Nigerian military is confronting no
fewer than fourteen security threats all over the country, the Chief of
Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin, says in New York
He disclosed this while speaking at a reception organised for him by the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the UN.
The defence chief spoke on the real
threats confronting Nigeria and remained silent on the agitations for a
breakaway Biafra republic while at the UN headquarters for the Second
Chiefs of Defence Conference, alongside more than 100 other chiefs of
defence staff all over the world.
He said “by my estimation, we have about
14 security threats that we are confronting, ranging from terrorism,
insurgency, kidnapping, cultism, to issues linked to armed robbery.
“We are handling operations in all the
geo-political zones of the country, but the major one is the one in the
Northeast, which is ‘Operation Lafiya Dole’.
“We have, of course operations down South and taking charge of militancy and oil theft; we also have that in Lagos.
“But the major one is Operation Lafiya Dole, which of course since we came on board, we have stepped up the scheme.
“Right now, we have been able to
decimate Boko Haram terrorists, but what they are doing right now is
hitting soft targets through suicide bombers.
“We realised that to mitigate this
particular menace is not only about the military. So we need to carry
the whole nation along to be able to address that.”
To mitigate incidences of suicide
bombings, Olonisakin said military high command had met with other
stakeholders to encourage the populace to provide them with necessary
He said the command realised that intelligence was vital to handling the menace of suicide bombings.
The defence chief also said that the
military had commenced the process of restoring full civil authority in
areas formerly controlled by Boko Haram terrorists.
“We are working alongside the DSS –
Department of State Services -, the Police, and the Nigerian Security
and Civil Defence Corps.
“We are also ensuring that the civil
authority is put in place; places that the military had taken over, we
encourage the Police and Civil Defence to come on so they can provide
civil authority for displaced people to move in.”
Olonisakin noted that last week, many
Boko Haram militants surrendered, adding that “we have what we call
Operation Safe Corridor in Gombe that is to handle this kind of
“I believe in the next couple of days,
repentant Boko Haram terrorists will be moved to that Operation Safe
Corridor where they will conduct de-radicalization and integration
procedure for them.
“Down South, of course we have issues
too but the military is stepping up its game to make sure we address the
security challenges back home.”
On peacekeeping operations, the chief od
Defence staff said Nigeria had met and exceeded the gender percentage,
having 16.2 per cent female peacekeepers as against the 15 per cent
benchmark by the UN.
The Nigeria’s Ambassador/Permanent
Representative to the UN, Prof. Tijjani Bande, commended Nigeria’s
security forces for decimating the Boko Haram as a fighting force.
Bande said “soft targets are being
exploited by desperate group but in truth, even beyond Boko Haram, other
challenges are also being addressed.
“What is important is the synergy that
has been expressed by Chief of Defence Staff in relation to what all the
security agencies are doing together; when we work together, we are