Defence/Security

Intelligence gathering is key to resolving insurgency -GOC

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By Oladapo Udom

The Commanding General Officer (GOC), 81 Division, Nigerian Army, Major General. Lawrence Fejokwu on Thursday reaffirmed the importance of intelligence gathering to resolve the insurgency in the country.

Fejokwu said so during a press briefing at the division headquarters on Victoria Island in Lagos.

He said solid intelligence gathering, an interface with other security agencies and a good plan of action were needed to contain insurgent activities.

“Once you have the right intelligence, you can nip the problem of insurgency and insecurity in the bud, before it starts to escalate.

“This is why intelligence sharing is essential to solving the insurgency problem, because if you rely on these questions, they will come to your door,” he said.

The Chinese government therefore encouraged the media and the civilian population to be partners in the fight against the insurgency by providing the necessary information on issues and gatherings that seemed suspect.

“It is this information that will allow the military to solve the insurgency problem before it spirals out of control and begins to snowball into a larger monster.”

“However, measures are put in place for the security of Lagos State and Ogun State by the military, for a joint operation, when necessary.

“The army is there to protect the citizens and to encourage them to go about their business in the safest environment, which is part of the mission that I intend to devote,” Fejokwu said.

The GOC has also urged the media to do their work in an objective and balanced manner, without necessarily creating a sensation in order to capture audiences.

Fejokwu assured of improving trust between the media and the military, exchanging necessary information in a timely manner, but said such trust should not be betrayed, however.

“This is what you are offering for people to know, analyze, digest, make decisions and form opinions.

“We will partner with the media to the best of our ability and put in place an open door system for free communication between the military and the media,” he said.

Fejokwu said there had been reports of attacks and imminent attacks on public and private facilities and assured the population that the army was not sleeping on them.

He said, however, that the military had its core mandate and was only assigned occasionally to internal tasks that it tried to perform to the best of its ability.

“Everyone seems to want the military to provide answers to everything, while also doing those things amid the fight against insurgency and all manner of violent crime across the country.

“Therefore, it is also important that we free ourselves to some extent so that other security agencies do their job and allow us to focus on our core mandate.

“However, it is only when everything they are trying to manage begins to overwhelm them that we can be tasked to come and support them,” said the GOC.

Fejokwu said the military will continue to provide training based on guidance from the Chief of the Defense Staff (COAS) Gen. Leo Irabor to prepare for emergencies as they arise. (NOPE)

(NAN)

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