*Defence Headquarters concludes nation-wide interactive meetings in Delta
From Jake Aimuan in Asaba
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.
General Irabor gave the assurance while fielding questions from newsmen, weekend, at the 63 Brigade Headquarters, Nigerian Army, Asaba at the weekend, stressing that the Nigerian defence authorities were in the process of reviewing reviewing its operational engagements in the various theatres aimed at restoring peace in troubled parts of the country.
The occasion coincided with the 6th and concluding edition of the CDS security parley with military veterans tagged, “CDS Interactive Session with Retired Senior Military Officers in the South-South Geo-political zone”.
The CDS assured that the engaging security parley, which was flagged off in the South-West zone, has been worthwhile, successful and beneficial to the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN), as several topical issues emanated from all the geo-political zones.
This, he said was crucial towards guiding the nation’s military high command in reviewing its operational doctrines and plans.
Gen 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, adding that the security disposition in the South-South (SS) region will continue to get better, the CDS stated.
He further explained that the security interaruve 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 tip bits arising from the interaction in sensitizing their subjects.
General Irabor assured that the AFN will continue to strike the right chords for other stakeholders in order 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 is only a part of the solution; there are non-kinetic approach, which forms part of the engagement that is focused on the holistic solutions to the challenges in the Niger Delta region,” Irabor noted.
The Chief of Defence Civil Military Cooperation (CDCIMIC), Rear Admiral Fredrick Ogu, in his remarks, said that as stakeholders in the defence and security sector, the retired senior officers were well-positioned in 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 pointed out.
The CDCIMIC further disclosed that myriad of 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 SS zone to be attacks on local communities, piracy, militia attacks, cultism, illegal oil theft, vandalizing of critical national assets, sabotage, high sea robbery, kidnapping and other sundry crimes.
Earlier in his welcome address, the General Officer Commanding, 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Major-General Sani Mohammed, lauded 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.
The major activities during the close door sessions at the one day parley in all the six geo-political zones was the CDI’s brief on the general security threats being experienced in each of the zone. A group/syndicates’ presentations on the assigned thematic areas were delivered by the retired senior officers, while the “A” Team Unique Professional Limited, a Consultant to Defence Headquarters and facilitators of the CDS security parley, anchored the interactive sessions.