..recommends stability in military leadership to deepen ongoing reforms
Chris Steven, Abuja
The Centre for International and Strategic Studies (CISS) has given President Muhammadu Buhari and the country’s Service Chiefs a pass mark for the country’s Counter-Terrorism campaign.
The Centre made this commendation after a careful appraisal of the proactive measures put in place in the last four years by the administration of President Buhari.
In a bid to sustain these efforts both at the policy and operational levels, the CISS, however, recommended that the president should continue to keep the Service Chiefs as the fight against terrorism is not a conventional war.
In a report released by Professor Ahmed Danfulani, the Centre revealed that the era of prevalent deadly attacks by Boko Haram sect is now in the past.
The high points of the centre’s findings were in the areas of improved funding, enhanced and robust operational module (Counter-Terrorism manual), high morale of troops at the frontlines, improved routine visits by the service chiefs to the theatre of operations, strategic partnership with NGO’s and improved regular assessment of the effectiveness of the operational module.
“ The Centre for International and Strategic Studies notes the efforts of Nigeria in the fight against terrorism in the country as evident in the deployment of a counter-terrorism campaign by the security agencies which by all estimation has been deemed a success.
“ It has also reviewed the operational doctrines of the Armed Forces to assess its effectiveness in the fight against terrorism, and as well as making strategic inputs towards the overall success of the Counter-Terrorism Campaign.
“ The Centre for International and Strategic Studies identifies that since 2015 there has been improved funding for the operations of the Nigerian military in the fight against terrorism, and this has ultimately translated in boosting the morale of the troops on the frontlines. The soldiers are well equipped as well as well kitted with the arms and ammunition, including military hardware.
“ The Centre for International and Strategic Studies has, on numerous occasions, reviewed the operational module for the fight against terrorism and found it robust and in tune with present realities as posed by terrorism. The Counter-Terrorism manual is comprehensive and as well teaches the need for a productive civil-military relationship in winning the war against terrorism. The establishment of a directorate for Civil-Military Relations, as well as a Human Rights Desk by the Nigerian Army, are worthy examples of the robustness and effectiveness of the Counter-Terrorism Manual of the Nigerian Military in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria.
“ It was also observed from interactions with soldiers, commanders and as well as locals whose communities are affected by the insurgency that there has been a renewed commitment from the troops on the frontlines in engaging the Boko Haram terrorists. This is a deviation from the norm where soldiers were in the habit of engaging in retreat tactics whenever they come under attack from Boko Haram fighters.
“ The Centre for International and Strategic Studies also notes that there has been a display of quality leadership by the service chiefs who have in times too numerous to mention have increased and intensified routine visits to troops in the theatre of operations in North East Nigeria. This also accounts for the psychological boost presently experienced by soldiers in the theatre of operations.
“ One of such instances is evident in the recent event where the Chief of Army Staff held a Durbar with troops of Theatre Command Operation LAFIYA DOLE at the Command and Control Centre in Maiduguri, Borno State on 26 June 2019.
“ Consequently, the Centre for International and Strategic Studies having extensively x-rayed the efforts of the Nigeria government in the fight against terrorism and other security threats in the country states unequivocally that the Counter-Terrorism manual has been a massive success due to the invaluable roles played by the services chiefs.
“ The Service Chiefs have carried on in a quite commendable manner. They have been involved in the execution of the war against terrorism in Nigeria both at the operational and policy levels. This is quite commendable and a commitment to protecting the territorial integrity of Nigeria as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution as amended.
“ The Centre for International and Strategic Studies wishes to highly recommend that President Muhammadu Buhari retains the Service Chiefs because the fight against terrorism is not a conventional war and it requires some level of sustained efforts both at the policy and operational levels.
“ The Centre for International and Strategic Studies believes that with the sustained efforts of the Nigerian Military in the fight against terrorism, and the invaluable role played by the Service Chiefs, changing a winning team in this instances might be counterproductive. This trend is evident in countries that have gone to war and succeeded. “