How DHQ inspired synergy is boosting military operations

BENJAMIN SAMSON in this piece examines how synergy and cooperation in the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) and other security agencies is beginning to yield results in the fight against insecurity in the country

President Muhammadu Buhari has once again commended the new found synergy in the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN).

Speaking at the grand finale of the 2021 Nigerian Army Day Celebration (NADCEL) in Abuja on Tuesday, the President said the new found synergy is beginning to yield results.

The President represented by the Minister of Defence Maj.-Gen. Bashir Salihi Magashi (retd) said: “I am particularly happy to note the increasing understanding and cooperation within the military, as well as the inter-agency cooperation in the fight against the terrorists and other criminal elements in the North East.

“This jointness no doubt has led to the decimation of some terrorists and criminal elements in our society. Government services and private businesses have since resumed in areas hitherto controlled by | these terrorists. Therefore, as we celebrate the achievements of the Nigerian Army and all security agencies, | would like to thank all well-meaning Nigerians for their support and understanding.” He said

The successful joint land and air operations being conducted by the Nigerian Army and Nigerian Air Force in different theatres of operations in the country against insurgents, bandits, cattle rustlers is worth commending for the achievements as noted by the President.


Troops of Operation DELTA SAFE have conducted several operations to secure oil pipelines and other critical infrastructures to deny economic saboteurs and prevent security breach.

These included sustained anti-crude oil theft, anti-illegal oil bunkering, anti-smuggling and anti-militancy operations. These operations led to the deactivation of illegal oil refining sites and disconnection of illegal oil pipelines.

Troops also arrested several criminal elements, intercepted and confiscated large quantities of contraband vessels and items as well as recovered weapons and stolen items

During the operations, several illegal oil refining units with ovens, metal storage tanks, coffer dams and dugout pits were deactivated, while large quantities of illegally refined AGO and stolen crude oil were recovered. Troops also arrested kidnappers and other persons along with several trucks laden with large quantities of illegally refined oil products in tanks and nylon sacks.

All the various successes are not detached from the impact of the leadership of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, ably coordinated by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Eluonye Onyenuchea Irabor.

The CDS has left no stone unturned in ensuring that he galvanizes stakeholders to support and collaborate with the Armed Forces Nigeria (AFN) and other security agencies in the onerous task of ensuring national security.

General Irabor has in different forums emphasized the fact that a united military is needed to decisively tackle the security challenges bedeviling   the country. He has also shown determination to work with the Service chiefs, the police and other security agencies in the interest of the country.


The CDS had during a visit to the 2 Division, Nigerian Army, Ibadan, with the service chief’s dispelled insinuations that there is lack of synergy among security agencies in Nigeria.

He said, “The misconceived ideas or opinion in town by those who are uninformed is to the effect that the armed forces are working in disparity.

“What we have been doing today is to let you know that disparity does not exist. We have come today as a team working together and to let you know the directive of the President.”

United military

Since assuming office as CDS, Gen. Irabor has worked tirelessly in ensuring that the three Services (Army, Navy and Air force) are united in the fight against insecurity.

This was evidenced by the decision of the three services to subordinate themselves to the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) under the leadership of Gen. Irabor.

The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, made this known in Makurdi while on his maiden tour of Tactical Air Command (TAC) recently.

According to him, this is the new line the service chiefs have all agreed to tow as efforts are on to bring the various security challenges to an end.

“Just as it is obtainable in military organisations worldwide, the DHQ is responsible for the command and control of the entire Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) which also means that all ongoing joint operations and Joint Task Forces are directly subordinated to the DHQ, and their commanders’ report directly to the CDS.

 “When we say we are members of the AFN, we mean the 3 Services represent a single entity. When we accept the fact that we the members of the AFN constitute a united entity, the need for rivalry will not arise,” he said.

COAS too

Similarly, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Maj.-Gen. Faruoq Yahaya, during remarks at 2021 NADCEL commended General Irabor’s leadership style which has deepened synergy and cooperation in the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN).

He said, “I equally appreciate the Chief of Defence Staff Gen LEO Irabor for the leadership and guidance and the other Service Chiefs for their support and cooperation. I also appreciate the IGP as well as all other security agencies, services and stakeholders for their support and cooperation. We are already seeing and reaping from the benefits and our synergy and cooperation. 

“As we celebrate NADCEL today, permit me to state that the Nigerian Army has also made tremendous progress in the areas of professionalism, administration and cooperation among the sister Services and other security agencies.”

North-east govs

Similarly, governors of the North-east zone have also lauded the military for their efforts in tackling insecurity in the country.

Speaking at the 5th meeting of North East Governors’ Forum held at the Government House, Jalingo On 6th and 7th July, 2021, Governor of Taraba state, Architect Darius Dickson Ishaku, thanked the military for their professionalism and sacrifices in tackling insecurity.

“As you are all aware, distinguished members of this forum, one of the long-standing difficulties affecting our region is the long-running insurgency that has disrupted our way of life and become a barrier to our developmental efforts.

“I do, however, appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari’s renewed energy in confronting the Boko Haram threat, banditry, kidnapping for ransom, and other criminal activities head-on, and add that more is needed to be done to overcome these security challenges once and for all in the whole country.

“Permit me to however salute the Nigerian Military’s sacrifices, heroism, and professionalism, not just in the fight against insurgents but also in defending the country’s sovereignty and unity. I must acknowledge that the military, police, and other security organizations have played and continue to play an important role in maintaining peace and security in troubled areas of the state. We will not fail to provide them with the required assistance and cooperation in this difficult undertaking.”

DHQ speaks

Also, the Defence Headquarters has said operational efforts of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) in various theatres of operation have led to the reduction in criminal activities across the country.

Director, Defence Media Operation Brig.-Gen. Benard Onyeuko stated this while briefing journalists on operational activities of the AFN across the country between 3 and 16 June 2021.

He said the operations included ambush, aggressive fighting patrols, air raids, sustained air Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance patrols as well as cordon and search operations, that they yielded successes in the period under review.

He said: “Considering our operational activities in the various theatres of operation as highlighted in the brief, comparatively there is a decrease in the criminal activities within the period under review.

“This is as a result of troops’ operational efforts to deny criminals freedom of operation and we remain resolute to take decisive and adequate actions to further abate terrorists and bandits’ activities as well as other vices across the country.”

The place of synergy cannot be over-emphasized in any military operation that is why President Buhari at the NADCEL urged the army and the entire military to sustain the found synergy.

He said “I also urge you to continue to collaborate and synergize with other security agencies in the country as well as friendly nations facing similar challenges in order to enhance your current efforts.”