New Telegraph

Tinubu: Nigeria Facing Asymmetric, Trans-National Security Challenges

…Inducts 2 TK-129 ATAK Helicopters, King Air 360i aircraft in Benue to fight counterterrorism

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Tuesday said the security challenges confronting the country today are both asymmetric and transnational.

President Tinubu disclosed this in Makurdi during the induction of 2 TK-129 ATAK helicopters, and King Air 360i aircraft to fight insurgency.

Represented by Vice President Kashim Shettima, the President stressed the need to collaborate with our contiguous neighbours in order to checkmate the crisscrossing of criminals across shared borders.

“In this regard, the multinational collaboration of Nigeria, Cameroun, Niger Republic and Chad to bring peace to the Lake Chad region is an example that must be improved upon by all means and replicated wherever necessary. We must also be brave enough to undertake the needed reforms and overhauls to meet the ever-dynamic security environment”.

He said he was elated to be at the event saying he was aware that about two months ago, four additional Diamond-62 surveillance aircraft were commissioned and subsequently inducted into the Nigerian Air Force inventory.

The president said the induction of the aircraft stands as a symbol of the nation’s enduring commitment to the ideals of patriotism and investment in our national security.

He noted that the solemn commitment of his administration to safeguarding Nigeria’s security hinges upon the realization that without vigilant attention to the needs of our Armed Forces who are saddled with the maintenance of peace, law, order and stability, anarchy and lawlessness would prevail.

“The acquisition of these platforms was therefore necessary for improved delivery of robust air power in support of the ongoing counterterrorism and counterinsurgency efforts as well as in countering other security challenges. So far, I am glad that the platforms have continued to contribute immensely to the successes recorded in the decimation of terrorists, insurgents and other criminal elements threatening our dear nation”.

The President acknowledged the significant role played by the Nigerian Air Force over the years in national security as well as in peace-keeping and humanitarian operations around the world, stressing that its contributions to the sustenance and maintenance of peace and security in places like The Gambia, Guinea Conakry, Mozambique, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mali, Guinea Bissau and Cameroon have not only been a source of pride to Nigeria but have projected the nation as a reliable regional power.

He therefore, commended the Chief of the Air Staff and the entire Nigerian Air Force family for their achievements over the years, assuring that his administration will continue to support the Nigerian Air Force and indeed other security agencies by giving due priority to the modernization of fleets, training and welfare of our personnel.

President Tinubu maintained that “the security challenges we face today are asymmetric and transnational. Expanding non-state actors stalk our continent, searching for nations to plunder and people to oppress, maim and kill. Every day that these malign actors hold sway over even an inch of any space or territory takes us a step farther away from our intended destination.

“We do not face a conventional army in the traditional field of battle. Instead, we contend against mobile, elusive irregular forces that disregard the normal rules of warfare.

“We must therefore adjust accordingly to subdue the menace, and to achieve this, we will require a change in mindset, strategy, tactics and an upgrade of our military and security equipment and gears”.

“We must also continue to collaborate with our contiguous neighbours in order to checkmate the crisscrossing of these criminals across our shared borders. In this regard, the multinational collaboration of Nigeria, Cameroun, Niger Republic and Chad to bring peace to the Lake Chad region is an example that must be improved upon by all means and replicated wherever necessary”.

Tinubu said as part of moves to deal decisively with all criminal elements, his administration has embarked on a new era in the country’s national defence and security strategy.

“This, he said, “will be driven by our unflinching commitment to confronting the contemporary threats and challenges that face us within the West African sub-region.

He said already, he directed all heads of defence and security institutions to unite in their efforts to protect our nation’s integrity and well-being, “and as Chairman of the ECOWAS, we are diligently working to enhance our regional conflict management and development mechanisms”.

He commended the support of the Turkish Government to Nigeria in sustaining the strategic partnership between countries, stressing that Nigeria will continue to take steps that would deepen its bilateral relations.

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