The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) on Tuesday said that it has built the capacity of troops of Armed Forces of Nigeria to protect the country against cyber and asymmetric threats.

The immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin (Rtd), said this at his Pulling Out Parade at the Mogadishu Barracks in Abuja.

He said that under his leadership, the Armed Forces of Nigeria was transformed from being inexperienced in asymmetric warfare, to a military with enormous capacity, and experience in fighting cyber and asymmetric threats.

He said, “In the course of my five and a half years as the Chief of Defence Staff, the Armed Forces of Nigeria, under my leadership, and with the strategic guidance of the President, Commander-in-Chief, and the Honourable Minister of Defence, has been transformed from being inexperienced in asymmetric warfare and has over time, built enormous capacity, and gained valuable experience in fighting asymmetric threats to the nation.

Our current capacity to defend Nigeria has transited from fighting the conventional war on land, sea and air alone, to capacity to also contain threats to the nation in the cybersecurity and information domain. We have therefore built a solid foundation on which the current and indeed future generations of Nigerian military Commanders can build on in the performance of their constitutional roles of defending our dear nation from both external and domestic threats to our corporate existence”.

General Olonisakin rtd. added that he is leaving the Armed Forces of Nigeria in the hands of a competent and experienced successor, who apart from being former Commander of the Multinational Joint Task Force, former Commander Operation LAFIYA DOLE, and former Chief of Defence Training and Operations, have also been fully involved in all the operational and other initiatives of the Defence Headquarters.

I urge you all to continue to work with greater commitment and support to the Chief of Defence Staff and the Service Chiefs in order to achieve the mandate of addressing the spate of insecurity in our dear country,” he urged personnel.

The Ambassador-designate, whose military career spanned 48 years, said as the Chief of Defence Staff, his five and a half years tenure as the Chief of Defence Staff, were very eventful and challenging.

Prior to my assumption of command along with the immediate past Service Chiefs on 13 July 2015, the Boko Haram Terrorists held sway in parts of the North East. Our immediate challenge on the assumption of office was to flush out the Boko Haram and restore Nigeria’s sovereignty over these occupied territories.

Gratefully, with the support of the political leadership, particularly Mr President, Commander-in-Chief, and indeed all Nigerians, the Armed Forces of Nigeria, under my leadership was able to reclaimed territories that were hitherto under the control of the Boko Haram Terrorists. While the security threat posed by the Boko Haram is still being contained, the Armed Forces of Nigeria have, in the past five years, continued to develop capacities to contain insurgency and other asymmetric threats to our nation.

In addition to building operational capacity, enormous resources were committed to infrastructure development. Attention was also given to the welfare of our Service personnel through provision of office and residential accommodation, and the approval of an improved Terms and Conditions of Service, and Manual of Financial Administration for the Armed Forces of Nigeria by Mr President, Commander-in-Chief.

n consonance with the overall strategy of the Nigerian Government to apply a whole-of-government approach to addressing the Boko Haram crisis, our military/ defence diplomacy saw the operationalization of various military alliances between Nigeria and her neighbours, especially the Lake Chad Basin Commission countries,” he explained.

While adding that the military established close interaction and liaison with other strategic partners, General Olonisakin concluded that this led to improved regional cooperation and the strengthening of the Multinational Joint Force (MNJTF).


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