The President of Nigeria, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), has requested the Nigerian Army to improve data gathering and coordinate with other security agencies in order to battle terrorism and other forms of insecurity affecting the country.
Nonetheless, he believes that the war on terrorism is intelligence-driven, and that in order to conduct operations, the army must gather information and translate it into actionable data.
Buhari revealed this at the Chief of Army Staff Annual Conference in Abuja on Monday.
The president, who was represented by Chief of Defence Staff General Lucky Irabor, admonished the Nigerian Army to stay apolitical.
“The war against terrorism and insurgency is intelligence-driven,” he stated. It necessitates the collection of data and the conversion of that data into timely and actionable intelligence for the conduct of operations.
“It also entails coordination of operations and collaboration across various security services.” As a result, I charge you to do more in terms of information collection and intelligence synergy in order to fully eliminate all types of insurgency and terrorism in our country in the shortest period feasible.
“I urge you to remain apolitical and operate within the context of fundamental human rights principles and laws of armed conflict while performing your constitutional tasks.”
While some of the equipment purchased is now being delivered, he noted that others would be supplied as soon as feasible.
Lt Gen Farouk Yahaya, the Chief of Army Staff, claimed the troops’ morale was affected by a shortage of needed vehicles and weapons for the operations.
“The lack of necessary vehicles and weapon platforms to provide the necessary support for operations has a bad influence on soldier morale,” he said.
“To that end, I asked the Nigerian Army Special Vehicle Plant and the Command Engineering Depot, in collaboration with the NAEME and other stakeholders, to look within and determine how best these difficulties could be addressed.”
“A total of 10 AFVs, 37 B vehicles, 777 small arms and light weapons, as well as 7 x 155mm artillery cannons, were repaired, reconditioned, and remodified within available resources.”
He did say, however, that the security situation in the North West and North Central, which had previously been tense due to increased activities of armed bandits and others, has now calmed down.