Nigeria must be steps ahead to crush Boko Haram —NSA

The National Security Adviser (NSA), retired MajorGeneral Babagana Monguno, has said Nigeria must be steps ahead to be able to defeat the Boko Haram terrorists and their activities.

Monguno gave the assertion in a keynote address at the opening of a two-day stakeholders workshop on the “Implementation of the National Counter Terrorism Strategy (NACTEST)” in Abuja, on Wednesday.

“To be steps ahead of the terrorists, all gamuts of national power and authority must be activated and channeled adequately,’’ he said.

Represented by Navy Commodore Yaminu Musa, national coordinator, NACTEST, Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Monguno, said all necessary efforts were being deployed to tackle the menace.

According to him, the carnage unleashed by the Boko Haram sect that caused the devastating loss of lives and properties was a grave menace that must be adequately tackled.

”Thus, the Office of the President through the Office of the National Security Adviser, using the Counter Terrorism Centre, revised the National Counter Terrorism Strategy (NACTEST) to deploy all necessary efforts at tackling the menace,’’ he said.

The NSA noted that “no one man or agency or country can achieve laudable success in the fight against terrorism.’’

He said all agencies must identify their crucial roles and collaborate to achieve success.

“The NACTEST is a call for action to all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), including non-governmental organisations and all well-meaning Nigerians.

”They must consciously take up their roles as outlined in the strategy and contribute by undertaking programmes and projects that are especially counter terrorism specific and counter terrorism relevant,’’ he said.

Monguno said the first edition of the counter terrorism strategy was developed and launched in 2014 with awareness being created for the purpose of mainstreaming its content and fostering implementation.

He, however, said the strategy had been reviewed after two years of working and testing, as provided for.

”The Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) is, therefore, now in full swing to implement the strategy with the participation and buy-in of the relevant stakeholders,’’ he said.

He said his office had ensured the development of NACTEST desks and appointment of focal/liaison officers in the MDAs.

”The ONSA expects all MDAs to use these desks to ensure the driving of their roles as stated in the NACTEST, as there would be periodic checks/liaison to give room for monitoring and evaluation,’’ the NSA said.

“Let us be conscious of the fact that we are partners in progress and drop all rivalry that tries to rob us of this partnership.

“We must always remember that the terrorists will strive to take advantage of all weaknesses in the government’s approach and we must ensure that these are reduced to the barest minimum.

“This is a call to immediate action, which we all must answer, as victory by one is victory by all. Our motto, therefore, should be mutual interest, mutual gain, and mutual respect,’’ he added.