By OKOSUN OKHUELEIGBE
AS the Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria (AISSON) rounded off a two-day 2015 conference in Lagos, the military high command and other security agencies have been charged to take the security of the country seriously in order to overcome the monstrous challenge posed by Boko Haram insurgents.
The president of AISSON, Dr Ona Ekhomu, said there was the need to re-jig, renew, revitalise, re-engineer, re-structure and re-vamp the security programme. “Going forward, we must be able to, at the corporate, local and national levels, have a better security system,” he said.
“We keyed in on the change mantra of the new government and coined the theme: Security at the Speed of Change. We have seen that the number of deaths from terrorism in Nigeria last year was the highest anywhere in the world and that is a course for concern.”
On the December Presidential mandate to end terrorism, Dr Ekhomu believes the deadline can be met, and all the lost territories taken back. “However, we shouldn’t be lured into a false sense of security by deadlines because we have seen deadly Boko Haram attacks occurring outside that theatre of conflict in the north east like Kano, Abuja or elsewhere.”
He said Nigerians have seen a spirited attempt by Boko Haram to infiltrate Lagos and other destinations in this country since it is an asymmetric warfare.
“When you have a complex asymmetric conflict of this nature in a complex society like Nigeria, the discourse of the conference is as important as the product. We must generate new ideas and hypotheses to end terrorism,” he said.
Ekhomu berated the slow response of security forces in handling concomitant issues like the attacks and killings by the Fulani herdsmen.
“We sacrifice a lot of things on the altar of political expediency and we are not very serious about a lot of things. A lot of people criticise the West for not taken our problem of terrorism serious that is because we are not serious ourselves. We need to be serious and do the right thing,” he said.
According to him, the West cannot fight terrorism and Fulani herdsmen for Nigeria. If there is a problem of insecurity with cattle rustlers, they, the security expert said, should be dealt with according to the law which forbids killing of people.
This country has been taken for a ride so many times because we have not been able to do “Due Diligence Investigation (DDI); a lot of cooperation is being defrauded because of inability or unwillingness to carry out effective DDI.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai who delivered a paper entitled: Applied Threat Assessment and Protectional Intelligence agrees that Nigeria was facing multifaceted and multi-dimensional threats but there was the need for a change in the way the elite conceptualise security.
Represented by the General Officer Commanding, 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. Isidore Henry Edet pointed out that Boko Haram is being defeated as they don’t have the capacity and capability to attack as before noting that the sects were on the run.
He emphasised the need for military-civil cooperation rather than just civil-military relationship, saying the fight against insecurity would be better tackled when all and sundry get involved.
On his part, the Flag Officer Commanding, Naval Training Command, Rear Admiral AA Osinowo, who was represented by Commodore Omatseye Nesiama, said the topics selected for the seminar have not been delivered in many places. He tasked the participants to leverage on the timeliness of “Security at the Speed of Change.”
The conference chairman, Ambassador Adegboyega Ariyo, called for proper coordination of all security architecture in the country to galvanise change and mitigate insecurity.