Our Nigeria News Magazine
The news is by your side.

Civil-Military Divide Impedes Nigeria’s Stability – International Alert

Civil-Military Divide Impedes Nigeria’s Stability – International Alert

By Prosper Okoye, Abuja

International Alert Nigeria has held a second national stability dialogue, a move it says will achieve post-electoral peace, stability, and security.

“This is quite broad, but I hope that the conversations will help deconstruct what this actually means in practical terms, at the policy level and within the community. By merging both military and civilian perspectives, we aim to propose simple but practical strategies that could assist our country,” Country Director Paul Nyulaku-Bemshima told the gathering.

Tension still lingers even after the elections and the subsequent tribunal and court judgments. There have also been renewed acts of kidnapping, armed banditry attacks, ritual killings, and deadly communal clashes in recent times.

However, Mr. Nyulaku-Bemshima stated that the solution to these myriad problems is the combination of kinetic and non-kinetic approaches.

“Interestingly, I was in a couple of meetings some weeks ago, and someone asked me a very simple question. He said, ‘What do kinetic and non-kinetic approaches mean in a practical sense?’ And, of course, we realized that at some point, some of the terminology we use hasn’t been thoroughly reflected upon for their true meaning or practical applications.

“I would like to emphasize that the kinetic and non-kinetic, as mentioned repeatedly, are lines of effort that need to come together. I believe we have reached a stage where we have to recognize that non-kinetic approaches, which focus on human security and the well-being of the population, need to be an integral part of our campaign strategy for the formal security forces, rather than just complementary. It shouldn’t be something we merely talk about; it should be practically integrated into the very framework that drives the military operations established in different parts of the country,” he said.

“How will this play out in a practical sense?” Nyulaku-Bemshima continued, “We must decide at what point the use of force becomes necessary. We must decide at what point peacebuilding, civil-military coordination, and psychological operations are necessary to consolidate whatever success the military has achieved through kinetic operations. I believe we need to reach a point where all of this comes together in a very integrated way that helps us deliver the desired effect.”

Also speaking, the Acting Director of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Early Warning Directorate expressed concern over the regional threat of terrorism and the decline in democratic culture. She pointed out that four member states in the region are under military rule and emphasized the need for practical solutions and justice.

Read Also: The Impacts of MNJTF’s Non-Kinetic Efforts in the Lake Chad Basin

“It is time for the service chiefs or their representatives to come together and acknowledge the necessity of having a strong political commitment and the will to address the challenges faced by a country like Nigeria, which is dealing with conflicts on multiple fronts.

“Conflict often occurs at the community level, with numerous civil society groups actively engaged. Prioritizing a bottom-up approach is crucial, as it allows us to leverage the national peace infrastructures present in our local communities, including traditional and religious mechanisms, and integrate them into national and regional efforts.

“As we continue our efforts through this dialogue to enhance data collection, analysis, and the informed responses of our peace and security practitioners, we aim to use this data to strengthen regional peace and stability,” Dr. Onyinye Onwuka added”

The two-day dialogue, which was held in Abuja, had two discussion themes on the first day: “Priorities for Defense Transformation and Non-Kinetic Response’ and ‘Repositioning the Police at the Heart of Internal Security: Priorities for Police Reform.”

Goodwill messages were delivered by the High Commissioner of the British High Commission, Richard Montgomery; the National Coordinator of the Security Governance Initiative (SGI), Hon. Aliyu Gebi; and the Director General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Dr. Lanre Issa-Onilu, expressing commitment to peace and stability programs and initiatives.

Kimaris Toogood, the Peace and Development Advisor in the Office of the Resident Coordinator at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), recounted the agency’s contributions to Nigeria’s peace and stability efforts and assured that UNDP is willing to strengthen partnerships for a safe and secure Nigeria.

It was gathered that the event was organized in collaboration with the Office for Strategic Preparedness and Resilience (OSPRE), which is the National Early Warning Centre of the Vice President, and the National Orientation Agency (NOA). It was supported by the UK International Development through the Promoting Stability, Access to Justice, and Accountability in Northwest Nigeria Project (Samun Adalchi Shi Ne Kwanciyar Hankali).

“At International Alert, we have been working very closely with key stakeholders and institutions across peace, stability, and security. We are collaborating with different subnational governments. We recognize that this involves institution-to-institution, people-to-people, and government-to-government conversations that need to take place. Additionally, we have attempted to identify gaps. Moreover, we need to integrate all these threads to ensure that the competitive edge we possess across these various sectors comes together to deliver a safe and peaceful country where we can all enjoy sustainable peace,” Nyulaku-Bemshima stated.

Civil-Military Divide Impedes Nigeria’s Stability – International Alert

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.