Lack of confidence in Police cause of Army’s involvement in internal security – Buratai
The Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai in Tuesday said lack of confidence on the Police by the public was the main reason for Army’s involvement in internal security management in the country.
Buratai gave this justification in a lecture titled “Civil Military Relations :a new paradigm of military engagement in Nigeria ” at the capacity Building workshop/retreat for the House Committee on Defence.
Buratai who was represented by the Chief of Civil Military Affairs Army Maj Gen Usman Mohammed said the continued involvement of the military in internal security operations was due to lack of confidence in the Police by the citizens to salvage the dynamic security threats.
He noted that the NA is involved in series of internal security operations in response to all acts and activities that threaten the peace and security of the nation as a secondary responsibility under MACA.
“The participation of the NA in internal security operations is covered under Section 217 (2) and even on this role, its only the President, who is the C-in-C that has the sole authority to call out the military under such situations, howbeit under conditions prescribed by the legislature.
“The dynamic and sophisticated nature of internal threats has brought about some peculiar challenges. Criminals, insurgents, armed bandits, armed robbers and criminals are becoming more emboldened owing to numerous illicit acquisitions of heavier fire power to prosecute the nefarious activities which are inimical to personal and national security. This has therefore perpetually demanded that the military be continuously ingrained into internal security operations.
“The desire to perpetually involve the military in Internal security operations, despite the fact that it is a secondary role, in which the NPF and supported by the DSS are lead agencies may not be unconnected to some reasons.
“Firstly, perceived challenges associated with the NPF who possesses limited firepower, comparable to these criminals. Secondly, the aforementioned reason has further led to loss of confidence in the NPF to decisively restore law and order, especially during insurgency and armed banditry activities, hence the concerted calls for the involvement of the military in these operations. Thirdly, the imperative to be proactive in order to save lives and properties has compelled the military to become more involved in internal security operations and avoid further degeneration of crises situations.
Lastly; the changing nature of conflicts from inter-state to intra state as well as the military is part of the community and participating in IS operations is a secondary role,” he explained
He recounted that the Nigerian Army has been involved in internal operations which include Operations MESA, FLUSHOUT, SAFE CONDUCT, SECOND ELEVEN, PULO SHIELD now DELTA SAFE, RESTORE ORDER I & II, SAFE HA VEN, JUBILEE, IRON FENCE and most recently, AWA TSE.
He added that operations DELTA SAFE, AWA TSE, SAFE HA VEN, LAFIYA DOLE, SHARAN DAJI and WHIRL STROKE are tri-Service operations under the operational command and control of DHQ while those like Operations MESA, OP IRON FENCE, CROCODILE SMILE, ATILOGWU UDO, AYEM APATUMA are single service operations controlled by AHQ.
Buratai said insurgency in the North East and armed banditry in the North West are the most potent threat to security of the country at the moment
“These threats, though internal, has necessitated a substantial deployment of the military to quell these threats. These crises have inadvertently stretched the capacity of the NA in terms of adequate manpower to decisively support the lead agencies on internal security to deal with these threats as well as the challenges of initiating civil military cooperation in these areas to effectively win the hearts and minds of the local populace in the operating environment,” he said
He noted that such security challenges led to humanitarian crises, displacement leading to influx of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons, large number of fatalities, food shortages and inadequate medicare among others.