Nigeria’s security situation has worsened in recent times with the deployment of military personnel in 28 out of the 36 states of the federation to assist in restoring peace.
National Security Adviser NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), who gave the indication yesterday at the ongoing National Civil- Military Dialogue in Abuja, was however emphatic that the government was winning the war on terrorism and other organised violent crimes.
According to him, the past decade has witnessed multiple forms of unrestfrom armed robbery, kidnapping, electoral, communal to ethno-religious violence. He said the development has affected the level of professionalism of the military.
He said: “Our recent history has seen the military in joint activities with other para-military outfits currently in about 28 states.
“Currently, we are battling with insurgency and terrorism. This has raised the flag of security demands to levels higher than we have witnessed since the civil war.
It has meant that the military are seeing more deployments in aid of civil authority than anticipated.
“While it is the function of the military to assist civilian authority to handle civil disobedience, it is assumed that such rules would be carried out only when the capacity of the police is overwhelmed.
“Policing the domestic arena is not the duty of the military, whose training is directed against external enemies of the State.” Dasuki also stated that the military is now involved in checking armed robbery and other crimes on interstate roads.
“From mere intervention to assisting the police quell domestic violence; the military is now fighting the scourge of insurgency and terrorism. “Thus, the military presence in our society is becoming routine. While this affects the level of professionalism of the military, it also generates new dimensions of conflicts between the military and civilian populace,” said Dasuki.
Highlighting the timeliness of the National Civil- Military Dialogue, Dasuki said participants must create new bridges of understanding between the military and civilians “in order to enable us provide adequate security for lives and property.”