Tinubu Appoints Maj-Gen Laka National Coordinator for Counter-Terrorism Centre

•FG mulls new strategy as ministers, service chiefs, others meet

•Slain military personnel for burial today

Deji Elumoye and Kingsley Nwezeh  in Abuja

President Bola Tinubu has approved the appointment of Major-General Adamu Garba Laka as the new National Coordinator of the National Counter-Terrorism Centre under the Office of the National Security Adviser.

Also, yesterday, the federal government, said it was working on a new counterterrorism strategy, following the state of insecurity in the country.

This position was disclosed as ministers, service chiefs, military Joint Task Force Commanders gathered in Abuja in furtherance of government’s decision to evolve a new approach to the fight against insurgency.

At the same time, the Nigerian Army has said the remains of the 18 military personnel killed in Okuama community in Delta State, would be buried today at the National Cemetery, Abuja, at 3pm.

This was disclosed in a statement posted on the Nigerian Army’s X handle on Tuesday.

However, Tinubu, in a statement by his Media Adviser, Ajuri Ngelale, expected General Laka to bring his vast experience into this critical role to effectively remove security threats through pre-emptive, proactive, and diligent counter-terrorism coordination.

Laka had served in various capacities in the North-East, Nigeria, where he deployed tactical means to degrade terrorist groups.

He also served in Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo under the United Nations and was part of the Nigerian contingent in the US AFRICOM exercise in Senegal.

He holds master’s degrees in National Security from the National Defence University, Pakistan, and in International Affairs and Strategic Studies, Nigerian Defence Academy.

Meanwhile, speaking at the 2nd Edition of the Chief of Defence Staff Joint Task Force Commanders Conference 2024 at the Defence Headquarters, the Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle, said the meeting which included ministers, service chiefs, military commanders and former service chiefs, was designed to develop a new strategy to contain insecurity.

“You know the situation in the country. This conference indicates the seriousness of government and the armed forces and we assure Nigerians that what we are doing here is to model a new security strategy so that we can confront the enemies of this country. As you can see, all the theatre commanders are here.

“All the service chiefs are here including ministers and minister of foreign affairs, minister of interior so that we can develop a new strategy to tackle the insecurity bedeviling this country,” he said.

The minister stated that the gathering served as “an opportunity to note significant strides we have made in safeguarding the lives and properties of our citizens as well as reflecting on lessons learnt from errors made in our various theatres of operations.

“The constantly revolving dynamics of the security challenges we are facing require corresponding strategies that will incorporate a holistic and integrated approach to warfare where synergy among our services is paramount,” he emphasised.

In his remarks, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Christopher Musa,  said the conference “provides an avenue for  comprehensive evaluation of the implementation of the decisions reached  during the maiden conference and other emerging issues, with a view to addressing the threats to our national security.

“Importantly, I would like  to recognise the uncommon sacrificed of the officers and men who were killed in Okuama, in Delta State, as well as express my earnest gratitude to all personnel of our Armed Forces,” he said.

He said the conference themed: “Consolidating  Operational Successes Across all Theatres of Operation” underscored  the critical importance of jointness, cooperation collaboration in our collective resolve towards addressing multidimensional challenges to our national security.

“The insecurity in our country is mutating, resilient and cannot be treated in isolation of the prevailing challenges in the global security environment.

“This gathering serves as an opportunity to note significant strides we have made in safeguarding the lives and properties of our citizens as well as reflecting on lessons learnt from errors made in our various theatres of operations,” he said.

He affirmed that while pursuing  national security objectives, “it is imperative that we remain wary of the fluid nature of our security environment.

“The notable threats, ranging from insurgency, terrorism, separatism, kidnapping, economic sabotage, cybercrime, transnational crimes and communal conflicts, have continued to dig deep into our national security fabrics.

“These challenges demand a comprehensive approach, one that encompasses not only military action, but also other elements of national power.

“To effectively address these threats, we must emphasize the importance of intelligence sharing and collaboration within and across our joint task forces.

“Through this, we can enhance situational awareness, improve decision-making processes, and promote seamless coordination among our forces,” Musa said.

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