Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Oluseyi Petirin Friday warned Boko Haram and other terrorist groups intent on destabilizing Nigeria to think again as the Nigeria Armed forces would hit hard at any such group in its resolve to keep the nation one and ensure the sustenance of democracy.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the Defence Advisers annual conference in Abuja, the CDS who showed visible anger at the unrelenting posture of the Boko Haram sect over attacks in parts of the country despite government’s sincere efforts at addressing their complaints, noted that, “there activities and attacks cannot change anything”.
“Yes, they will get some people maimed. Yes, they will succeed in killing some people. Yes, they will destroy some property, but nothing will happen to our unity and oneness. And Nigeria will remain one united country”, Petirin said.
Disclosing that terrorism which was something we were used to seeing in the movies has finally come to meet us in our home, the CDS said, “These terrorist organizations are however working with people outside our country. We believe that with the crises in Libya for instance, these types of people will easily find their way to Niger and before you know it, Nigeria will be their destination”.
Consequently, he charged the Defence Advisers to rise up to the currently security challenges facing our country saying, “We depend on you for anything that can assist us contain these problems. Let us know who is helping these terrorists, who are those involved because this is the most serious challenge the country is facing now”.
“As the Chief of Defence Intelligence has said, Niger which is a neighbor to Libya will become a dumping ground for anybody targeting Nigeria hence we are planning to establish a defence mission in that country” the CDS said adding, “It is in the midst of confusion that criminals who call themselves terrorists thrive”.
“They said Gadaffi was the problem. He is out of the scene and there is more confusion because those fighting him are now fighting themselves. Before you know it, these persons will target Nigeria. This is why you must be up and doing because any war against terrorism, if it is not backed by timely intelligence; it will be like fighting such war in vain”.
In his speech, Defence Minister, Dr. Bello Haliru Mohammed stated that the idea of refresher training for the Defence Advisers, is to reposition the DA’s and indeed, the defence sections for increased and effective performance of their duties.
“I am aware of the administrative constraints facing the various defence sections as discussed in the conference. I assure you that Agency in conjunction with MOD, DHQ and the Services headquarters will do all within available resources to alleviate the problems to ensure better performance of your duties’, he said.
Chief of Defence Intelligence, Major General Sani Yakubu Audu in his remark, noted that finding solutions to the challenges of international terrorism, trans-border organized crimes, internal and cross border conflicts, high youth unemployment and its adverse consequences among others are reasons why the Defence Intelligence Agency needs to train and retrain its key operatives on a regular basis.
“It is in furtherance of Nigeria’s defence diplomacy effort that four new defence missions were established recently” he said adding that, “To improve our intelligence ability, we are equally embarking on intelligence cooperation with some regional Francophone neighbours by establishing defence outpost in Niamey”.
“This new initiative is to bolster our early warning system as it is increasingly self evident that most of our current internal security challenges appear to have some external connections”, the CDI sad.