2023: Let’s Prioritise Security Over Campaigns, CDS Tells Politicians - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS


Wednesday, May 18, 2022

2023: Let’s Prioritise Security Over Campaigns, CDS Tells Politicians

ABUJA - The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen Lucky Irabor, has called on Nigerian politicians to work towards a secured state first, before vying for any elective position in the upcoming 2023 general election.

General Irabor made the appeal yesterday at the National Defence College (NDC) Security Seminar with the theme: “Emerging Security Threats in West Africa: Implications for Regional Security and Stability.”

He said the outcome of the seminar would help the government in ensuring security and stability in Nigeria and West African sub-region.

Irabor said the sub-region had been witnessing an increase in the activities of non-state actors, thereby posing threats to regional security, political stability, and economic development.

He said the spread of violent extremism, cross-border banditry, and kidnapping, among others, coupled with the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, had negatively altered the security landscape of West Africa.

“In the light of growing political activities towards 2023 elections in Nigeria, our politicians must factor the necessity to have a secure state first before vying for any elective position. It beholds on all of us to keep this in focus as we engage in political activities,” he added.

The minister of defense, Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd) tasked the military and other security agencies to evolve strategies for tackling the security challenges confronting Nigeria and the West African sub-region.

Magashi said that national security was key to the growth and development of nations as well as regional stability, adding that the West African sub-region had been grappling with one form of security challenge or the other.

The minister said the rise in violent conflicts in West Africa had sparked concerns that emerging threats could undermine the security and stability of the sub-region.

He said a combination of factors such as youth bulge and rising unemployment as well as the upsurge in terrorism had created security challenges undermining national and regional stability.

He added that the democratic space is shrinking as more people live under fully or partially authoritarian states today than in the last two decades.

Magashi lamented that an increasing number of African heads of state had moved to undermine term limits to remain in power which has increasingly alienated more people and has resulted in unconstitutional changes in governments in Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Mali, as well as the attempted Coup d’etat in Guinea Bissau.

He noted that of concern was that these coups seemed to be gathering populist support, while the ECOWAS and its member states were struggling to ensure a return to constitutional order.

The National Security Adviser (NSA) retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno urged NDC to continue to examine national and international security concerns, especially along the lines that most security threats were transnational.

Monguno, who was represented by Maj-Gen. Emmanuel Mdagi said the sub-region had recently been grappling with a plethora of security challenges that continue to morph in scale and intensity.

He said the trend could best be described as a complex and unpredictable threat environment.

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