A former Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Abdulrahamah Dambazau (rtd), yesterday said Nigeria is witnessing a new wave of ethnic extremism that could ignite ethnic conflict.
Dambazzau, a former minister of Interior, however, said the Police has a very critical role to play in quelling recent agitations across the country, instead of leaving everything in the hands of the military.
While advancing solutions to the current national security threats, the former minister said it is the constitutional responsibility of the military to crush insurrections and other acts that threaten the sovereignty and territory integrity of the country.
Dambazzau, who stated this while delivering a lecture to participants of Course 5 of the War College, argued further that the activity of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) is not different from Boko Haram’s bloody campaign in the northern parts of the country.
He said: “The two groups have been making efforts to ignite nationwide inter-ethnic conflicts through their violent attacks on northerners resident or transacting businesses in the south as a quick way to realise their dream for a divided Nigeria.
“We see parallels between Boko Haram, a religious extreme group, and the IPOB and OPC, both ethnic extremist group. All the three groups operate on the platform of extremism.”
Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, expressed optimism that the training would equip participants with the requisite experience to plan and execute military operations.
He stated: “It is hoped that during your stay here, you will not only explore new frontiers of knowledge and emerging security threats but also propose strategies for defeating them.
“As you are aware, our nation has been grappling with word of security challenges. These include insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and other forms of criminality across all the states of the federation.”
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