The National Security Adviser (NSA), Malam Nuhu Ribadu, has lauded the Armed Forces of Nigeria for the successes being recorded in the ongoing fight against insecurity across the country.
Ribadu made the remarks at the Chief of Defence Intelligence Annual Conference 2023 with the theme: “Leveraging Defence Diplomacy, and Effective Regional Collaboration for Enhanced National Security”, on Monday in Abuja.
He said the armed forces under the current leadership had shown serious commitment in addressing the prevailing security challenges bedeviling the country.
The NSA said that there were positive changes and improvements both in and outside Nigeria.
According to him, many things have changed since the appointment of the current team of leaders in the security sector.
“Let us come together as one and continue to support our armed forces and other security agencies with this work of securing our country for peace and stability.
“They have done an amazingly good job without talking and I believe that with the support and the resolve of the leadership we have today in our country, things will only be better.
“We are just four or five months old, but certainly things have changed and we believe that what they are doing, they are doing it right.
“We want to encourage them, stand by them and support them 100 per cent and hopefully this country will be okay in a short time,” he said.
The NSA also said there was renewed synergy among the services in dealing with the threats, and this has led to successes in ongoing operations.
He said that the improved security in the Niger Delta region had led to an increase in oil production from 900,000 barrels per day about a year ago, to about 1.7 million barrels per day presently.
The NSA added that attacks on oil installations have also reduced drastically in recent times due to the commitment of the military, while insurgency-related deaths have also reduced in the North East and North West.
He also said that hundreds of kidnapped hostages have been rescued from the terrorists in different theatres of operation across the country.
According to him, giant stripes have been recorded in the last two decades in enhancing democratic culture and governance in Nigeria.
He however said that the resurgence of groups and military takeovers had recently threatened democracy on the African continent.
The NSA added that the coups in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Gabon, and Guinea had led to sudden reversal of democratic fortunes in those countries.
Ribadu said the essence of defence diplomacy was to pursue strategic engagement with allies and partners at bilateral and multilateral levels while ensuring the attainment of national security objectives.
The Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI), Maj.-Gen. Emmanuel Undiandeye, said the agency was determined to harness the capabilities of the defence attaché system for the attainment of national security objectives.
Undiandeye said the current and emerging threats facing Nigeria were numerous, complex, integrated, multifaceted and diverse in nature with attendant security implications for national security.
These threats, according to him, have both internal and external perspectives, and range from terrorism, high force secessionist agitation, armed mandatory kidnapping, herders-farmers clashes and cyber threats.
He reiterated the need to sustain collaborative efforts at all levels to consolidate the successes so far recorded by the military.
The CDI said that defence attachés have the key responsibility of ensuring effective regional collaboration to strengthen mechanisms to address identified threats.
According to him, the annual conference was for the DIA to evaluate the activities of its defence sections, and identify opportunities and challenges.
He added that it was also to evaluate modalities of engaging intelligence trends that would shape policy direction, and reposition the agency to respond to current and future threats.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the conference was attended by the Minister of Defence, Alhaji Muhammed Badaru, Minister of State, Dr Bello Matawalle, Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Ibrahim Kana, the Chief of Defence Staff and other service chiefs. (NAN)