President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Nigerian Army to move away from asymmetry warfare and adopt intelligence drive approach to defeat terrorism and insurgency, adding that the sophistication of the ruthless terrorists demands more swifter approach.
According to him, the war against terrorism and insurgency is intelligence driven, requiring gathering of information and processing it into actionable intelligence for the conduct of operations.
Buhari noted that the new approach would also needs cooperation and synergy of effort by all the security agencies, noting that all hands must be on deck to win the war against terrorism, and restore normalcy back to the war thorn areas.
“I therefore charge you to do more in your information gathering effort and the level of synergy among intelligence operations in order to comprehensively defeat all forms of insurgency and terrorism in our country within the shortest possible time.
“I am aware of the successes so far achieved in the Northeast operations as well as all other operational theatres, following of course, the increase surrendering of some of the insurgents that we have witnessed in the past few months.
“You must therefore maintain the tempo to ensure that more of these insurgents continue to surrender until normalcy is fully restored in the region,” Buhari said at the opening of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Conference 2021, on Monday in Abuja.
The president, who was represented by the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, also urged the army to remain apolitical and professional in protecting democracy and defending the territorial integrity of the nation.
He said that the COAS conference was an opportunity to appraise the training and operational activities for the year with a view to building on lessons learnt and prepare for 2022 activities.
Buhari urged the COAS to continue to develop the Nigerian army of the future by doing more to entrench professionalism. He also urged commanders to ensure effective command and control of personnel and equipment in their formations for optimal performance in the field.
According to him, the army is a key element of any nation’s power and vital tool required to protect its territorial integrity and project its foreign policy.
“I have no doubt that the renewed emphasis on high standard of training and discipline, adhering to military values, effective command and control, servant to rule of law and excellent civil-military relations will enable the Nigerian arm to function effectively to bring glory to our father land.
“Therefore, as the army of our great nation, your role in securing the nation is paramount. While performing your constitutional roles, I urge you to remain apolitical and continue to operate within the framework of the principles of fundamental human right and the law of armed conflicts,” he said.
The president said that his government was committed to providing needed equipment, training and motivation for the military. He added that the government would continue to equip the armed forces to perform their constitutional roles.
Buhari disclosed the the government was in talks with friendly nations to equip the military optimally and enhance their effectiveness in various operations.
The Minister of Defence, retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi, expressed optimistm that the conference would generate new strategies toward enhancing stability and charting a better course for the Nigerian army in 2022.
Magashi, who was represented by the Director Army, Ministry of Defence, Sunday Attah, said that the ministry was committed to the drive to achieve ‘jointness’ among the three services in conducting operations.