The minister of defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, has disclosed that the federal government will carry out a major restructuring of the Armed Forces to address the current security challenges confronting the nation.
Ali stated this yesterday, when the committee on the draft of the Nigerian National Defence Policy (NNDP) 2015, submitted the white paper.
He said the restructuring would be focused on building the capacities of senior civilian staff, especially those of directorship cadre, in which they will be required to undertake military capacity building courses to enhance their ability to handle the responsibilities of their respective offices.
The minister decried that Nigeria was yet to review the 2006 National Defence Policy, 2006.
According to him, the dynamic nature of the global environment and emerging threats to the defence and sovereignty of nations required that the NNDP be reviewed periodically, to address the new developments and challenges.
Ali said these new developments and challenges in domestic and global environments had direct impact on national and defence security, hence the need to review the NNDP to mitigate emerging threats and security challenges.
“The dynamic nature of our global environment and emerging threats to defence and sovereignty of nations require this important document to be reviewed periodically to address these new developments and challenges.
“The NNDP 2006 has not been reviewed even though the nation has undergone transformation in terms of development as well as security challenges. These new developments and challenges in the domestic and global environment have direct impact on national defence and security,” he stated.
Earlier in his presentation, chairman of the committee, Lt. Gen Isaac Obiakor (retd) had said the committee critically examined the existing procedures, and the extant rules and regulations guiding the Armed Forces of Nigeria in relation to national security.
According to him, the committee identified existing deficiencies and successes where applicable, which created the basis for recommending the legal procedures and options for integrating relevant decisions in the revised NNDP into the laws of the federation.
He urged the ministry to apply the NNDP to deal with contemporary security challenges, production of national defence needs and development, adding that a body of experienced technocrats is required to drive the implementation of the NNDP.
Obiakor said the committee’s assignment, which was for a period of six weeks, had terms of reference which include: to identify recommendations contained in the revised NNDP (2015); to capture government’s view/position on each of the recommendations in the revised NNDP and to make recommendations to government on realistic strategies for implementation.
Other terms of reference of the committee were to advise on legal procedure and options for integrating relevant decisions in the revised NNDP into the laws of the federation and to make further recommendations as may be considered relevant to the committee’s terms of reference.
The committee which was constituted and inaugurated on July 19, 2016, worked within the six weeks stipulated time given to them to present the white paper.
No entity is bigger than Nigeria, military tells Niger Delta terrorists
The Defence Headquarters has warned the various emerging militant groups in the Niger Delta to desist from molesting or threatening any resident of the country.
It said no group or individual had the right to threaten or force residents in any part of Nigeria to abandon their homes, adding that the Armed Forces would not tolerate any form of criminality in that region.
This was contained in a statement signed by the director of Defence Information (DDI), Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar, yesterday, in Abuja.
The statement described as disturbing, the rate at which various militant groups are springing up in the Niger Delta, with each of them hiding under regional agitation to commit all manner of crime.
He said the latest was the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate (NDGJM), which claimed responsibility for blowing up an NNPC oil pipeline few days ago.
The army noted that the same group had come out again, demanding that residents living near oil and gas infrastructure vacate their homes to avoid being caught in its next attacks, and added that it was worrisome that despite the federal government’s olive branch to broker peace and proffer solutions to the lingering Niger Delta problem, some groups were still fanning the embers of war.
Abubakar reiterated that the military and other security agencies would remain focused and display professionalism in ensuring adequate security of life and property.
“While the Armed Forces respect the government’s negotiation with relevant stakeholders in the Niger Delta, the military exercise and operations in the area are not targeted at any group or meant towards making lives difficult for the inhabitants.
“The ongoing exercise is geared towards enhancing civil-military relationship and building the confidence of the residents in the ability of the military to protect them. The exercise also demonstrates the strength of the troops to purge the region of criminals and economic saboteurs. The Armed Forces would not tolerate any form of criminality in that region.
“The military and other security agencies wish to therefore re-affirm their total commitment to ensure security of lives and property, not only in the Niger Delta, but throughout the federation,” the statement read.
The army urged the public, especially those residing in the Niger Delta, to discountenance the threat and go on with their legitimate businesses, even as it solicited the cooperation of stakeholders, including the royal fathers, leaders and youths, to achieve this feat.