Expert calls for more strategic anti-terrorism fight

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President of the Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operations of Nigeria (AISSON), Dr. Ona Ekhomu, has urged the military to deploy risk mapping in mitigating losses arising from inadequate or failed procedures, systems or policies in the ongoing fight against terrorism in the North East.

Ekhomu gave the advice while speaking on the topic: “International and Regional Mechanisms for Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency Operations at the Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency (CTCOIN) Lecture of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC) at Jaji, Kaduna.

According to him, using risk mapping tools would enable the military to be proactive and prevent the galaxy of threats, including catastrophic losses associated with insurgency, militancy, terrorism, ethnic rebellion, piracy, trans-border crimes, militant pastoralism, kidnapping and which require military assets for their resolution.

Ekhomu told members of Senior Course 40 that the reality was for the people and processes to check the errors that militate against CTCOIN operations.

He said: “Risk mapping is a reliable way to eliminate risk exposures and thereby reduce losses caused by terrorist and insurgent attacks.

It involves conducting risk identification, risk assessments, risk mitigation, counter-measures implementation and performance evaluation.

“Terrorists could use a variety of attack methodologies including frontal armed attacks, lone wolf attacks, wolf pack attacks, drone attacks, cellular network attacks, and stealth attacks.

The military has to be nimble-footed to prevent these asymmetric threats from becoming loss events.”

The security expert applauded the United States, France and United Kingdom for assisting Nigeria in combating the Boko Haram insurgency.

He also appreciated the United Nations for its humanitarian assistance to the internally displaced persons (IDPs) numbering over two million in the North East.

Ekhomu observed that good governance was imperative in preventing terrorism, stressing that the education of youths and enthronement of employment programmes were imperative.

“Nigeria has over 10.5 million out of school children, many of them in the North East.

These out of school children might in the future become insurgents as proliferation of arms and the desperation of young people make the lure to terrorism very strong,” he added.

The college commandant, Air Vice Marshal Lawal Alao, said the lecture was germane to the military, adding that as professionals, they would adopt models that are useful in the fight against terrorism and insurgency.

He explained that the primary regional mechanism for CTCOIN had been the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), re-authorised by the African Union’s Peace and Security Committee that mandated a force of 7500 to fight Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Basin area.