By Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin, has in the wake of emergence of Donald Trump as the President-elect of the United States of America (USA), charged the defence and intelligence agencies to prepare for uncertain years ahead.
Olonisakin who was represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans at the Defence Headquarters (DHQ), Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Bashir Saidu, stated this yesterday at the closing ceremony of the 2016 Defence Advisers/Attaches’ Conference in Abuja tagged: “Harnessing the Potentials of Defence Attache System for improved National Security in Nigeria”.
Even though, the Defence Chief did not mention the election of Trump whose pre-election campaign rhetoric have sent world leaders in alert mode, he however, called on the military and related agencies to brace up for the “uncertainties” brought by the recent political occurrences in the world.
He said: “Recent political events in the global scene have ushered in a new era of uncertainty. We must therefore prepare for this new reality with the determination to ensure that the safety and security of Nigeria. The input of the Defence section would be especially relevant as we embrace the future.”
“The clarity and visibility we hope you will bring from your areas of responsibilities will be critical to our decision making and actions that are aimed at guaranteeing the security, prosperity and vital interest of Nigeria and its people,” he added.
To this end, Olonisakin called on the participants, especially the DAs at the conference to come up with creative ways to project and defend Nigeria’s security interest across the world.
He further charged the military to be prepared to do everything necessary to defend the country’s interest and security within and outside the country.
According to him, the contributions of the defence sector would be vital to the future of the country and its security and peaceful co-existence, promising that DHQ will consider their recommendations.
“The DHQ will hence take, study and implement those decisions taken at this conference that are with its authority. We will also work with relevant authorities to ensure that the other decisions are given due considerations and actions taken.”
Speaking further, Olonisakin called for out-of-the box solutions to the emerging security challenges confronting the country especially terrorism, sabotage of critical facilities and subversion of government’s efforts.
He said: “As our nation and the Armed Forces continue to deter and defeat terrorism, sabotage and subversion with a reasonable degree of success, we must now collectively focus on ensuring that we do not get to future challenges with past solutions.
“Going forward, our military must evolve considerably, its force projections and responsiveness to emergencies and threats. That evolution will begin with our ability to attain a qualitative feat in intelligence and forward thinking.
“The Defence sector must therefore focus on the strategic military means of our Armed Forces and contribute effectively to our collective efforts at ensuring readiness to adequately and effectively contain the next set of challenges that may arise.”
Earlier, the Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI), AVM Mohammed Usman, demanded for intensified efforts at intelligence gathering against
those he described as “destructive forces in the society”.
Usman singled out the DAs to up the ante in their stipulate role for intelligence within and outside the country for overall national security.