The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, has assured that the military would enhance its kinetic operations in dealing with the prevailing security challenges confronting the nation.
Irabor gave the assurance at a One-Day National Defence and Security Summit with the theme: “Promoting Kinetic Operations as a major Plank for Counter Terrorism and Counter Insurgency in Nigeria” on Monday in Abuja.
He said that the Armed Forces of Nigeria were committed to ensuring the return of peace to different parts of the country being confronted by insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and other forms of security challenges.
Irabor said that defence and security were universally considered as common, but existential values that affect the entire nation.
He said the summit would seek to discuss how to promote kinetic operations by leaders and eminent personalities in the Nigerian society who would contribute their narratives towards addressing the security challenges.
According to him, it is no longer news that the nation experiences a wide range of national security threats including terrorism, insurgency, farmers/herders conflict, ethno-religious conflicts, kidnapping and banditry.
He said that the threats had posed an immediate and present danger to the corporate existence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity, stability and sustainable development of the nation.
The CDS said that the military had restrategised to implement the mandate of President Muhammadu Buhari, for action to immediately stabilise the situation.
“Our strategic objectives are manifold and imbued to neutralise non-state-actors and other agents of violence in our communities, forests and countryside to stabilise the security situation across the nation, to facilitate law and order; and lastly to provide the enabling environment for peace and development.
“These presuppose that the military would need support from other security agencies during the operations and would be required to give support to others at different stages of the internal security effort.
“On behalf of the officers and men/women of the armed forces, I pledge our unalloyed loyalty to C-in-C and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The mandate shall be delivered; fear and despair shall be extinguished from our land. Nigeria will have peace again,” he said.
Irabor said that the use of military force, particularly in the homeland, had been the most fiercely debated topic in public discourse, adding that people often took extreme and sometimes diametrically opposed positions.
According to him, it is important, therefore, that the kinetic efforts enjoy the understanding and sustained support of stakeholders, key players, the public and other significant stakeholders.
He said that the specific objectives of the Summit were to create functional awareness of the rationale for the kinetic efforts, promote buy-in and support of critical stakeholders and the polity.
He said that it was also to promote viable Civil Military Relations (CMR) structures in support of the kinetic effort.
He said that the summit was also expected to promote possible deterrence from violent non-state actors, facilitate strategic communications and promote a cohesive information strategy on the kinetic approach.
According to him, the summit also seeks to promote resource support for the kinetic approach, create awareness of the imperatives for past kinetic action, consolidate security and lastly consider other relevant measures to sustain security and stabilise the polity.
“The Summit is designed to quicken, support and consolidate the kinetic effort.
“I, therefore, appeal to all participants to speak freely and candidly in the national security interest,” he said.