Service chiefs have begun the implementation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to stop the attacks and killings by terrorists with immediate effect.
The service chiefs yesterday kicked of “Operation Show Terrorists No Mercy”.
The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, dropped hits of the operation yesterday in Abuja.
He ordered Nigerian Air Force (NAF) operational commanders in the various theatres of operation across the country to ‘show no mercy’ and employ maximum firepower against terrorists posing security threats to the nation.
Air Marshal Amao gave this directive when he met with frontline Air Officers Commanding (AOCs) and Air Component Commanders (ACCs) at the NAF Base yesterday in Kaduna.
In a statement yesterday signed by the director of public relations and information (DOPRI), Air Cdre Edward Gabkwet, the Chief of Air Staff commended them for their efforts as well as the improved synergy with sister services and other security agencies.
Amao underscored the need for the effective allocation and utilisation of all NAF platforms deployed for operations in the North West and North Central for enhanced operational effectiveness.
He said such deployment will deny the terrorists freedom of movement while boosting the confidence of the populace and ensuring a peaceful country.
The NAF boss said though the security environment remains fluid and uncertain, with terrorists moving between the northeast, northwest and north central, the need to continually modify NAF’s air power to stay ahead of the asymmetric and unconventional nature of terrorists’ activities is of paramount importance.
He said, “We have a responsibility to secure our nation and give our citizens a sense of hope, trust and belonging. Therefore, we must ensure that we stay ahead of the enemy and envisage his next line of action.”
He, therefore, charged them to show no mercy on any terrorists and their accomplices, and as well deny them the freedom of movement and ease to cause mayhem against innocent Nigerians.
Air Marshal Amao further assured them that training of more combat pilots, imagery analysts and other specialties at NAF would continue to be of utmost priority so as to address the manpower challenges within the operation areas.
He revealed that efforts were at an advanced stage to procure more combat platforms for the NAF to meet the ever-increasing demands of air assets in various theatres of operations across the nation.
Other issues addressed during the interface included the need to ensure speedy procurement of aircraft spare parts to minimise aircraft down-time amongst other issues.
Also, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor, says the Defence Headquarters is implementing several new strategies that will bring about an end to various security challenges in the country.
Irabor stated this while delivering a Graduation Lecture for Course 30 of the National Defence College (NDC) on the topic “National Security and Development: Strategic Options for Nigeria’’ yesterday in Abuja.
He identified the need to deepen strategic communication, implement a press code for responsible Journalism and pursue proactive security measures to reduce the impact of regional dynamics in the country.
Irabor said there was a need to encourage a Whole-of-Society Approach to security by deepening strategic communication to educate the populace on the fact that issues of security are a collective responsibility.
According to him, everybody in the society ought to be a relevant stakeholder.
“Timely information on suspicious movements of strangers in a community might be the main lead to provide the needed early warning for the relevant government agency to swing into action.
“Accordingly, we need to formulate a robust and proactive communication strategy that draws all citizens to the realisation of their roles in protecting the nation while also using the same medium to pre-empt and counter the narratives of the insurgents,” he said.
The defence chief stated the need to integrate surrendered insurgents into society and for the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to be reinvigorated, reorganised and properly funded alongside all other relevant stakeholders in the society to serve the nation at the utmost level.
“This will encourage the populace to have renewed confidence in the government and they will be encouraged to provide relevant information to the relevant government agencies. This will enhance national security and development in Nigeria,’’ he said.
On the press code for the media, Irabor said the strategy required the development of guidelines for reporting difficult stories, including stories of conflict and terrorism.
According to him, the German Press Code, for example, says that in reporting actual and threatened acts of violence, the press should carefully weigh the public interest in information against the interest of victims and other people involved.
He said that the media should report on such incidents in an independent and authentic way, but not allow itself to be made the tool for criminals.