The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Lt-General Lucky Irabor, has expressed confidence that the current spate of insecurity in Nigeria will give way to a stable and more peaceful country in no distant future.
Irabor gave the assurance at a session with journalists at the 63 Brigade Headquarters, Nigerian Army, Asaba at the weekend after a security meeting tagged “CDS Interactive Session with Retired Senior Military Officers in the South-South geo-political zone.”
Irabor said the Nigerian defence authorities were in the process of reviewing its operational engagements in the various theatres aimed at restoring peace in troubled parts of the country.
He said the security parley, which was flagged off in the South-West, has been worthwhile, successful and beneficial to the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN), as topical issues from all the geo-political zones were discussed.
This, according to him, was crucial towards guiding the nation’s military high command in reviewing its operational principles and plans.
Irabor said: “Interaction is a continuous process; so much value has emerged from the interactive session with our retired senior officers, and we are going to leverage the success and benefit to improve on security and safety of lives and property.”
“The operational engagements of Operation DELTA SAFE, which is in synergy with other internal security arrangements, were impacting on the peculiar security challenges, namely illegal oil bunkering, piracy, among others”.
The defence chief added that the security disposition in the South-South would continue to get better.
He also said the security interactive initiative would focus on engaging critical stakeholders such as royal fathers, some of who are equally retired senior officers, and among the participants to take some tips arising from the interaction in sensitising their subjects.
Irabor assured that the AFN would continue to strike the right chords for other stakeholders to holistically combat the numerous security challenges in the region.
“There are other engagements that are holding behind the scenes, as we have assessed that kinetic efforts are only a part of the solution; there is a non-kinetic approach, which forms part of the engagement that is focused on the holistic solutions to the challenges in the Niger Delta,” Irabor noted.
In his remarks, the Chief of Defence Civil-Military Cooperation (CDCIMIC), Rear Admiral Fredrick Ogu said, as stakeholders in the defence and security sector, the retired senior officers were well-positioned to understand the array of security issues in their domain, especially with the benefit of hindsight.
“Professional counsel from the retired senior military personnel on likely strategies to adopt in tackling the security threats is invaluable to the effectiveness of the nation’s security architecture.”
He disclosed that myriad security issues in the nation and those specific to each geo-political zone were x-rayed while adding that the outcome of the engagements with the veterans was rewarding.”
He listed the heightened insecurity in the South-South zone as attacks on local communities, piracy, militia attacks, cultism, illegal oil theft, vandalisation of critical national assets, sabotage, high sea robbery, kidnapping, and other sundry crimes.
In his address, the General Officer Commanding, 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. Sani Mohammed commended the initiative by the CDS in conceiving the idea whereby senior serving and retired military officers were able to gather to brainstorm on a collective approach towards enhancing operational performance of the military in the South-South region.
Prominent among the participants were the former Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha Jonah (rtd), and the former CDS, Gen Alexander Ogomudia (rtd).
The traditional rulers who attended the meeting include His Royal Highness (HRH), Maj-Gen. Felix Mujakperuo (rtd), HRH Air Vice-Marshal (AVM) Lucky Ararile (rtd), and HRH Brig-Gen Bright Fiboinumama (rtd).
The Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI), Maj-Gen Samuel Adebayo, Director-General, Defence Research and Development Bureau, AVM Peter Uzezi, Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Central Naval Command, Rear Admiral Kennedy Egbuchulam, FOC Logistics Command, Rear Admiral Sileranda Lassa, and the Air Officer Commanding Mobility Command, AVM Ali Bello were among the top military brass that graced the security parley.