FG’s laudable security initiative

In a deft move to tackle the seemingly intractable insecurity across the country, President Muhammadu Buhari recently launched the National Crisis Management Doctrine (NCMD). The NCMD is aimed at bridging the gap created by extensive deployment of security services through fostering collaboration amongst Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). The NCMD, which was developed by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) in coordination with relevant MDAs, would ensure greater successes in tackling national crises.

This is, indeed, a welcome development, as it will, to a large extent, rekindle the hope of the citizenry in government’s ability to perform its primary constitutional responsibility to guarantee the lives and property of the people.

Launching the document in Abuja, President Buhari commended the efforts of the National Security Adviser, Major-General Babagana Monguno (retd.), his staff and members of the working group from various responder MDAs for the remarkable work in developing the doctrine. He said the feat was a significant milestone in recognition of the need for collective efforts towards achieving coordinated, effective and efficient national crisis management.

“This shows the renewed promise and commitment of this administration to managing the crisis in the country,” he said, urging the ONSA to continue to play its coordinating role amongst crisis response stakeholders, to achieve greater successes.

The president also thanked the British government for its collaboration in the development of the doctrine and the United States government for its support, urging them to sustain the relationship.

“The emergence of the Boko Haram terrorist group as well as bandits and kidnappers in Nigeria considerably changed the country’s security situation, leaving panic in the minds of the populace. These and other security challenges confronting the nation tend to stretch the deployment of our security agencies, resources and national security apparatus.

“Owing to the dynamics of these crises, the Office of the National Security Adviser revised the National Counter Terrorism Strategy (NACTEST) which I endorsed in August 2016. Within this strategy are certain works streams which include the Prepare and Implement strands that seek to mitigate the impact of terrorist attacks by building resilience and redundancies to ensure continuity of business; and a framework for the mobilisation of coordinated cross-government efforts, respectively.

“I am glad that the Office of the National Security Adviser has not relented in its efforts to implement the NACTEST by coordinating relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies to develop the National Crisis Management Doctrine.”

In his remarks, the NSA said work on the doctrine started in 2014, but was given impetus after the President endorsed the revised NACTEST, which has five work streams, namely,  Forestall, Secure, Identify, Prepare and Implement. He said the NCMD, which is a subset of the NACTEST, fulfills the work streams to ‘Prepare’ and to ‘Implement.’

“The doctrine provides a detailed methodology for national crises response, outlining how the various relevant MDAs should interact at the strategic, operational and tactical levels. It is to be noted that the NCMD can be used to manage both malicious threats and civil emergencies owing to the general principles set out within it,” he said.

It is instructive that the launch of the NCMD came on the heels of President Buhari’s ‘full freedom’ order to security agencies, following the killing of innocent citizens by terrorists in Kaduna, Plateau and Sokoto states in quick succession about a fortnight ago. The president had ordered the security forces to give the criminals a bloody nose.

“We have given security forces full freedom to deal with, and bring an end to this madness. I condemn these barbaric attacks on the country. I wish to assure the states of all possible support from the government of the federation. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. May the injured recover quickly,” Buhari said.

But the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, told journalists last week that the order was only “reechoing the previous orders” of the president, adding the president never gave a half order before now.

In swift response to the president’s order, the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) announced that troops of Operation Hadin Kai in the North-east have killed 29 terrorists, arrested 55 and rescued 52 civilians in the last two weeks.

The military high command also said airstrikes by Nigerian Air Force fighter jets neutralised a key Islamic State of West Africa Province Commander Alhaji Modu (aka Bem Bem) and 20 of his fighters at Degbawa near Mandara Mountains in Gwoza local government area of Borno state.Blueprint commends the renewed commitment and strategy at combating the rising spate of banditry and terrorism in the country. The president’s ‘full freedom’ order and the launch of the NCMD are, particularly, laudable. These policy directives are quite potent in the efforts to restore security as a prerequisite for peaceful, free and fair 2023 general elections in the country.