A former Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, has said the military action alone cannot tackle security challenges in the country.
Mr Buratai, a non-career ambassadorial designate, said this when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs for screening on Thursday in Abuja.
“This security challenge is something that started more than 30, or 40 years ago,” he said.
“It has penetrated the communities, the terrorists have won the communities to their side, that is why you see a small hamlet keeping Boko Haram in those locations, so it is a complex issue.
“So it requires the whole government approach to deal with this.
“The military action is just one aspect and this is one mistake we have been making. It is only the military that is seen to solve the issue of security challenges.”
He said political, economic and social factors were responsible for fuelling the security challenge over the years, adding that those factors must be addressed.
“Development should be progressive, there should be roads everywhere, employment, schools, hospitals.
“There are so many ungovernable spaces (and) until those spaces, locations are penetrated with roads infrastructure, rail, school, and we carry everybody along, and robust foreign and diplomatic policies pursued and sustained to solve issues of insecurity…,” he said.
The immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, Gabriel Olonisakin, told the committee that solutions to security challenges must be applied using a multi-dimensional approach.
“We are talking about hybrid warfare where everyone is involved. It is a national approach that is needed, for us to surmount insecurity.
“Three years ago I conducted research on the forests in the country, I realised that we have about 1,000 forest reserves.
“And I said to them three years ago that our next crisis will be in the forest. Some Nigerian governors were invited, we told them because most of the forests are the prerogatives of the states, the state took over all the forest reserves.
“And I said to them we have to protect the forest, that the next crisis will be the forest,” he said.
Mr Olonisakin added, “so it is a multi-faceted approach, that will require everyone to come on board for us to be able to address insecurity.
“You can never have enough, either weapons, personnel, but there are issues we have to address as a nation.
“We have developed a lot of capacities, initiatives, we can begin to look at all the operations using a national approach to address the issues of insecurity.”
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