From: Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, yesterday reiterated that the armed forces have effectively contained the territorial ambitions of the Boko Haram terrorists by substantially degrading their capacity to attack and wreak havoc, stressing that what remained of the group is their intent on shedding blood and sowing fear.
He however said, Boko Haram is not the only threat confronting us.
“There are the clashes between crop farmers and pastoralists, as well as the incidences of kidnapping, armed banditry and militancy” he added.
The vice president stated this as the reviewing officer at the passing out parade of 187 Direct Short Service (DSS) cadets of course 28 of 2019 at the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Military Training Centre, Kaduna.
He told the graduating cadets that their graduation marks the beginning of a challenging but rewarding career as officers in the Nigerian Air Force.
“You are passing out at a time when our Nation is grappling with an insurgency in the Northeast, and the challenges of kidnapping and armed banditry in other parts of the country. You will therefore have come to terms with the fact that the days and weeks and months ahead of you will be extremely busy, as you fulfill your responsibilities to the military and the nation.
“While the armed forces have effectively contained the territorial ambitions of the Boko Haram terrorists by substantially degrading their capacity to attack and wreak havoc – they remain intent on shedding blood and sowing fear . There is also the threat of the Islamic State of West Africa Province ISWAP in the Lake Chad Islands and part of Southern Borno.
“Also, more often these days these insurgents are focusing on soft targets, opportunistic attacks on isolated military units, as well as on increasingly sophisticated propaganda aimed at making them out to be more organized and lethal than they really are.
“This ever-increasing reliance on propaganda is a reminder that this is not only a ‘battleground’ war; it is just as much an information-and-narrative war. Winning hearts and minds has always been important in military warfare; it is even more so in a century defined by information and communication technologies.
“As 21st century military officers, how you project your strength and confidence to your enemies and the world, especially using social and digital media tools, is as important as the sophistication of the conventional arms and ammunition that you wield.
“But to do so effectively also means that you must take the time and trouble to fully understand the nature of the threats that confront us, the narratives and philosophies that underlie those threats”.
He informed that the President in collaboration with State governors has been reviewing the security architecture of the country, which he said involved not just the armed forces but in particular the Police who have recently announced their community policing strategy.
He assured that the Federal Government, will continue to give priority attention to the operational requirements and the welfare of the personnel of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
The Presidential Commissioning in the Nigerian Air Force was performed by the Vice President as reviewing officer on behalf of the President, Muhammadu Buhari.