How robust interagency collaboration is boosting security operations – ONSA Spokesman – THE AUTHORITY NEWS – THE AUTHORITY NEWS

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By Chuks Oyema-Aziken

Special adviser, Strategic Communication to Nigeria’s National Security Adviser, Zakari Mijinyawa has attributed robust interagency collaborations to successes in ongoing security operations across the country.

He stated this in his opening statement at a Joint Press Briefing by Security, Defence and
Response Agencies under the auspecies of
the Strategic Communications Interagency Advisory Policy Committee in Abuja on Thursday.

He said the robust interagency collaboration, ensured that security operations are comprehensive, strategic, and effective.

Giving an update of activities in the security circle, he said ONSA has been pivotal in coordinating national security strategies and ensuring synergy among various security agencies.

“The office has, during the period under review, successfully hosted the High-Level Africa Counter-Terrorism Meeting, which brought together African Heads of Government, including President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who served as the host President, the UN Deputy Secretary-General, and leaders of other key global bodies. These discussions focused on stability in the Sahel Region and garnered significant commitments to combat terrorism and violent extremism.

“Relatedly, the Office facilitated the second leg of the UK-Nigeria security and defence dialogue, bringing together security and defence chiefs from both countries. Additionally, in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria, the ONSA initiated series of economic security measures against currency manipulators and speculators.
Coordinating efforts in the areas of human security, food security, and interventions to resolve national issues led to increased citizen-centric approach to national security since the beginning of the administration.

“In our counter-terrorism and insurgency operations, troops neutralized 9,303 insurgents, arrested 6,998 individuals, and rescued 4,641 hostages. Notably, 9,562 Boko Haram/ISWAP combatant fighters and their families surrendered to security forces. In the fight against oil theft, 1,437 perpetrators were apprehended, with 363 neutralized. Additionally, 245 kidnapped hostages were rescued, leading to a marked decrease in insurgent activities.

“The Nigerian Navy’s increased patrols and international collaborations have led to a substantial reduction in piracy incidents in the Gulf of Guinea. Notable achievements in the last twelve months include the prevention of oil theft, and denying criminal elements access to an estimated sum of N91,247,052,565.

“Troops discovered and destroyed 3,051 dugout pits, 1,276 boats, 3,924 storage tanks, and 408 vehicles, recovering significant quantities of stolen crude oil and illegally refined petroleum products, amounting to millions of liters.

He said the DSS and other intelligence agencies have played a critical role in safeguarding national security through intelligence gathering and covert operations, again enabled by seamless interagency coordination.

“Successful intelligence-led operations have prevented numerous terrorist attacks and criminal activities. High-profile terrorist commanders and their associates were apprehended across multiple states, preventing potential catastrophic incidents. Confiscations included illegal items such as IEDs, firearms, ammunition, and dangerous psychoactive substances.

“Over 21,000 pump action cartridges, 440 pump action rifles, and 228,741 rounds of ammunition were seized, preventing potential attacks by recovering suicide jackets and lethal weapons. Criminal activities involving illicit petroleum products were disrupted, with 50,000 illicit liters impounded. Intelligence dissemination in the South-South region contributed to a reduction in oil theft. New directorates were established to enhance transparency and democratic principles, promoting security and economic stability through intelligence-sharing initiatives.

“The intelligence community continuous to provide both foreign and domestic intelligence services that are timely and actionable to Government. Abroad, Intelligence activities track dissidents and secessionists, transnational organized crime involving Nigerians such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, fraud, cybercrime, money laundering, and immigration-related crimes.

“Additionally, key agencies have maintained collaboration with foreign services, identified opportunities and challenges in furthering common national, regional and international priorities set by Government. This has led to effective representation of Nigeria in regional and continental security platforms such as the ECOWAS, CISSA and other regional and continental organizations.

Mijinyawa said the Nigeria Police Force and other law enforcement agencies have undertaken significant reforms and operations to enhance public safety.

“Key achievements include restructuring and reforming the intelligence department and reopening the Nigeria Police Intelligence School. The launch of the Special Intervention Squad (SIS) and collaboration with international partners, alongside the Schools Protection Initiative and the deployment of helicopters for train escorts along the Abuja-Kaduna route, have enhanced security measures. Digital support systems like the Nigeria Police Force Rescue Me App have been relaunched, leading to significant successes.

“Arrests include 4,796-armed robbery suspects, 3,068 kidnap suspects, 2,474 suspects for rape/sexual crimes, 1,213 suspects for unlawful possession of firearms, 3,523 suspected cultists, 3,381 suspects for murder/homicide, and 13,382 suspects for other offences.

“Additionally, 1,713 kidnap victims were rescued, and 2,566 firearms and 19,310 rounds of ammunition were recovered, along with 1,465 vehicles/motorcycles. Also, during the period under review, the Nigerian police prosecuted 29,052 cases. Of these, 7,675 cases were conclusively dispensed, 11,376 suspects are currently undergoing trial, 51 cases are under appeal in appellate courts, and 16,200 cases resulted in the conviction of suspects who have received various punishments for their criminal acts.

“Similarly, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) recorded significant feats to bolster internal security and secure critical infrastructure. Key achievements include the establishment of the National Safe Schools Response Coordination Centre (NSSRCC), foiling over 48 school attacks and kidnap attempts nationwide.

“The launch of the CG’s Mining Marshall combated illegal mining activities, dismantling over 1,975 illegal mining sites. Over 165 illegal local refineries were uncovered and dismantled, and enhanced communication initiatives promoted public awareness and sensitization programs.

“Custodial management plays a pivotal role in law enforcement, ensuring the proper care, rehabilitation, and reintegration of inmates into society. In the past year, the Nigerian Correctional Service has focused on enhancing custodial practices.

“Key achievements include enhanced inmate training and productivity, increased revenue from Correctional Farm centers and Vocational Skill Workshops, and educational advancements for inmates. Inmate welfare has been improved with the distribution of beddings, uniforms, and hygiene materials, alongside ensured access to healthcare services.

“Staff welfare enhancements saw the promotion of over 10,000 officers and men, and improved working conditions. Efforts to decongest custodial centers through fines, renovations, and expansions have also been significant.

“Also, non-custodial services have been upscaled. The NCoS has adopted non-custodial measures such as community service, parole, probation and restorative justice in offenders’ management thereby significantly reducing custodial population, saving revenue for the government and engendering proper and effective reformation and rehabilitation of offenders. In general, this has helped to enhance public safety and National Security

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