UGAR UKANDI ODEY, Jos
The Minister of Defense, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd), has proposed the establishment of a committee to conduct a fundamental review of how the Ministry of Defence (MOD) is structured and managed, most notably the services within a single defense framework.
Major General Magashi (rtd) stated this while delivering a paper titled “Nigeria and the Challenges of Hybrid Warfare”, at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Plateau State, also said the initiative should drive organizational decisions on joint capabilities, forces structure, and conceptual developments, and come up also with a roadmap to guide the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) to prepare for a much more encompassing interpretation of the phenomenon of conflict.
“An organization that will be simpler and more cost effective, with clear allocation of responsibility, authority, and accountability is what I want”, Magashi said, adding that “we are also on track to re-equip and work with the academia as well as local engineering firms on innovation and maintenance”.
He added that the multidimensional and asymmetric nature of hybrid warfare present a huge challenge to state actors of which the Armed Forces of Nigeria is part.
According to Magashi, “it is thus apparent that the security framework of the country is not adequately driven by robust intelligence, and therefore security agencies mostly react to activities of terrorists and criminals within contested zones”.
He explained further that ” while it is easy to lay the blame on the doorsteps of the security agencies, certain factors such as internal divides, high level of poverty, religious intolerance, population bulge, amongst others, are beyond military solutions”.
However, the Chief of Defense Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin, in his paper titled “Hybrid Warfare and Challenges of Joint Operations”, pointed out that Nigeria is currently confronted with security challenges ranging from terrorism, insurgency, armed banditry, kidnapping,
farmer/herders conflicts, sophisticated armed robbery, illegal bunkering, vandalism to militancy.
He added that the complexities of the threats were further heightened by the porous borders which facilitated unchecked movement of criminal elements, small arms and light weapons, as well as other contraband items from the neighbouring countries into Nigeria.
“These combined factors with resultant negative effects on the socio-economic development of the country”, he noted, “have necessitated hybrid warfare and joint operations efforts in Nigeria”
General Olonisakin who said the operations have continued to stabilize the security situation across the country, added that in spite of the efforts, there are still some gaps with regard to prosecuting hybrid warfare and joint operations, concluding that the gap were in the areas of information management, interoperability, and coordination, among others