By Vivian Onyebukwa

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru, has said the force under his watch is already employing several conflict management techniques, including mediation and town hall meetings amongst aggrieved parties, to resolve disputes and conflicts.

General Attahiru said these initiatives have assisted in de-escalating conflicts and prevented reprisal attacks, while also facilitating the return of some internally displaced persons to their communities.

The Chief of Army Staff spoke at the opening ceremony of the twenty first conflict management seminar of the Nigerian Army College of Logistics (NACOL), lamenting that Nigeria is confronted with several security challenges such as the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East, militancy in the Niger Delta, kidnapping for ransom, cattle rustling, and armed robbery in the North West.

He said that the herdsmen and farmers crisis mostly in the North Central has led to several killings and destruction of livelihood and created many internally displaced persons, adding that the seminar will evolve modalities for synergy between the military and other security agencies that will facilitate prompt intelligence sharing and joint operations towards success in military operations.

General Attahiru, who was represented at the ceremony by the Commander Nigerian Army Ordnance Corps Major General MA Daudu, said that the constant drafting of the military in conflicts or crisis situations demands elaborate actions to bequeath the personnel with the rudiments of conflict management.

‘The Nigerian Army will continue to employ suitable measures to foster cooperation between the NA and other security agencies in order to improve the Nigerian Army’s quest to ensure peaceful co-existence of Nigerian citizens,’ he said.

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‘The positive disposition of the populace towards the military must be sustained through the Nigerian Army remaining neutral, apolitical, professional, and observing the tenets of human rights as well as rule of law in all her actions. It is pertinent to note that the NA must sustain capacity building through local and overseas training.’

He said that the theme of the seminar (“Enhancing Synergy between civil and security Agencies for Effective Conflict Management in Nigeria”) is appropriate in the prevailing security circumstances and aligns with the efforts to improve cooperation between the NA and other security agencies.

General Attahiru said a good understanding of the remote and immediate causes of the various conflicts in the country as well as their impacts on the society are precursors to resolving such conflicts and preventing future reoccurrences.

He said that the force will continue to play its role in ensuring a safe and secure environment for the safe return of displaced persons to their homes in troubled areas, assuring Nigerians that the army would continue to uphold the tenets of democracy, comply with rules of engagement and code of conduct during any military operation.

Earlier, the Commandant of the NACOL, Major General Martins Enendu, said this year’s theme could not have been more apt, looking at the challenges of civil military cooperation in the current operating environment which he described as volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous.

General Enendu said the seminar seeks to address sensitive issues related to conflict management and resolution in the country as well as identify ways to contributing to the body of knowledge related to conflict management in the country.