In response to the mounting security challenge facing the Sahel region of Africa, and in furtherance of the purpose for its establishment, the Buratai Centre for Contemporary Security Affairs, Igbinedion University, Okada, in collaboration with the Office of the Chief of Defence Intelligence of Nigeria has organized a One-Day Counter-Insurgency Colloquium with the theme: “Intelligence Support for Counter Insurgency in the Sahel Region of Africa”.

In his opening address, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Lawrence Ikechukwu Ezemonye Ph.D, FAS emphasized the need for improved security and orientation on intelligence gathering hence the carefully selected theme of the colloquium. The Vice-Chancellor further announced that Igbinedion University, Okada, as part of its resolution to deepen knowledge on security has concluded plans to commence Security Intelligence as part of its GST courses for students in the University beginning from September 2020. The Vice-Chancellor noted that security in its entire ramification must be taken very seriously and personal. He asserted that Security must be everyone’s concern and that the security personnel cannot be left to do it alone.

The Colloquium which was the 2020 first quarter major activity of the Buratai Centre for Contemporary Security Affairs, IUO, was well attended by Senior Military officers including the Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Tukur Buratai ably represented by the GOC, 2nd Mechanized Division, Major General Anthony Omozoje, the Commander 4th Brigade, Brigadier-General U. M. Bello and many other top military officers. Others in attendance were Heads of Security Agencies and Para-military outfits including the Nigerian Police Force, NSCDC, FRSC, Nigerian Immigration Service, Nigeria Custom Service etc. Vice-Chancellors of Universities, Deans of relevant Colleges/faculties and Heads of Departments from various institutions in Nigeria were also in attendance.

The event featured a very insightful and topical lecture which was robustly delivered on behalf of the Chief of Defence Intelligence, Air-Vice-Marshall Mohammed Sani Usman by the Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence, Major General Chukwunedu Martins Abraham.

The lecture raised pertinent concerns about the current level of synergy, cohesion and alignment of intelligence, strategy and resources by the government and military of member states in the Sahel region of Africa taking note of the multiplicity of the terrorist forces operating in the region. It also scrutinized the role of international terrorist groups and their operations in the Sahel region of Africa.

The Chief of Defence Intelligence noted that in the entire struggle to surmount the war against terrorism, the sophistication of intelligence gathering mechanism of member states is paramount.  He therefore proffered that the region should intensify training of its intelligence personnel and also seek to acquire joint surveillance equipment which should include surveillance satellite among others. He said a regional training centre to improve intelligence gathering is also imperative at this critical time if the war against terror in the region is to be won.

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