THE Chief of Defense Staff Lucky Irabor has identified ‘weak judicial process’ and Nigeria’s porous borders as major challenges faced by the military in its efforts to combat insecurity in the country.
Irabor spoke on Wednesday when he appeared as a guest speaker at an event organised by the 21st Century Chronicle Roundtable titled ‘Going for broke: Fighting insecurity in Nigeria’.
“Why is it impossible for us to have a criminal get justice within a short period of time? That is why the police, who is the main prosecutor, as well as the men and women of the judiciary, should certainly look about this. So that criminals get justice and every intending criminal will take caution because there is a speedy judicial process on every criminal act, so that remains a challenge,” Irabor said.
The Chief of Defense Staff further noted that the conflict in Libya, which led to a free flow of criminal gangs and the movement of small arms and light weapons, had affected the security situation in the country.
“With the free flow of these assets, if we do not have a secure border, then, of course, we are vulnerable because of these loose arms and ammunitions. So the challenge of the porous border is profound, and we need to deal with it.”
Irabor further identified politicisation of security issues, false narratives favouring criminal elements and shortage of workforce and equipment as other major challenges faced by the Nigerian military.
He suggested that an increase in workforce and equipment, engagement with stakeholders and the media, and other efforts will assist the military in discharging its duty of protecting the country’s territorial integrity.
In his opening address, chairman of the event, the Senator representing Borno Central District Kashim Shttima said the insecurity in Nigeria, most especially in the North-East, had led to the destruction of lives and property.
Shettima added that the situation has forced many children out of schools and displaced many others from their homes.
“On the economic front, the North-East have suffered an estimate of $9 billion worth of destruction. Borno State suffered the highest loss of $6.9 billion,” Shetimma said.
He added that the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the South-East was also undermining the country’s economic and communal existence as the group targets other ethnic groups.
He urged the government to effectively utilise the country’s youth population by creating jobs that will reduce insecurity.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina who chaired a session titled ‘Reducing tension as election year approaches’, said issues concerning insecurity has dominated most conversations in Nigeria.
“The big elephant in the room in Nigeria now is insecurity. The big elephant in the room used to be corruption, corruption is still there but beyond corruption now, insecurity is the major issue,” Adesina said.
He noted that the Nigerian government was doing its best to ensure that insecurity was properly dealt with.
Other dignitaries at the event include the Emir of Suleja Malam Muhammadu Awwal Ibrahim, former Director of Defence Information Chris Olukolade and Mairo Mandara.