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Boosting intelligence gathering remains my focus, says Buhari


President Muhammadu Buhari has said the primary focus of his administration is to strengthen the nation’s intelligence gathering capacity to end the security challenges.

Buhari spoke yesterday at the 8th National Security Seminar 2018 of the Alumni Association of the National Defence College (NDC) held in Abuja.

“One current focus is the strengthening of Nigeria’s intelligence gathering capacity.  For this to happen, intelligence gathering must not be seen as solely a task for law enforcement agencies. It is a task that must involve every citizen, every community.

“And at the level of the military and intelligence agencies, intelligence-sharing must become the rule and not the exception,” the president said.

Buhari, represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, also said there was a limit to what the armed forces could achieve by conventional means of establishing barracks and bases, adding that the scope of the battle against insurgency was broadened by the vast land mass in the North-East.

“Land mass on that scale is unquestionably a delight for terrorists and their unconventional tactics.

“The primary advantage that the government should have over them is in intelligence gathering; the ability to expertly assemble the pieces of various puzzles together in order to be able to progressively contain and limit terrorism.’’
The president noted that without investing in intelligence gathering there would be very little hope for the country at the mercy of large swathes of ungoverned spaces and feeble borders.

“This necessity of robust intelligence gathering underlies every one of our security challenges in Nigeria, not just terrorism but also clashes between herdsmen and farmers, cattle rustling, armed banditry, cultism and militancy.

“In the herdsmen, farmer crisis we have seen that herdsmen attackers have included armed confederate from neighbouring North African countries, especially Libya which has in the past few years been a repository of small arms.

“We must significantly upgrade our capacity to collect intelligence, as well as build a culture of sharing it amongst our military and law enforcement agencies in a timely manner,” he said.

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