The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, says dialogue and cooperation between government and non-governmental actors are vital to preventing and countering terrorism and violence.

Yahaya, represented by the Chief of Training (Army), Maj.-Gen. Sani Mohammed, said this while speaking at the Army War College Nigeria (AWCN) Interagency Seminar 2023 on Thursday in Abuja, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

He said that there was the need to regard the broader public, local communities and the private sector as partners and stakeholders in the collective effort to countering security threats bedevilling the nation.

He added that the aforementioned stakeholders must no longer be regarded as passive, but as active participants in security and law enforcement activities.

“This we must achieve by streamlining our efforts for the collective goal of enhancing national security.

“Streamlining all initiatives for countering threats to security will be premised on effective partnerships between all the actors.

“Civil society is a very important stakeholder in this regard as it helps to create the space for constructive engagement between the state and citizens,

“It helps to foster trust and understanding between the state and citizens as they take ownership of strategies put in place to counter their collective threat,’’ he said.

He stressed that partnerships between stakeholders would help to eliminate mistrust, conceptual misunderstandings, and differences in understanding of national security issues.

“Indeed the time for the full involvement of society in efforts to counter our internal security challenges is overdue.

“This is more so in the understanding that no stakeholder can successfully counter internal security challenges single-handedly.

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“It also informed my vision for a professional Nigerian army ready to accomplish assigned missions within a joint environment in the defence of Nigeria,’’ he said.

He added that the current asymmetric environment required the collaboration of all military efforts as the military had made tremendous strides in countering internal security threats.

He said there was the need to build upon the gains so far made through cooperation by all other relevant security agencies.

He said also that the seminar could not have come at a better time than this post-general election period.

“Apart from serving as a medium for appraising our collective efforts at steering Nigeria, the seminar affords us an opportunity to appraise our collective performances during the just-concluded elections.

“Added to this, all of us as a nation have come to the realisation that our operations need to be intelligence-driven,’’ he added.

In his contribution, Commandant of AWCN, Maj.-Gen. Bamidele Alabi, said the seminar was part of the college’s curriculum for Course 7/2023 which was inaugurated on Feb. 17 with 74 participants.

Alabi said that in dealing with crises arising from the actions of actors within Nigeria’s geostrategic environment, it was essential to employ all the elements of national power to stem the tide.

He added that the projection of the elements of national power required security agencies, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to cooperate and collaborate towards the attainment of national objectives.

He added that interagency cooperation and coordination module of the course was designed to equip participants with the knowledge required to operate with governmental and non-governmental agencies.