The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations (DMO), Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, has called on locals to provide prompt and adequate information to aid security agencies in tackling all forms of insecurity bedeviling the nation.
Enenche made the call in an interview with our reporter in Abuja.
He said that security agencies would only be able to make meaningful impact in tackling security challenges if the locals provide useful information on the activities of criminals within their localities.
The DMO said that one of the major challenges the force has is the issue of giving information.
According to him, many locals see criminals but will not come out to report until crimes are committed.
“We have modestly over 100 pilots now in the Air Force and even if you give one aircraft each to every one of them, without corroborative information, they will be useless.
“We need credible information from the ground which we process and turn into intelligence.
“For the ground forces, if you give every soldier a general-purpose machine gun and he does not have information to go and use it they will be useless. The real challenge is not equipment.
“For the navy and the maritime, give them all the war ships and all the equipment they can use under water.
“If you don’t give them the needed information from the locals on where the pirates and kidnappers are, all the platforms will be useless.
“This is the most important challenge which we must all come together to solve knowing that Nigeria is the only country that we have.’’
Enenche urged the people to shun conspiracy of silence, adding that the cooperation of the locals had helped the military to make appreciable progress in the fight against banditry in North West.
He said that, “Kidnapping could be better handled through intelligence based operation that must involve all security agencies in collaboration with the locals who have better knowledge of their environment.
“Kidnapping is a crime that is better handled at a first response level through technical intelligence by the core intelligence agencies; then the force now comes when it comes to kinetic and we work together with them”.
He said that the military and other security agencies were working in synergy in the area of intelligence fusion and cooperation at a higher level as well as leverage on more technical activities to be able to track them.
The coordinator said that the military adopted both kinetic and non-kinetic approaches to the new tactics of the kidnappers.
According to him, unlike in the past when kidnappers kidnap vehicles, they now kidnap victims and take them on foot to where they would keep them in enclaves, hills, forests, makeshift accommodation.
“So, that is what we are doing and we are going to continue on it working together with other security agencies.
“Another thing we are hoping will help us is the activation of community policing, whereby we expect a lot of information from them as they mingle with the populace once that is properly activated.
“We are happy that all over, more states are now activating them and the vigilantes are sitting up to take more responsibilities,” he said.