- Recent setbacks in Nigeria's security architecture have been blamed on the failure of effective intelligence
- Worried about the upsurge in attacks by bandits and terrorists, some activists have tasked the government to address the issue
- The activists want the government to rejig top intelligence agencies in the country by sacking incompetent security chiefs
FCT, Abuja - A coalition of 76 Non-governmental Organisations and Civil Society Activists have knocked the intelligence arms of the military and the Department of State Security Services (DSS) for continued attacks on military formations and other infrastructure of the state by terrorists
The activists also lamented over the kidnapping and robbery by bandits saying the attacks were not only a setback to the war against insecurity but a blatant embarrassment to the armed forces and Nigeria in general.
The group particularly made reference to the recent kidnapping of travellers in broad daylight along Abuja-Kaduna road, an attack in Borno that resulted in the killing of a General and three other soldiers, the attack on a Kaduna-Abuja bound train, and several others as clear instances of intelligence failure.
In a statement jointly signed by, Dr. Aliyu Bello of Peace and Conflict Resolution Initiative and Ambassador Jude Uchenna of Alliance for Justice and Peace on behalf of the groups, they urged the federal government and the military high command to immediately rejig those behind intelligence gathering.
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The groups noted that the war against insecurity cannot be won with a defective intelligence unit.
The group urged the federal government and military top brass not to give room to anything that could jeopardise the many gains made in the efforts to flush out terrorists and other criminal elements in the northeast and the country at large.
Activists lament over DSS, DIA inefficiencies in tackling insecurity
According to the group, the continued failure of the DSS and Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) has made the office of the National Security Adviser a lame dog, stressing that the office depends on intelligence provided to act accordingly and called for the sack of those manning the agencies.
Part of the statement sent to Legit.ng read:
“We have x-rayed the several attacks our troops have suffered and have come to the realisation that poor intelligence made our troops vulnerable.
“The gallantry of our personnel is legendary; the tactical strategies are top-notch. However, we cannot say the same about intelligence gathering.
“Therefore, we call for the sack of those in charge of DIA and DSS as the nation cannot afford to keep persons who have demonstrated deficiency in such critical positions.”
Security operatives in gunfire duel with armed bandits
A video shared recently released by Leadership newspaper shows Nigerian security agents battling with bandits at the Abuja-Kaduna expressway.
In the video, police and DSS operatives were seen exchanging fire with the bandits who were stationed in the forests.
The Secretary to the Katsina state government, Dr Mustapha Inuwa, on Thursday, November 18 at a press briefing organised to give an update on the security situation in the state said:
“A recent and most worrisome move by the criminals is the observed acquisition of Radio Frequency Walkie-Talkie transceivers by the bandits, which they have started using. Security agencies are however on their trail with a view to bringing the malpractice to an end.”
Military to monitor Kaduna-Abuja Railway through helicopters
In a related development, the Nigerian military has deployed some of its attack helicopters to monitor the Kaduna-Abuja railway after the recent attack on train passengers by armed bandits.
Announcing the commencement of the military exercise, Brigadier-General Onyeuko said:
‘’The important thing is the Nigerian Air Force is present at the rail tracks. Suffice to say, the operation has started. Even if you travel by road, you will see our helicopters along that route.’’