President Buhari, on Tuesday, inaugurated the newly established facilities for the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) in Abuja, to ameliorate its efforts in addressing the recurring security challenges in the country, especially violent extremism and terrorism. The Presidential Spokesman, Femi Adesina, representing the president, stated that these world class facilities would be very useful as an immense legacy for providing the incoming administration with infrastructures needed to coordinate national security and counterterrorism operations effectively.
At this inauguration, the president also outlined the significant achievements on national security by his administration, including the gains in fighting terrorism, armed banditry, separatist tendencies, mass kidnapping, piracy, crude oil theft, cyber security and even militancy in the South region. He stated that since assuming office in 2015, the major security threats had been minimized and normalcy restored in most of the security-handicapped regions. This feat, he added, was largely achieved via the continuous efforts of the armed forces and other security operatives, the regional and international partners and importantly, the support of Nigerians.
Menace of crude oil theft and sea robbery being significantly addressed.
Asides minimizing the terrorism threats in the North-East, the president also indicated his delight at the efforts to curb the recurring cases of armed banditry and kidnapping in the North-West and North-Central. He attributed these criminal cases to the successful dismantling of Boko Haram in the North-East region, as well as Libya implosion in the Maghreb region of Africa. On the case of separatism clamor, he stated that the agitators in the South-East and South-West were been checkmated. Equally, Pres. Buhari disclosed that the crude oil theft, sea robbery and militancy were also being significantly addressed.
On the challenges of maritime security, it was pointed out that some threats within the environment such as piracy, sea robbery and illegal unregulated fishing were being handled effectively. In fact, reports noted that between August 2018 and March 2023, over 220 vessels indulging in maritime criminality within Nigeria’s economic zone and the Republic of Congo had been prosecuted. The president thus applauded the Falcon Eye, a maritime domain awareness initiative, responsible for the arrest and prosecution of these economic saboteurs. He also stated that over 87 tankers involved in crude oil theft had also been apprehended.
UN pledges to support Nigeria’s quest to curb insecurity & terrorism.
With the issue of Cyber threats menacingly digging deep into the country’s fabric, the president was quick to point to the need for protecting the cyberspace from any form of intrusion. He described the hi tech offices an indication of his administration’s efforts to ensure that national security is guaranteed with the highest global standards. He stated that the offices were designed for enhancing strategic responses to the range of emerging security challenges. Upon congratulating the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno and his team, he expressed immense confidence in the ability of the facility to handle any security threat and secure the desired peace within the country.
The United Nations’ Resident Coordinator for Nigeria, Matthias Schmale also applauded the president for his role in championing the NCTC. He also commended the military for their strides at degrading the operations of the Islamic State West Africa Province and Boko Haram. Praises were also accorded to ONSA for developing threat assessment and a watchlist, establishing multiagency screening processes, trials of terrorism suspects and the creating rehabilitation programs. He thus promised that the UN would continually be a strong ally of Nigeria, in its quest for curbing insecurity and terrorism.
NCTC to advance the implementation of Security Council resolutions.
Recalling that the Security Council has adopted about 40 counterterrorism resolutions since 2001, Schmale however urged member states of the UN to ensure the implementation of measures at the national level, as outlined in the resolutions, whilst also enhancing bilateral and multilateral cooperation, so as to fully eradicate terrorism. He emphasized that the newly commissioned NCTC would contributively advance the implementation of these resolutions, making it a necessary step towards helping Nigeria fulfill its international law obligation.