By Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
A foreign-trained security expert, Mr. Hilly Cookey-Gam, has faulted the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai’s statement that the prevailing insecurity across the country will come to an end should Nigerians resolve to halt the disturbing trend.
Buratai’s statement came barely 48 hours after no fewer than 23 soldiers were ambushed and killed by bandits at Jibia district in Katsina State.
Reacting to the COAS’ comments, Cookey-Gam, who is the Chief Executive Officer, Scutarii Advisory Limited, flawed Buratai, and urged the security and intelligence chiefs to understand clearly that the responsibility of securing the nation is their constitutional duty and not the prerogative of Nigerians to determine when and how insurgency would end.
In a statement, Cookey-Gam noted that although the Department of State Services (DSS) and National Intelligence Agency (NIA) have critical roles to play in the fight against insurgency, the responsibility rests mainly on the defence intelligence (in the army’s theatre of operations), noting that it provides intelligence on movements, weapons and activities of terrorists and bandits across the country.
He said: “Immediately the military is called upon to fulfill this responsibility, it only establishes the failure of the DSS and NIA in this regard. Sadly, it is apparent that there is a total intelligence failure because though the information provided by Nigerians is welcomed; this should not form the basis of strategic and tactical intelligence.
“For terrorists and bandits to ambush our security forces, evade aerial surveillance and coordinate their activities establishes beyond any doubt the lack of accurate intelligence gathering, analysis and synergy between the arms of the military and other agencies. It is therefore critically important for an urgent overhaul of the nation’s security architecture.”
He, therefore called on experts, both civilian and military, to come together to provide solutions to the problems of intelligence-gathering and sharing, even as they form synergy between different arms of the military and the nation’s intelligence services.
Nigeria, he maintained, urgently needs the office of national intelligence to coordinate the collation, analysis and dissemination of strategic intelligence to the national Security Council as well as tactical intelligence in the fight against critical security threats.
This, he said, would eliminate the problems of intelligence-sharing while enhancing the synergy between intra-military, intra-civilian and inter civil-military intelligence agencies as well as other sensitive agencies of the federal government.
“As a developing nation, we are currently witnessing the dangers of disregard for expert advice while learning the hard way in the national development and cohesion. Gone are the days when some see the Army as superior to other arms of the military and ignore the critical role of civilian agencies and corporations to national security.
‘’We can only choose to prevent further actions that are detrimental to national development and order or suffer more bloodshed, economic downturn or risk disintegration, if we fail to accept expert advice. No country in history has succeeded by subjugating its people, establishing regional or ethnic hegemony or disregarded the importance of national consensus,’’ he concluded.