The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Christopher Gwabin Musa, has declared that Nigeria’s political system and economic strength are the major anchors of the country’s national security, without which the military would be severely limited to contain the festering security challenges plaguing the country.
General Musa made this declaration yesterday in Lagos, during the, “2023 LCCI Security Meets Business Dialogue Series” of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) that was chaired by former Minister of Health and Social Services, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi.
He said: “We think the military first when the country has national security challenges. But our political system and economic strength are the real anchors of our national security
“The military is just a bridge. Without those two (political and economic aspects) what the military can do is severely limited. So, when we ponder on national security, let us also look at the political and economic angles.”
General Musa, who was represented by the Chief of Defence Training and Operations, Defence Head Quarters, Major General Victor Emeka Onumajuru, said since his appointment as the CDS, he has, “realised that a holistic approach to dealing with issues of national security will not be easy to contrive, but will be needed if the security posture is to be improved.
“So, my philosophy and approach is to create the perception in the minds of adversaries that the cost of any challenge to core national interest will outweigh its benefits,” adding that “peaceful economic, political and diplomatic engagements remain virile toward achieving a stable security empowerment that supports business activities and sustainable national development.”
According to the CDS, Nigeria is in the midst of complex security challenges today as its military is engaged in internal military operations in 30 out of 36 states of the federation.
He said: “The good news is that these challenges are not peculiar to Nigeria. Every country, both the developed and underdeveloped, has its own fair share of security challenges.
“What is important in all these is how Nigeria is addressing its security challenges as a nation. That we have a security challenge is not a problem, but how are we as a country organising to solve these challenges?”
The chief of defence staff, however, noted that the military is given its all in series of operations it is engaged in in the fight against insecurity to ensure that businesses have conducive environment to thrive.
These operations, according to him, have resulted in the restoration of security and normalcy in the North-east where the Boko Haran terrorists were no longer controlling any inch of territory.
“It is therefore, apt to posit that the North-east region is no longer a heaven for terrorists but a hub for thriving socio-economic activities that is not only for Nigerians but for our neighbouring countries. Borno State is recovering very fast and most socio economic indices are in upward positive movement.
“It is my resolve as the CDS to ensure that all criminalities that undermine economic activities in Nigeria are brought to a stop. This will be achieved with continuous support of institutions like the LCCI.
“Also, information passage is important and when you see something you should say something. Seeing something and not talking means not working toward building that conducive security environment that we desire,” General Musa said.
The occasion was attended by the representatives of the Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Air Staff, Chief of Naval Staff and the Inspector General of Police.
Other security chiefs that sent representatives were the Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service and the Controller General of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
The President of the LCCI, Dr. Michael Olawale-Cole, in his welcome address, said that one of the key priority of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration is security, adding that the purpose of the engagement with the security chiefs to “discuss critical security issues that concern the business community, exchange ideas and map out a course of actions to make Nigeria one of the safest, most secured and prosperous commercial locations in Africa.”