The Nigerian Defence Headquarters has appealed to the public to always avail the force with useful information to boost intelligence gathering in the fight against Boko Haram.
Brig.-Gen. John Agim, the Acting Director of Information, Defence Headquarters Abuja, made the appeal on Thursday in Calabar during a 2-day capacity building workshop for Forum of Spokespersons of Security and Response Agencies (FOSSRA).
The theme of the workshop is ‘Global Terrorism and Crisis of Narratives: The Challenges of Nigeria Security Spokespersons’.
Agim called on Nigerians to always give useful information that could help security agencies in the fight against insurgency, militancy and sundry crimes in Nigeria.
According to him, security is not a sole prerogative of the military, adding that the Nigerian public must contribute their quota in the fight.
“Any Nigerian who is up to the age of 25 and has never given useful information to any security agency before is not doing the right thing.
“We need useful information from Nigerians to tackle Boko-Haram, militancy and other criminals in the country.
“Security is not exclusive to security agencies, Nigerians must assist us because it is not the army that is fighting insurgency but Nigerians.
“We should stop looking at the fight against insecurity as the sole prerogative of the military and other security agencies alone.
“Nigerians must be involved; we need them to defeat all forms of insecurity,” he said.
He identified the absence of intelligence information gathering as the bane of Nigeria’s security challenges.
“Nigerians must realise that it is their money that is used in paying our salaries and buying all equipment, hardware, including the uniforms we wear.
“Intelligence gathering is a mutual trust. There must be synergy between the members of the public as well as security agencies.
“As security agencies we must deliberately create programmes that will make people to voluntarily give out useful information without being afraid,’’ he said.
Agim said that FOSSRA provides a veritable platform in helping the military to carry the citizens along.
In a paper presentation titled “Public Relations in the Reduction of Nigeria Security Challenges”, Mr Kamonke Abam, said that the bane of Nigeria Security challenges was corruption, lawlessness, impatience and indiscipline on the part of most security agents.
“If all these barriers can be removed, if the military can relate well with the people, they will be able to manage intelligence effectively.
“These barriers makes it difficult for effective communication to be carried out because the public have a different perception and the military must strive to change that narrative,” he said.
Abam, who is an public analyst, added that the military owes the public the duty of ensuring that they stay ahead of criminals in the society, be it armed robbery, insurgency or militancy.