2024 AWCN Interagency Seminar: COAS Calls for Stakeholders Partnership to Eliminate Mistrust in Addressing Multi-dimensional Security Threat

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt General Taoreed Lagbaja has emphasised the need for  partnership between stakeholders to eliminate mistrust, conceptual misunderstandings, and differences in understanding of national security issues. 

Lt General Taoreed Lagbaja, ably represented by Chief of Policy and Plans (Army), Major General Abdulsalam Ibrahim stated this at the Army War College Nigeria (AWCN) Interagency Seminar for the participants of AWCN Course 8/2024 on Thursday in Abuja with the theme “Consolidating Existing Relationship Towards Effective Inter-Agency Collaborations in Addressing Multi-dimensional Security Threat in Nigeria". 

The Army War College Nigeria Interagency Seminar 2024 serves as a medium for appraising collective efforts at securing Nigeria, and to appraise collective performances in the conduct of various ongoing joint and multiagency operations across the country. 

The COAS who was a Special Guest of Honour noted that streamlining all initiatives for countering threats to security would be premised on effective partnerships between all the actors and indeed, the time for the full involvement of civil society in efforts to counter Nigeria's internal security challenges is overdue. 

Lt General Lagbaja added that, security agencies operations need to be intelligence-driven arising from the inputs of the whole of society in being security conscious and equal stakeholders in the collective fight against insecurity.  

"The civil society are a very important stakeholder in this regard as it helps to create the space for constructive engagement between the State and its citizens, fostering trust and understanding as they both take ownership of the strategies put in place to counter their collective threat. 

"Security forces in Nigeria and in our region are currently operating in a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environment requiring operational leadership which understands the changing dynamics under which they operate. 

"The society is still faced with violent crimes and extremism that has led to radicalization, terrorism, banditry, militancy, and other criminal tendencies in the nation. 

"The traditional measures undertaken to counter these criminalities in our nation have been insufficient so far in tackling these threats and therefore requires the streamlining of efforts from all actors and stakeholders in order to fully contain them. 

"For us to tackle the security challenges this nation is bedeviled with, the cooperation and coordination between relevant government actors is required. Additionally, dialogue and cooperation between government and non-governmental actors is vital in preventing and countering terrorism and other forms of violence." he noted

Lt General Lagbaja enjoined all participants to make the best use of this forum to contribute meaningfully to this discourse as the product from the seminar will be circulated widely and should help to refocus on the way forward in countering the current threats.  

He said the contributions of the civil society organizations will also help in preventing the causes of these threats in the first place. "As a force, the NA shall continue to court other stakeholders as collaborative partners in our joint quest to enhance internal security in Nigeria. Overall, I enjoin you all to make the best use of this auspicious gathering to engage and discuss freely."

Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Commandant of AWCN, Major General Ishaya Maina said the essence of Module 3,which is on Inter-Agency Cooperation and Coordination in a  Military Operations,which commenced on 18 Mar 24 is designed to equip participants with the knowledge required to operate with governmental and non-governmental agencies.

He explained that, during this module, participants have been acquainted with the fundamentals of civil-military affairs and the legal considerations for their actions and inactions during operations. 

"This module, has thus improved participants' knowledge on interagency cooperation and coordination, and enhanced their competencies to function in joint environments knowing the legal implications for their deeds. 

"This Interagency Seminar will thus signal the completion of Module 3. It is pertinent to note that participants from the MDAs, had earlier been sent study materials and also updated on some important aspects of Modules 1and 2, to equip them with the necessary preparatory knowledge needed to effectively participate in Module 3."

He affirmed that the seminar, is another step,towards enhancing interagency cooperation and coordination among MDAs as well as an opportunity for all to discuss thematic issues affecting the management of the security sector. It is hoped that this seminar will also highlight the fundamental issues in the management of our nation's defence/security sector.

The guest lecturer, the National Security Adviser (NSA), Alhaji Nuhu Ribadu lectures on the topic "Consolidating Synergy for Effective Interagency Collaboration to Address Multi-Dimensional Threats in Nigeria 

The AWCN Course 8/2024 which was inaugurated on 14 Feb 24 has a total of 75participants drawn from the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Air Force and allied participants from the Republic of Cameroon,Cote d'Ivoire,Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Eswatini. 

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