BEVERLY HILLS, JULY 29, (THEWILL) – The Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, General Gabriel Olonisakin, has reviewed the Security challenges plaguing the country and returned the verdict that the various crises might disintegrate the country unless they are carefully managed.
The defence chief stated this on Thursday at the Defence Headquarters, DHQ, Abuja, during a one-day Defence Correspondents’ Seminar titled: “Constructive Reportage as an Important Ingredient for National Security”.
Noting that the Security Challenges singularly and collectively have the grim potential to undermine the country, the defence chief warned that “These are very potent and sensitive crisis situations that have the capacity to wreck our ship of state, if not handled with utmost care and professionalism that they deserve.”
He consequently called for patriotic commitment from all stakeholders for the unity, peace and security of the country, stressing that the media and military were two of the most important stakeholders in projecting, promoting and protecting national security.
Olonisakin maintained that it is incumbent on all the stakeholders in the national security and allied sectors to assist defence media practitioners to build human and institutional capacity to facilitate effective performance and goal attainment, especially on issues that affect national security of Nigeria.
“It is important from the onset to state that although, we play different roles and may see things from different perspectives, we all must be responsive as stakeholders in the overriding task of nation building,” he said.
The CDS noted that in a developing nation like Nigeria, which is engulfed by a dynamic flux of security challenges, the media is required to build bridges of understanding between the military and the people in the discharge of its national security mandate.
He emphasised that as professionals, the two parties are expected to have a clear understanding of the challenges confronting the country, which include pastoralist/farmers’ clashes, cattle rustling, kidnapping, militancy, vandalism of Critical National Infrastructure, CNI, particularly oil facilities, ethnic nationalism, terrorism and insurgency.
According to Olonisakin, “These challenges singly and collectively, have the grim potential to undermine the Nigerian State. These are very potent and sensitive crisis situations that have the capacity to wreck our ship of state, if not handled with utmost care and professionalism that they deserve.
“To prevent this, the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) has been called upon to provide Military Assistance to Civil Authority (MACA) in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
“In the past one year, the AFN has made remarkable progress in the provision of security across the nation. In particular, I can proudly state that the patriotic and gallant efforts of our troops in alliance with other key players, downgraded the Boko Haram terrorists in the North-east.
“However, the security situation in Nigeria is still rather fluid and calls for the patriotic commitment of all institutions and citizens, governmental and non-governmental organisations,” he added.