From Molly Kilete, Abuja

The former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor (retd) has called on the military to avoid what he described as the “see finish” syndrome while embarking on non-kinetic operations. He said the “see finish” syndrome portends danger for the nation should the integrity of the military be impugned.

The former CDS has also called for thorough and unbiased investigations into the gruesome killings of 17 officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army by angry youths in Delta State.

The deceased army personnel who until their death deployed at 181 Amphibious Batallion, Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State, were said to have gone on a peacekeeping mission in the town to mediate between two warring communities.

Speaking at the opening of the 3-day Chief of Defence Staff Joint Task Force Commanders Conference in Abuja, Irabor said there was no justification for the brutal manner in which the military personnel were killed.

He said that to prevent a recurrence, there must be a conversation around limiting aid to civil authority.

Gen. Irabor, said, “The recent sad occurrence in Okuama where we lost our gallant and very committed officers and soldiers requires further analysis and conversation. Their death in such a bizarre and savagery condition cannot and will never be justified.

“The perpetrators of the heinous crime must be made to face the full wrath of the Law. To forestall future occurrences, therefore, there must be further conversation on the limits of Aid to Civil Authority. “

The former CDS, while calling on the armed forces to avoid what he described as the “see finish” syndrome while embarking on non-kinetic operations, said that it portends danger for the nation should the integrity of the military be impugned.

He said, “As we encourage non-kinetic operations and community engagements, are there limits? Is it an omnibus mandate? Should the military be first responders in situations such as the Dkuama/Okoloba crisis? Are there red lines? The AFN must curtail the apparent descent to ‘see finish syndrome’.

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” The integrity of the AFN, if at any time is impugned, will mean ominous signs for the nation. I therefore counsel that we remain on the path of professional excellence. This conference should examine the viable options in this regard.”

In his address at the ceremony, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, while noting the insecurity bedevilling the nation was changing, however, pointed out that it cannot be addressed in Isolation.

He said there was the need for intelligence sharing, and other elements of national power to overcome the insecurity confronting the nation.

He said, “The insecurity in our country is mutating, resilient and cannot be treated in isolation of the prevailing challenges in the global security environment.

While pursuing our national security objectives, it is imperative that we remain wary of the fluid nature of our security environment.”

Continuing, the former CDS, said, “The notable threats, ranging from insurgency, terrorism, separatism, kidnapping, economic sabotage, cybercrime, transnational crimes and communal conflicts, have continued to dig deep into our national security fabrics.

“These challenges demand a comprehensive approach, one that encompasses not only military action but also other elements of national power. To effectively address these threats, we must emphasize the importance of intelligence sharing and collaboration within and across our joint task forces. “

Earlier in his address, the Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, urged the security agencies to build strong relationships with residents of border communities to adequately protect the country’s borders.

The minister while calling for their inclusion into the nation’s security architecture, said “You can only protect people to the extent to which they want to be protected. You need the support of the people and if the support isn’t there, there is a limit to what you can do. There must be Synergy with border communities and they must be incorporated into our security architecture.”