*Olonisakin: Military solution alone not enough to stop conflicts
Paul Obi in Abuja
The federal government on Tuesday said it was partnering the United States (US), United Kingdom (UK) and Jordan to acquire sophisticated technologies to combat Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast.
This came as the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, while declaring open a four-day International Seminar on Managing Asymmetric Security Challenges in the 21st century at the Nigerian Army Resource Centre in Abuja harped on the delicate means of managing both hard and soft power in Nigeria.
Represented by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Gabriel Olonisakin, the minister noted that the summit was timely as it was â€œparticularly against the backdrop of our recent experience in responding to the Boko Haram terrorists in the Northeast and the grievances induced militancy in the Niger Delta.
â€œIt is pertinent to say that managing these challenges revolves around the intricate interplay of hard and soft power,â€ the minister stated.
Olonisakin said: â€œManaging these emerging threats has become a fundamental challenge in view of their global and transnational nature which has been compounded by the revolution in information and communication technology.
â€œThis development has significantly transformed the nature of armed groups and their level of sophistication and ability to connect with one another across the globe.
â€œGiven the nature of these new threats, no single country can successfully address asymmetric threats in isolation, hence the imperative for nation-states to collaborate and synergise with one another.â€
The CDS however observed that â€œpure military engagements cannot provide sustainable solution to these new threats given the nature of their complexity and root causes.â€
He said: â€œThereâ€™s no purely military solution. The complexity and nature of the roots cause call for a comprehensive approach…political-socio-economic militancy response that sees the civilian and military actors and agencies working together. For this to be effective, achieving a unity of purpose and complementary of effort is paramount.
â€œThe starting point for realising the above requires the military to have an extent understanding of how asymmetric security challenges and conflicts mutate from latest stage to violence.â€
Speaking on military partnership, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt General Tukur Buratai, stated that the federal government was currently into acquisition, installation and application of modern technologies in the fight against the Boko Haram terrorists.
He added that the partnership spearheaded by the federal government is in collaboration with the US, Isreal, UK, Jordan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Buratai maintained that â€œthe armed forces will continue to invest in capacity building for its personnel to enable them update their skills and fine tune their knowledge particularly as the world is currently challenged by emerging security threats.â€
â€œLet me observe that the array of participants in this seminar which cuts across members of the academia, military and other security actors both from within and outside Nigeria clearly shows the seriousness and concern we accord the issue of managing asymmetric security challenges in particular and world peace in general.
â€œLet me at this point commend the Nigerian Army Resource Centre for taking this bold step to translate an idea earlier conceived by me into reality.
â€œThis forum is important as it will accord our nations the opportunity to re-think and re-strategise on the best approach from shared experiences to confront the challenges posed by asymmetric warfare in the 21st century as exemplified by insurgency, terrorism and other strategies used by adversaries to undermine constituted authorities.â€