A U.S.- trained security expert, Mr Femi Soneye, has canvassed a synergy between the government, the private security outfits and retired personnel to address the security challenges that have bedeviled Nigeria in past decade.
To this end, he said security summit and screening of the independent outfits and NGOs was imperative.
He spoke at an interactive session with journalists in Lagos on national and global insecurity.
Soneye, who shared his experience in the U.S. with them, said the emergence of ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram and others armed with rocket-propelled grenade launchers and other sophisticated weaponry, had made it imperative for a multi-level and integrated approach involving such a synergy.
Soneye, who is the publisher of the online newspaper – Persecondnews, said his background as both information and intelligence gatherer over the years motivated him to acquire military training and also serve in the US Air Force.
According to him, having access to accurate and timely information and intelligence provides enough sign post for personal and national security-consciousness.
“Journalism not only as a news gathering, processing and disseminating media channel, but as the art of intelligence gathering has helped me to make a successful foray into security issues.
He urged the journalists to raise their level of awareness and security consciousness by not only consuming information they receive but should use it for personal, community and national security.
Soneye, however, commended the Muhammadu Buhari administration and the security agencies for providing the necessary fillip to the war against insurgency, crime and criminality since 2015.
“The military and other security forces have been redirected in their onslaught against insurgents which has helped in degrading them.’’
On the need to re-engage retired soldiers and security personnel, he said it was a waste to allow retired army generals, police inspectors-general and other officer cadres to rot away in their retirement life without bringing them together once in a year to brainstorm at a security summit.
“In U.S. during war time , they will re-engage them and also use them to train and retrain younger personnel.”
” As a matter of fact there is what is called the “COPS” office committed to supporting Military Veterans and the law enforcement agencies.”
” Military veterans and those that have served demonstrate strong work ethic, and the ability to work in teams and in challenging situations. These skills make them ideal candidates for Police work”.
” Whether a former military member has combat experience or not, they were surely exposed to stress with expectations of success and nothing less, making them stress managers. “Law enforcement is filed with hours of calm and moments of extreme stress.” Many of them won’t crack under this type of pressure because they were trained to perform.” This type of stress management can’t be taught at an educational institution, he said.
On the nexus between security and technology, Soneye, said he had also joined the “Army’’ of technology-savvy folks to join forces with the Nigerian government and other bodies in the fight against insecurity using the leverage of information and intelligence gathering skills and the military training.
Served at the Andrews Air Force base now Joint Base Andrews, in Washington, Soneye’s foray in the Military cut across strategic fields, squadrons and units.
He was honored with Medals for heroic/lifesaving acts of bravery and distinguished graduate in recognition of outstanding academic achievements at the United States Air Force Air Education and Training Command.
He received training in Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection, Self-Aid & Buddy Care, Law of Armed Conflict, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives, (CBRNE) United States Department of Defense(DoD), at the United States Air Force Air Education and Training Command.
He’s also a certified US Department of Defense Language Proficiency Expert Linguists.