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Nigeria Summit on National Security to hold May 25-26

The Council on African Security and Development and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are hosting the Nigeria Summit on National Security on May 25 and 26 in Abuja.

The Director, Council on African Security and Development, Prof. John Ifediora, disclosed this at a news conference on Tuesday in Abuja.

Ifediora explained that the summit, in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is part of the efforts to find lasting solutions to the sectarian Boko Haram insurgency.

He regretted the havoc so far wrecked by Boko Haram, saying that no effort should be spared in finding amicable solution to the insurgency.

“In Northern Nigeria and surrounding regions, Boko Haram has killed and maimed more innocent civilians in the past year than ISIS and Al Shabaab combined.

“In 2014 alone, Boko Haram killed 6,644 people, surpassing ISIS, which killed 6,073 people, making it the deadliest terrorist group in 2014 according to a report by Global Terrorism Index.

“Boko Haram’s murderous attacks make no apologies for its nature as a threat that requires serious attention; it has got the attention of the international community as a bloodthirsty group.”

According to him, the sustained battle by the Nigerian military to finally push the insurgents out of the country’s territory is commendable.

He explained that the approach taken in the past to contain and neutralise Boko Haram required further robustness and sophistication to ensure a meaningful outcome.

To totally defeat Boko Haram, Ifediora said, required the civilian population who are brothers, sisters, friends and neighbours of the insurgents, to give intelligence on the members.

According to him, defeating the insurgency requires a multi-approach and not the military solution alone.

“A broader approach is required; relying on counterterrorism measures in near exclusion of diplomacy, dialogue and effective intelligence-gathering misses the bigger picture of containment and stabilisation of the region.

“The complexity of modern terrorist groups is profound, and so are the sources of their inspiration. The root causes of insurgency are complex, the solution must be no less so.

“In the mix of various confounding uncertainties, there is consensus that such groups are inspired or unified by multi-dimensional cause, and thus may not be defeated by a unilateral solution.”

Ifediora said the summit would serve as a forum for exchange of information and discussion of acquired knowledge on domestic security strategies, protection of civilian populations and critical infrastructure.

According to him, it will also discuss how the private sector can assist the government in intelligence gathering and deterrence.

He said the principal speakers at the summit include Anders Rasmussen, former Secretary-General of NATO; Prime Minister of Denmark; Danish Minister of Economic Affairs and a leading Danish parliamentarian.

Others include former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, John Campbell; Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd); former NATO Commander in Afghanistan, Admiral James Starvidis (rtd); and former Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Emmanuel Imohe. (NAN)

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