The Nigeria Army School of Public Relations and Information (NASPRI) has established a new radio station to make the Nigerian populace play an active role in national security and disseminate security matters effectively to the public. Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, who disclosed this at a workshop in Lagos emphasised that Boko Haram has been decimated, explaining that recent events being perpetrated by the group looks like a “dying man that is trying to survive”.
While speaking on the theme ‘Counter Terrorism and Sustenance of National Security in Nigeria: Successes and Lessons by Nigerian Army’ at a workshop organised by NASPRI and held at 81 Division, Officers’ Mess, Lagos, Buratai said the Nigerian Army was leaving no stone unturned in tackling terrorism and linked the military’s success in the battle against insurgency to the establishment of radio stations in strategic places to preach righteous ethics to both Christians and Muslims.
The COAS, who was represented by the Director of Information Management, Department of Civil Military Affairs, Army Headquarters, Abuja, Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar, said, “In order to make impact in this war, we have established radio stations in strategic places and they are being utilised 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 people to know the truth; we let them know the truthful aspects 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.”
Special Guest of Honour, General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Peter John Dauke, said the significance of the lecture was hinged on the fact that everyone was not left out in the war.
According to him, “Success would not have been achieved without the active participation and support of the citizenry. This brings to fore the role the citizens have to play in national security. Hence the workshop is one such window through which citizens’ participation could be galvanised.
“The illusion that national security is purely a government affair is no longer tenable. We are all stakeholders in this drive. As you are all aware, the current security challenges facing our nation is info-centric.”
Commandant of NASPRI, Brigadier General John Agim, said the role citizenry could play in national security cannot be over emphasised, adding, “It is important to stress that citizenry is important stakeholders in nation building. Citizens have a great role to play in fostering national security”
He said the dynamics in the security architecture has presented a number of challenges that call for a more realistic and holistic approach, noting, “The nature of conflict is basically intra-state with actors operating from within the populace. As important stakeholders, generating the right frame of ideas will serve as an antidote to the numerous security challenges bedeviling us as a nation.”
Agim added that the discourse would set the pace for multi-dimensional engagements that will generate ideas to address the teething security challenges facing Nigeria.
“NASPRI’s intention is to make Nigerians know that they have a role to play in the security of the nation,” Agim said. “It is not just ‘them verses we’ and the only way we can bring the public to discuss is to have it in a workshop like this.”