Wednesday, 31st May 2023

Intelligence agencies ordered to deploy technology against insecurity

By Odita Sunday and Sodiq Omolaoye (Abuja) Njadvara Musa (Maiduguri)
05 December 2021   |   3:55 am
On a day that the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists shattered the peace of Borno State with multiple bombings, the Federal Government charged the intelligence community...

Wreckage of residential houses in Maiduguri metropolis, Borno State, after Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists fired mortar bombs into the city… yesterday<br />

Military High Command Says No Cause For Alarm
• Intelligence Services Must Be Proactive, Ahead Of The Curve — FG
• Be Strategic In Tackling Insecurity —Bichi

On a day that the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists shattered the peace of Borno State with multiple bombings, the Federal Government charged the intelligence community to adopt analytical, empirical, and data-driven approaches to tackle worsening insecurity in the country.

The mortar bombs, which jolted the military and residents of the state early yesterday, exploded at about 6 am, when residents were still indoors, before the three-hour monthly sanitation exercise. 

At the Maiduguri Housing Estate, the explosion destroyed some apartments in the process. The other apartments destroyed are located at the Ngormari Community, near the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) base.

Besides injuring a girl at House 2589, there were no casualties in the dawn attack on residents of 1, 000 housing estates along Damaturu Road.

An eyewitness and resident, Alim Audu told The Guardian, yesterday, that when he heard of the explosion, he rushed out to find what was happening.

“The mortar bomb landed and exploded near my house,” he said, adding that upon rushing out to the scene, he saw the bomb inside a house.

“This is how I concluded that it was a mortar bomb attack on residents of the estate,” he said.   

It was also learnt that the housing estate shares the same perimeter fence with the Maiduguri Hajj Camp.

According to State’s Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), over 19, 000 repentant Boko Haram terrorists and their families have been sheltered in the camp since last July.

Last February, over two dozen people were killed after multiple rockets were fired into Gwange Community in the Maiduguri metropolis.

THE State Police Command said a six-month-old baby was injured when the terrorists fired five mortar bombs into Maiduguri.

The Commissioner of Police (CP), Abdul Umar, told journalists that the terrorists fired the bombs from the outskirts of Ngomari Old Airport, behind Borno State University, adding that the mortars landed in different locations within the city causing minor damage.

The CP added that the first bomb landed inside a house belonging to one Ibrahim Abba-Fori, burning down a Honda Civic car, while another destroyed a room in Alhaji Bukar Modu-Kullima’s house, and injured the six-month-old baby, Fatima Alhaji-Bukar.

“Another one landed at Gambari Njimtilo Ward near the house of Ahmed Yahaya, where the fence of the house was destroyed. The last explosive landed in a farm at Shuwarin Atom Village,” he said.

Umar explained that the 6-month-old victim was treated for minor injuries at the Umaru Shehu Ultra-Modern Hospital and discharged.

ON its part, the Nigerian Army High Command said troops of Joint Task Force (JTF) North East, Operation HADIN KAI (OPHK) responded to the security breach by the insurgents.

According to an army spokesman, Brig. General Onyema Nwachukwu, “This unfortunate incident has caused some level of damage and apprehension in residential areas. Although, no life was lost, sadly a minor sustained injury. 
“Ground troops in conjunction with the Air Component of OPHK responded swiftly and dominated the area with ground and air interdictions that successfully neutralised the threats and infiltration attempt by the terrorists.

“The general public is urged not to panic as troops are on the ground and aggressively dominating the city to effectively take out any perceived threat. The good people of Maiduguri are equally enjoined to go about their normal socio-economic activities and provide actionable information on the movement of these criminal elements,” the military chief said.

THE Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, in his address at the graduation ceremony of the Executive Intelligence Management Course (EIMC) 14 of the National Institute for Security Studies, Abuja, said it has become imperative to step up the modus operandi of intelligence agencies.

While enjoining participants drawn from Nigeria, the Gambia, Ghana, and Liberia, to apply the knowledge obtained during the 10-month programme to tackle the myriad of security challenges across the West African Sub-region, he stressed: “We cannot police the country with human security alone; we must leverage technology.

“Security and intelligence agencies must adopt artificial intelligence and must be proactive, not reactive” in dealing with issues of insecurity in the country.

“It is the unpredictable events that we must be prepared for; we must try especially because we have been given the responsibility to think ahead of a nation of this size and of this complexity; it falls upon our lives to plan ahead and to be imaginative.

“It is not enough for intelligence services to anticipate the threat that we have a clear line of sight too; indeed, given the resource constraint that we face, we cannot afford to wait for the threat to become manifest dangers before we react,” the professor of law said, adding, “our intelligence services must be proactive rather than reactive; ahead of the curve, rather than behind it, threats must be identified and addressed well before they evolve into manifest spheres.

He continued: “It is a very heavy burden indeed; but the truth is that the intelligence community, by the very nature of its mandate, is charged with being several steps ahead of the rest of us.

“This requires a high capacity for imagination; in fact, I will go so far as to say that, in many respects, a failure of intelligence is a failure of imagination,” he added.

Earlier, the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mr. Yusuf Bichi, urged the graduands to be strategic in their approach to tackling insecurity.

He pledged that “the NISS will continue to develop strategies,” that will equip participants with the capacity to degrade terrorists and sundry criminal elements.

Among the dignitaries that attended the ceremony, where the First Lady, Hajiyya Aisha Buhari, wives of governors, ministers, legislators, monarchs, politicians, as well as captains of industries.