- Army warns saboteurs, accuses NGOs of aiding Boko Haram
Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
The federal government has commenced a review of the National Security Strategy (NSS) and the country’s relationship with its allies and institutions at regional, continental and global levels as one of the steps to tackle the mounting security challenges confronting Nigeria.
In reviewing the NSS document, which was first launched in 2014, the government said yesterday in Abuja that it was seeking a people-centered document.
This development is coming as the Nigerian Army Thursday accused unnamed Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs) operating in the North-east of security breach.
It said the NGOs were sabotaging the war against terrorism by supplying food and drugs to terrorists.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ workshop for the Validation Session of Draft National Security Strategy 2019, the National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd), said the review was necessitated by the various security challenges confronting the country and the need to put appropriate measures in place.
“A National Security Strategy serves as a key framework for a country to meet the basic needs and security concerns of citizens and address external and internal threats to the country,” he said, adding: “Nigeria has contended with various security challenges, which include terrorism, kidnapping, militancy, small arms proliferation, armed banditry, pastoralists-farmers conflicts, among others.”
Monguno said the strategy must also address the full range of potential cataclysmic events, including man-made natural disasters, due to their implications for national security.
The NSA, who was represented by the Director of Policy and Strategy in his office, Mr. Aminu Lawal, said the NSS, which is due for review after every five years, would focus on the application of instruments of national power and review of relationships with the country’s allies.
Monguno stated: “In line with the new notion of national security, which has the people, and not the state as the reference object; the strategy will place emphasis on human security in order to enhance the social wellbeing of the citizenry.
“Therefore, we need to address socio-economic concerns such as poverty and unemployment as well as corruption, security and the economy, which are key focal points of this administration.
“The ultimate aim will be to employ the instruments of national power in most efficient and effective manner, to promote peace and prosperity in a secure and enabling environment.
“An important aspect for consideration is relationships with our allies and institutions at regional, continental and global levels.
“This is key as activities in our external environment will continue to directly or indirectly influence our internal environment.”
According to him, most of the contemporary threats identified in the 2014 document were still present while some had morphed in various dimensions.
“This is coupled with the fast-developing cyberspace environment as well as advances in technology.
“We must thus continuously assess the current and future threat environment and develop appropriate resilience and capacity to mitigate these challenges,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army has accused NGOs operating in the North-east of security breach.
A statement by Army spokesman, Col. Sagir Musa, said the organisations were supplying food and drugs to terrorists.
It said: “The Nigerian Army (NA), through the Theatre Command, Operation Lafiya Dole, has once again received disturbing reports indicating that the war against Boko Haram terrorists is being sabotaged by some stakeholders operating in the North-east.
“This unfortunate development came to the fore with the arrest of a high-profile Boko Haram terrorist commander, one Mohammed Modu, – (an Amir in the Abubakar Shekau’s faction), by troops of 251Task Force Battalion Operation Lafiya Dole.
“Preliminary investigations conducted so far have revealed that the Abubakar Shekau’s faction of Boko Haram has been receiving so called ‘humanitarian support’ of food and drugs supplies from some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) operating in the North-east theatre.
“In the light of these disturbing disclosures, especially as it pertains to serious security breaches by NGOs providing logistics support to terrorists, the NA strongly warns the affected agencies to desist from compromising Nigeria’s national security and war efforts against terrorism and operate in accordance with the extant rules and regulations guiding the operations of humanitarian aid workers, and in line with the guidelines and procedures of international humanitarian laws as well as the laws of armed conflict.”
The Army warned that it would no longer tolerate sabotage inimical to the fight against terrorism by any organisation or agency.