Armed forces have strengthened their strength against terrorists and bandits – Minister of Defense
Defense Minister Bashir Magashi said the armed forces had increased their numbers, reviewed training and the order of battle to reduce security threats across the country.
Mr. Magashi, a retired Major General, said this at the 15th International Security Conference and Awards (ISCA), organized by the International Institute for Workplace Safety (IIPS) on Saturday in Abuja.
“In the armed forces, we have increased our numbers as much as possible, reviewed our training tactics and procedures and reviewed our order of battle,” he said.
The Minister was represented by the Chief of Defense Training and Operations, Adeyemi Yekini, a Major General, at the event on the theme: “Intelligence of Things: Working against Kidnapping and Terrorism”.
Mr Magashi said the new attack has started to bear fruit with the recent arrest of the terrorists behind the June 5 attack on St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo in Ondo State.
He added that there was also increased synergy between the services and other security agencies, which had led to criminals being brought out of hiding.
He said more than 70,000 terrorists and their families had surrendered to troops in the northeast while hundreds of thousands of displaced people had returned to their ancestral homes.
He added that troops had been deployed on the Abuja-Kaduna highway on round-the-clock patrols, while Operation Forest Sanity had been launched in the central north and northwest to comb the forests.
He said many camps belonging to criminals had been destroyed and many criminals and terrorists had been arrested or neutralized.
Many kidnapping victims were also rescued, he added.
Mr. Magashi also reiterated the determination of the military and other security agencies to rid the Southeast, South-South and Southwest of all forms of crime.
According to him, the activities of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) are being thwarted, while crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism and piracy are being tackled head-on.
“Terrorism, as we all know, lasts forever. Completing it may not be as fast as one might expect,
“I can assure you, however, that we are on top of the situation and as soon as possible all these challenges will be a thing of the past.”
In his address, IIPS Director General Tony Ofoyetan said that ISCA was an annual event designed to deliberate on security issues that would benefit security professionals, the industry and the nation in his outfit.
Mr. Ofoyetan said the event also provided the institute with an opportunity to honor deserving professionals.
He noted that saboteurs inside and outside the government and the country had continuously thwarted the efforts of security agencies to end terrorism and banditry.
He also noted that without the professional relentlessness of the security officers, the three-armed terrorist groups of Boko Haram, banditry and herdsmen would have invaded the country.
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“As we know, intelligence is considered the primary tool through which all forms of battles are won or lost.
“For this year’s conference, we decided to take intelligence out of the conventional framework to look at it from the point of view and the functionality of things.
“It’s done in line with the expectations of its protagonists,” he said.
Keynote speaker Timothy Dakwat said in his lecture that the deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) to counter terrorism is of strategic importance.
His lecture was titled: “Intelligence of things: countering the threats of insurrection and terrorism”.
Mr Dakwat said Al could facilitate autonomous operations, more informed military decision-making and increase the speed and scale of military action.
According to him, there is a chance that the application of AI in the fight against Boko Haram will provide the response needed to dislodge the insurgents from their enclaves.
“It is possible to envision scenarios where Al can provide much more effective early identification to protect civilians as well as combatants from enemy fire,” Dakwat said.
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