Wednesday October 5th 2022 was a day quite significant to the collaborative efforts of the Nigerian security agencies. This was a day the efforts of the Chief of Defence staff’s Action Committee, CDSAC broke the cheering news of the release of the remaining 23 kidnapped passengers on the ill-fated Abuja-Kaduna train on the 28th of March this year.
News reports had indicated that Nigeria’s national government, security agencies, parents and relations of kidnapped victims have been making concerted kinetic and non-kinetic approaches and support to free the abducted persons.
Also not kept out are well meaning Nigerians among whom are religious and community leaders who have not rested on their oars in efforts to free the kidnapped victims from their abductors in the forests.
President Muhammadu Buhari, while responding to the release through a statement by Garba Shehu, his Senior Special Assistant, SSA on media and publicity, expressed his happiness and satisfaction adding: “the nation owed the military and all other security and intelligence agencies a debt of gratitude for the successful conduct of the operation leading to the release of the kidnap victims. These agencies had shown outstanding capabilities over this period that the whole world will not fail to take note of”.
In the words of the President, “relief that comes to the nation arising from the closure of this unfortunate saga must be sustained at all times and all over the federation”.
The President could not hide his happiness with the way the military handled the exercise, thus crediting his government ‘for resolving the issue and the de-escalation of terrorism, banditry and kidnapping that surged recently’, giving assurances that the efforts will be sustained.
The Secretary of the CDS committee, Professor Usman Yusuf had also said after a successful operation that involved members of the committee visiting the bandits, holding dialogues and even spending nights in the forest: “The nation owes a debt of gratitude to the Nigerian military under the leadership of the CDS, who conceived and guided the operation from start to finish. All sister security agencies and the Federal Ministry of Transportation contributed immensely to this operation.
“The unwavering support of the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari is what made it all possible”.
It is not in doubt, as President Buhari said in Kaduna during this year’s graduation ceremony of Cadets at the Nigeria Defence Academy, NDA, that his Government in 2015 inherited a country at the crossroads, with bombs going off with frightening frequency even in our cities, took over more determined to make the difference as a military officer in order to confront and manage the crisis head on.
To match his words with action, PMB swung into the ring by procuring, arming and motivating the security agencies massively and in a manner never done before.
His administration ordered over 550 naval platforms, out of which 319 have been delivered, as part of the aggressive fleet recapitalisation of the Nigerian Navy.
The number of Nigerian Air Force platforms increased by more than 38%. This is in addition to enhancing the serviceability rate of aircraft in the NAF inventory by over 70%.
On its part, the Nigerian Army has received more than 2,000 units of various Armoured Fighting Vehicles, guns, and equipment.
Also, the three Services, along with other security and intelligence agencies have received improved funding by the PMB administration as additional incentives to boost their morale with working tools and one of the best welfare schemes ever to defend the country and her citizens at all times.
”These comprehensive and systematic acquisitions within seven years are not only unprecedented in the past 38 years, but they also align with our pledge to safeguard and strengthen the security architecture of our country”, said President Buhari.
It is indeed noteworthy that the President was full of confidence and fulfilment when he declared: “under my command to fulfil the promise to neutralise Boko Haram terrorism in the North East, the government would not relent in this onerous task, resettling and rehabilitating the victims of the tragedy.”
It is very clear that as the Commander-in-Chief of the country’s Armed Forces, President Buhari tasked the security agencies as guardians of the nation’s economic, infrastructure, lives and military capability to prepare for the evolving and complex security situations and make sure that ‘no terrorists can threaten Nigeria’s sovereign integrity’.
He further urged them to replicate the successes in the North East in other parts of the country.
As a President with a human heart, PMB took time off his very busy schedule in Kaduna to meet with the freed 23 kidnapped but released train passengers at the NDA hospital, interated with them and expressed his heart felt sympathies over the unfortunate incident.
Indeed there is no gainsaying the fact that the Nigerian armed forces and other security agencies have, since the directive of PMB, woken up from their slumber and inactivity to put the nation first in their conduct and operations.
The country has indeed witnessed an unprecedented change in the military operations to uproot terrorists, kidnappers, bandits, armed robbers and other criminal elements in our midst who have daily caused mayhem in our villages, towns, streets and forests.
Like the President said, the security agencies deserve a pat on the back for them to do more with support and encouragement from Nigerians.
It will therefore be appropriate to say that the new approach by our security agencies which simultaneously use kinetic, non kinetic, conventional and non conventional styles to give our multi faceted security challenges and threats a deadly blow, are paying off very well.
It is our prayer and hope that these combined and collaborative approaches be sustained by our security agencies while citizens continue to support them by providing information about criminals, their hideouts and plans that could threaten lives and property.
EMEKA ANYAOKU STREET, ABUJA email@example.com