The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, has stated that the dynamic and sophisticated nature of internal threats came with peculiar challenges demanding the continuous involvement of the army in internal security operations.
He stated this while delivering a paper titled, “Civil-Military Relations: A New Paradigm of military engagement in Nigeria,” during the House of Representatives’ Committee on Defence Capacity Building and Retreat, at national Defence College, Abuja.
The Chief who was represented by the Chief of Civil-Military Affairs, Major General Usman Muhammad, pointed out that criminals, insurgents, armed bandits and robbers are becoming bolder owing to numerous illicit acquisitions of heavier firepower to prosecute the activities which are a threat to personal and national security.
“Issues of insurgency in the North East and armed banditry in the North West are the most potent threats to the security of the country at the moment. These threats, though internal has necessitated a substantial deployment of the military to quell these threats.
Attendant effects of these threats include humanitarian crises, displacement leading to influx of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons, large number of fatalities, food shortages and inadequate medicare among others.”
These crises have inadvertently stretched the capacity of the NA in terms of adequate manpower to decisively support the lead agencies on internal security to deal with these threats as well as the challenges of initiating QIP in these areas to effectively win the hearts and minds of the local populace in the operating environment” General Buratai said.
General Buratai also stressed that members of the National Assembly have a special role in the promotion and protection of human rights because they influence policies monitor policy implementation programmes at local levels and address the needs and concerns of their constituencies and act as a catalyst in the realisation of human rights domestically.
“The participation of the National Assembly in Internal Security operations on the secondary role was necessitated on the need to offer support to the lead agencies in internal security and the imperative to save lives and properties among other factors.
Furthermore; it is desirable for members of the National Assembly to fully appreciate and be conversant with the specific roles of each security agencies. This is necessary so as to be able to direct appropriate inquiry or petition to agencies concern. -It would also give impetus to honourable members to be able to follow up on public petitions appropriately,” The COAS said.
The COAS however, noted that while members of the National Assembly strengthen legislations on human rights they also need to appreciate the specific roles of all the various security agencies, in order to direct appropriate petitions and inquiries to affected agencies, when the need arises.
The retreat which was held at the National Defence College brought together resource persons from various fields as well as members of the National Assembly, speaking on ranging topics of national importance with the aim of preferring solutions to national problems.
Source: Voice of Nigeria