TALKING SECURITY WITH COL HASSAN STAN-LABO
I welcome our wonderful audience to this column which will henceforth serve as a platform for me to reach you on strictly security related issues . It would feature some of my granted interviews and write-ups. Thank you.
Q1. Nigerian Army has just taken delivery of new weapons and equipment, what is your assessment of this weapons and how do you think they will impact on troops?
It is a welcome development that weapons and equipment are moving into the theatre. Weapons and equipment have been part of the deficits suffered by own troops in addition to funding, manpower, training, welfare etc.
These weapons and equipment will definitely impact positively on the troops: operational capacity would be enhanced, logistics delivery would be smoother and more efficient, morale would be boosted and what have you.
I have always been of the opinion that we don't need "boots on ground" assistance but rather weapons, equipment, intelligence and other technological hardwares. We are talking about the Nigerian Armed forces here, which has long established itself as one of the best on the continent. The Chadians were able to pull that feat over Boko Haram because of the superiority in armaments with which they confronted the insurgents.
Today warfare is controlled by technology. You either invest in your armed forces by stocking your inventory with the latest fighting gadgets or be ready for embarrassments.
Q2. Shakau's crying plea over his life from the bombardment of the Nigerian Forces.
This has long been expected especially with the operational synergy brought in to bear by the Air component.
The absence of Air parity on this operation has been of great advantage to own troops in the NE. This advantage has been leveraged upon and exploited to the detriment of the belligerents.
Little surprise therefore that the BH leader had to cry out for his life to be spared. We should stop at no point until we get him dead or alive.
Q3. Do you think it is a good strategy for the COAS to relocate to the NE and stay on the front lines with the troops?
We have reached that decisive point now where a final onslaught on the insurgents is expected. At this crucial moment, nothing short of the COAS relocation is expected. Didn't you see what the Chadian C-in-C did?
The COAS presence in the forward lines would avail the much required morale for the final push. His presence will motivate subordinate commanders and speak much of the desire and intents of the Higher Commander.
Q4. Assessment of the movement of Almajerai as it relates to Security.
The movement of Almajeries can be categorized in to two.
a. Relocation back to their home states .
b. Movement from thier home states of origin to other parts of the country.
Their relocation back to their home states due to the COVID-19 pandemic is just proper. This is to enable them be with family at this dangerous crucial moment. To live them here would not be in their interest as minors. Their inability to access the basics of life would push them into crime.
On the other hand, the wrongful shipment of these minors to other parts of the country at this time is a national disaster. Dropping minors in strange lands where they have no food, shelter, clothing etc would expose them to all sorts of challenges including vulnerability to the fast spreading COVID-19 or constitute spread agents themselves.
The situation spells doom for our security agencies. Government would have to immediately stop the movement of these almajeries, strengthen our capacity at Community Policing and make efforts at enhancing manpower level with the agencies.
Q5. What is the best approach in curbing the "One million Boys" menance?
The One million Boys have always been there though under all sorts of nomenclature and groupings. They are the same boys referred to as area boys and found under the bridge.
Their massing up at this time of the COVID-19 pandemic is an attempt to leverage on the consequences of the lock-down to further their criminal activities.
They will continue to constitute menance and breach to public order until Government takes some decisive steps including the following:
a. Deepen the penetration of the distribution process for palliatives to capture the very poor and vulnerable.
b. Establish vocational training centres and engage these boys in skills acquisition.
c. Beefed-up the manpower holding of the Nigeria Police.
d. Show more commitment to community Policing.