The National Security Adviser (NSA), retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno says smart approaches adopted in tackling security challenges by the military and other security agencies are yielding positive outcomes.
Monguno said this at the opening of the Defence Advisers and Attachés Annual Conference, organised by the Defence Intelligence Agency, on Monday in Abuja.
The week long conference has the theme, “Sustaining Nigeria’s Defence and Security: Role of the Defence Attaché System”.
The NSA said the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies have been striving to significantly address the security threats across the country.
He said identified some of the threats to include insurgency and terrorism in the North East, and secessionist agitation in the South East and South West.
The threats also include illegal oil bunkering in the South-South, and banditry, kidnapping and cattle rustling in the North West and North Central zones.
Monguno said the military and security agencies had been recording a high degree of success in all operations, as well as substantial levels of peace and stability in the North East and North West.
This, according to him, is clearly evident by the continued mass surrender of terrorists and their sympathisers, particularly in the North East.
“Similar degrees of success are also been recorded in other zones of the country, especially in addressing crude oil theft and secessionist activities, amongst others.”
Monguno harped on the need to strengthen regional cooperation to further ensure the success of ongoing military operations.
“I must also mention the support of our neighbours in our regional counterterrorism efforts, particularly in the Lake Chad Basin under the auspices of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF).
“The transnational nature of the current threats has made regional cooperation a matter of utmost necessity.
“Additionally, we have continued to strengthen collaboration with our international partners in terms of capacity building, and strategic intelligence sharing.
“These strategic partnerships are mainly driven by the defence Attaché system,” he said.
The NSA commended the agency for strengthening alliances to promote Nigeria’s regional and international interest.
He said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was determined to go to great lengths to ensure that the country attained the desired level of peace, stability and prosperity.
Monguno said that defence advisers and attachés played significant role in intelligence architecture by providing strategic estimates in partnership with foreign allies.
He said it was important that DIA broaden its horizon to explore avenues to improve indigenous capability in the various dimensions of national security.
According to him, DIA has continued to play central role in the intelligence community, particularly in providing technological capabilities, and external and domestic security assessments, mainly of military nature.
“This is a key function of the agency of which the Chief of Defence Intelligence has discharged with great zeal, commitment and determination under my coordination.
“I therefore implore you to always provide us with timely and actionable intelligence in order to shape the global strategic landscape to our advantage.
“Let me also share with you from my experience, that developing strong partnerships and relationships in your host countries as well as countries of accreditation is very vital for a successful tour of duty as defence advisers and defence attaches.
“In addition, I need not stress the overarching importance of your subordination to the ambassador or High Commissioner, as well as cordial relationship between the defence section and the embassy staff.
“You must note that you are all military actors expected to perform established institutional tasks in a civilian setting.
“That is why you were specially selected as elite carrier officers, considering that your work schedule involves directly dealing with civilian diplomats, which requires a lot of tact and professionalism.
“Furthermore, it is instructive that you align your responsibilities with the prescribed guidelines in the relevant portions of the national security strategy of 2019, National Defence Policy of 2017 and the National Military Strategy of 2022,” he said.
Monguno expressed confidence that the outcome of the conference would reinforce the existing strategies and proffer new ones to address some perennial security challenges.
The Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI), Maj.-Gen. Samuel Adebayo, said the annual conference afforded the agency the opportunity to appraise the activities of its defence sections all over the world.
Adebayo said the conference was also to identify new lessons, discuss modalities for common challenges, as well as to strategize for the future, especially as the election year approached.
He said the conference came at a time when the nation was facing unusual security challenges characterised by volatile, uncertain and complex environment.
Adebayo, therefore, said the theme was carefully chosen to guide the deliberations and contributions towards attaining success in counterterrorism strategy and creating atmosphere for sustainable national security and development.
He said that the DIA had continued to play key role in support of the armed forces in confronting the myriad security challenges being faced by the country.
The CDI added that the special operations undertaken by the agency in conjunction with other stakeholders, which targeted different threat groups in the North West and North Central, were yielding desired results.
According to him, the nature of threats posed by the enemies of Nigeria, reinforced the need for collaborative efforts between government departments within the security service, and through foreign diplomats and defence attachés.
“As we all know, terrorist groups leverage on foreign affiliations to sustain their franchise, the need for international cooperation in countering the terror groups cannot be overemphasised.
“The defense attachés and advisers have done well to elicit this cooperation from their countries of accreditation and to deny the same support to adversaries.
“Importantly, the activities of secessionist groups which threatens the corporate existence of our nation require collaborative action to surmount.
“The need for continuous reappraisal of strategies and operational tactics and methods of intelligence gathering and sharing in order to efficiently deal with our security challenges is very paramount at this time,” he said.