehabilitation 44 Nigerian Military Reference Hospital, individuals overtly requested questions which form of uniform have been we sporting? When is the announcement going to be made about taking up authorities? 

“It was a matter of straightforward cellphone name to roll out the tanks in three divisions. By then, Common Dambazzau may have been Head of State. However  he resisted that temptation just because he had the curiosity of this nation at coronary heart and he is aware of democracy is the perfect type of governance on this nation.”

Like the previous minister of Inside posited in his lecture, the ex-army spokesman additionally blamed the issue of insurgency within the nation on lack of coordination and synergy among the many safety businesses.

 Kukasheka recalled that through the tenure of the ex-army chief, the army decisively handled the insurgents throughout which they eradicated 700 members of the Boko Haram sect and arrested their chief Mohammed Yusuf.

 “Below regular circumstances, the army did its job by arresting the mastermind or chief, Mohammed Yusuf and handed over to the federal government”.

Whereas blaming the ruling class, Kukasheka acknowledged that it’s the difficulty of lack of homework and synergy of effort and coordination that introduced the nation into the quagmire being skilled immediately.

 In line with Kukasheka, the insurgence needed to a big extent, to do with management difficulty.

 “All these points that we’re speaking about – lack of focus, discussing mundane points in opposition to crucial issues- that threatening the company existence of this nation, we’re involved with ethno-religious points. 

“The query now’s, to what extent are we ready to endure, nourish and strengthen our democratic apply or governance? This can be a problem to the elite as a result of all the issues we’re having within the Nigerian society to a big extent, can be traced to a specific class of Nigerians – the politicians-, with due respect. Some issues which might be presupposed to be carried out haven’t been carried out and we proceed to maneuver on this circle,” he mentioned. 

 On the safety sector reform raised by the paper presenter, he mentioned it was lengthy overdue, however that superficial consideration was given to it by the transformation side of the nation for 15 years. 

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Kukasheka mentioned: “We must always have identified the nuances of democracy, strengthen our establishments in order that they’ll correspond to the exigencies of democratic governance. By that, we may have addressed a number of the issues that we’ve encountered.”

He, nevertheless, famous that it was not late to embark on the sector reforms, including that such reforms mustn’t cease with the safety however ought to be made to incorporate the judiciary, which he mentioned, had an incredible position to play, particularly in Nigeria’s felony justice reform.

TA Akanji

In his personal intervention, an professional in peace and safety research, Professor Tajudeen Ademola Akanji of the Institute of Peace and Strategic Research (IPSS), College of Ibadan, lauded the paper, saying he was not in any approach shocked by the presentation, giving the presenter’s pedigree.

Akanji regretted that “we’re the place we’re immediately as a result of we didn’t make the perfect of our experience. From the presentation, the final recognized the issues and options. For this reason the overseas authorities continues to surprise why we didn’t utilise our experience to resolve any given problem. One wouldn’t have requested for one thing higher.”

The don mentioned the nation’s management wanted to get up from its slumber and make sure the return of peace to the nation.

Writer’s remarks

Earlier in his welcome handle, Chairman/Chief Government Officer (CEO) Blueprint Newspapers Restricted and Kakaaki Nupe, Alhaji Mohammed Idris Malagi, had charged the federal authorities to do extra to guard lives and properties throughout the nation.

The Kakaaki Nupe, who recommended all safety businesses within the nation for his or her gallantry within the face of rising challenges, known as for synergy between the federal government and the individuals to sort out insecurity.

He mentioned: “I, subsequently, use this chance to name on the federal authorities of Nigeria, on whose shoulders relaxation our nationwide safety to do extra to guard lives of residents from terrorists, bandits and different militias which might be rampaging our cities, forests and creeks. 

“Our safety challenges should be overcome in any respect prices. Critically, we should not permit the difficulty of insecurity to outline the debates of 2023.”

The writer additionally mentioned the media outlet was always on the trail of peacebuilding for the sustenance of nationwide safety.

“Oftentimes, for Nigerians, our shares of politics have a approach of difficult our sense of nationalism. In fact, the large divide in ethno-religious fault strains and different primordial sensitivities are all the time known as to query. 

“This stack actuality is what we grapple with each day as societies mirror and supply our information, for the important peace and wholesome debate at Blueprint newspapers, we pray every single day and in addition successfully deploy the proper instruments of our career, to not be brokers or of destabilization of the Nigerian state.

“I wish to subsequently use this chance to name on the Federal Authorities of Nigeria, on whose shoulders rested our nationwide safety to do extra to guard the lives of residents from terrorists, bandits and different militias which might be rampaging our cities, forests and creeks. 

“Our safety challenges should be overcome in any respect prices. Critically, we should not permit the difficulty of insecurity to outline the debates of 2023. 

“The tone and narrative ought to be about human improvement, about schooling, about infrastructure, or economic system, about well being, and so on. However solely a correct synergy between the federal government and the individuals can assure this.

“To this finish, we notice with appreciation the efforts of all safety businesses on this nation and interfacing with the media to debate their challenges and successes. 

“Nonetheless, it is vital that authorities workouts extra tact in its relationship with Nigerian media. The media isn’t an enemy of the state. The media is collaborating with the Authorities of Nigeria to struggle the enemies of Nigeria,” Malagi mentioned.

He acknowledged that “in Blueprint, our purpose and targets on a regular basis is to make sure that Nigeria stays one and united.” 

Malagi congratulated the awardees and charged them to do extra wherever they discovered themselves.