Theatre Commander Pledges Support To Savannah Centre For Diplomacy Democracy And Development

By Ahmed Abu, The Nigerian Voice, Maiduguri
 Major General Rogers Nicholas
Major General Rogers Nicholas

The Theatre Commander Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Rogers Nicholas has pledged support for Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development in its pursuit of the goal to bring security closer to the people of North Eastern Nigeria as part of the rebuilding process for the region.

Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, Deputy Director, Public Relations Theatre Command, operation Lafiya Dole in a statement Friday said General Nicholas made the pledge yesterday Thursday when he received the Executive Director of the Centre, Ambassador Abdullahi Omaki at the Headquarters, Theatre Command Operation Lafiya Dole in Maiduguri.

Speaking during the visit, Ambassador Omaki stated that the objectives of the Centre is to address the challenges of Humanity, Human Rights and Crisis Prevention. He disclosed that the Centre is partnering with the Presidential Committee on North East Initiative to test run a project of Community Policing that will enable well integrated communities to be capable of policing themselves without military forces.

He noted that the project is premised on the need to take advantage of the strength of the existing social structure in the communities, wherein members of a community could work collaboratively with their leaders to safeguard their communities.

Omaki added that the project will reduce the challenge of distrust between the people and the Security Agencies, as well as help the communities to work cooperatively with the Nigerian Police and other law enforcement agencies.

He noted that Yobe and Adamawa states will be used in the pilot study. Omaki solicited the cooperation of the Theatre Command in achieving the mandate of the Centre in the North East theatre.

Responding, the Theatre Commander pointed out the need to put the narrative of the security situation in North Eastern Nigeria in proper perspective to prevent the trivializing of the true security situation as wrongly communicated by some opinionists in currently circulating narratives.

He posited that the Counter Terrorism and Counter Insurgency Operations against Boko Haram terrorists in the North East has been wrongly portrayed in some quarters as an internal security operation by the Nigerian Armed Forces against some miscreants, adding that it is an improper narrative.

The Theater Commander averred that Nigeria's unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty came under attack with the activities of the Boko Haram terrorists until the Armed Forces of Nigeria rose up to the attacks by combating the terrorists and recaptured territories hitherto held and administered by the terrorists.

He noted that the troops counter terrorism and counter insurgency operations against the terrorists in the North East is far from internal security operations or low intensity conflict, but rather a full blown war that must be accorded the appropriate and deserved attention by all Nigerians.

General Nicholas disclosed that the ungoverned spaces in the Sahel region of Africa has provided easy corridor for migration of terrorists from the Magreb into North East Nigeria to join the Boko Haram insurgents, adding that troops of Operation Lafiya Dole and the Multinational Joint Task Force comprising troops of Niger, Chad and Cameroon Republics are currently conducting operations against the insurgents in the Lake Chad Islands and fringes of the Northern borders with the allied nations.

He stated that the troops must be adequately equipped to confront this challenge.

The Theatre Commander enjoined the Centre to add its voice to change the wrong narrative peddled in the country and assured the Centre that inspite of the challenges confronting the operations, troops of Operation Lafiya Dole will not relent in the fight against terrorism and insurgency in the region.