Top military leaders and participants at the workshop in Lagos

Kazeem Ugbodaga

Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai on Wednesday said Boko Haram terrorists have been so decimated that what was being witnessed now was like the case of dying men trying to survive.

Buratai spoke at a one-day workshop on National Security, with the theme: “Dynamics of National Security: the Role of the Citizens,” organized by the Nigerian Army School of Public Relations and Information (NASPRI), held at the 81 Division, Officers’ Mess, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.

Delivering a lecture titled: “Counter Terrorism and Sustenance of National Security in Nigeria: Successes and Lessons by Nigerian Army,” he said the Nigerian Army was leaving nothing to chance in the war against terrorism in the country.

He added that the army was making great success in the issue of security as it had established a Radio stations in strategic places to preach both Christianity and Islamic faith.

“In order to make impact in this war, we have established Radio stations in strategic places and is being utilized appropriately. We also created jingles, the essence is to preach true religion and other aspects of security operations to educate Boko Haram on the need to become good citizens and be reintegrated into the society.

“We want the people to know the truth, we let them know the truth aspect of what these religions are both Christians and Muslims, that there is no religion that teaches killings. We believe that with this, we will get to where we are going, and we have done this country great proud,” said Buratai, who was represented by the Director of Information Management, Department of Civil Military Affairs, Army Headquarters, Abuja, Brigadier-General Rabe Abubakar.

Buratai said the aim of the workshop was to let the citizens know that they had roles to play in securing the nation, appealing to them to partner with the military to end insecurity in the country.

“The role of the citizen is important and we want to take everybody along in the security management of this nation. It is not a matter of north east but all Nigerians and we all must show concern. The era Nigeria were scared of military is gone, we are all Nigerians and we should be that collaboration,” he said.

The Commandant, NASPRI, Brigadier-General John Agim said “NASPRI’s intention is to make Nigerians know that they have a role to play in security of the nation, it is not just them versus we, and the only way we can bring the public to discuss is to have it in a workshop like this.

“The idea of this round-table dialogue was borne out of the fact that security shouldn’t be left in the hands of security agencies alone, hence the need for this constructive engagement with relevant stakeholders. It is important to stress that the citizenry as important stakeholders in nation building have a greater role to play in fostering national security.

“This can only be achieved effectively when the citizens churn out positive narratives to the public domain. This platform, it is hoped, will galvanise a robust public discourse on how best citizens’ role can be harnessed for national security.”

Speaking on the topic: “The Imperative of National Security in the 21st: Issues and Challenges,” Prof. Agaba Oche said national security would be hampered if the issues of economic, social, food, environmental and human security were not addressed by the government.

Oche, who was represented by Dr. Joshua Bolarin, Research Fellow, Nigeria Institute of International Affairs, NIIA, lamented that smuggling, kidnapping, Boko Haram, corruption, money laundering, among others were impediment to attaining national security, saying that if these were addressed, national security would be toughened.

Speaking on the topic: “Nigeria National Security: The need for Synergy between the Citizens and the State,” Major General Azagaku Umaru said the topic was apt as the Nigerian nation had become so vulnerable to all forms of threats.

He said apart from Boko Haram threat, other threats included the menace of herdsmen, kidnapping, Biafra, among others, saying that it was imperative the citizens played key roles in salvaging the situation.

In his lecture, “The Role of the Media and National Security,” Prof. Idowu Sobowale in the quest to enhance national security, the media must not be left out as they played key roles in national development and urged the media to practice their trade with greater sense of responsibilities.