By Onyebuchi Ezigbo
The Chief of Army Staff, Major General Farouk Yahaya, has said the country might need to adopt the carrot and stick approach in the efforts to contain insurgency and other cases ofcriminality like banditry and kidnapping in the country.
The new strategy, which he described as “Non-Kinetic Approach” involves efforts at deradicalisation of convicted criminals by providing them with sustainable means of livelihood.
He said there were currently various forms of insecurity in different parts of the country,such as insurgency in the North East, banditry and kidnapping in the North West, IPOB agitations in South East and crude oil bunkering in South-south.
Yahaya, who disclosed this at the formal unveiling of the Centre for Security and Legal Studies by the University of Abuja on Tuesday, said in order to achieve the mandate of his office, he had come up with a vision to build a professional Nigerian army, ready to accomplish assigned mission, adding that part of the mandate was engaging in joint military operations in parts of the country.
He also said the army had embarked on military exercises across the country to prepare the soldiers for real time military operations.
“These exercises are designed to dovetail into real time military operations. The exercise at the moment is going on smoothly and have recorded modest successes,” he said, stressing that the importance of the non-kinetic exercises was necessary for degrading the criminal elements.
“It is important to note that the ideology is what drives these criminal elements to engage in their criminal activities. There is therefore the need to deradicalise criminals released from the prisons as well as providing them with means of livelihood,” he said.
He explained that the military recently flagged off different exercises all over the nation designed to check violent criminal activities across the country in collaboration with other security agencies, stressing that the exercises had recorded huge successes, using both kinetic and non-kinetic approaches.
Speaking at the event, Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, expressed optimistism that the outcome of the dialogue session would contribute to the efforts at addressing the current and emerging threat to national security.
“The state of insecurity in the country promoted the President and Commander-in-Chief to direct military chiefs to take appropriate and necessary measures to ensure peace returns to the troubled spots. Consequently, the Armed Forces of the Federation had embarked on operations to ensure the security of the nation.
+“Considering that national security involves multi-sectoral endeavours that require the inputs and buy-in of diverse stakeholders, this maiden symposium is necessary, expedient and timely to sensitise members of the public to promote potentially useful discuss on issues of national security,” he said.
The Vice Chancellor, University of Abuja, Prof. Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, said the centre was focused on bringing in research to address the issues of security and the strategies to deploy.
He said, “There are so many questions to be asked before we can win this war and so, we need to sit together and proffer a solution. We can’t survive this insecurity without bringing everyone on board.”
The Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, in his remarks, maintained that the emerging trend of insecurity in the country showed there was need to deploy both kinetic and non-kinetic approach in achieving the desired results.
They insisted that their candidate’s popularity had made opposition jittery, because of the massive following he had garnered, hence the rumours.
“The name of Labour Party candidate is with INEC and you may wish to visit their portal to check that. Agabasimalo and Ozigbo are vying for same seat and never met one on one or brokered any agreement for one to step down for the other. They are all rumours targeted at reducing our candidates popularity,” Ojukwu said