Dasuki made this known in his address to participants at the National Civil-Military Dialogue in Abuja yesterday. He decried that the past “decade has witnessed multiple forms of unrest-from armed robbery, kidnapping, electoral and communal to ethno-religious violence.
“Currently, we are battling with insurgency and terrorism. This has raised the flag of security demands to levels higher than we have witnessed since the civil war. It has meant that the military are seeing more deployments in aid of civil authority than anticipated.” Dasuki said that it is not the duty of the military to handle internal security operations.
“While it is the function of the military to assist civilian authority to handle civil disobedience, it is assumed that such rules would be carried out only when the capacity of the police is overwhelmed. Policing the domestic arena is not the duty of the military, whose training is directed against external enemies of the state.
“However, our recent history has seen the military in joint activities with other para-military outfits currently in about 28 states. In addition, the military is involved in checking armed robbery and other crimes on interstate roads. From mere intervention to assisting the police quell domestic violence; the military is now fighting the scourge of insurgency and terrorism.
Thus, the military presence in our society is becoming routine. While this affects the level of professionalism of the military, it also generates new dimensions of conflicts between the military and civilian populace.” Dasuki said the rising security challenges has made it imperative that the “National Civil-Military Dialogue was timely and essential. We must create new bridges of understanding between the military and civilians in order to enable us provide adequate security for lives and property.
It will be tragic to have wide communication gaps between the military and the civilian population in our struggle against insurgency and terrorism, not to mention criminal acts of kidnapping, armed robbery and others.”
The NSA advised participants to take to the grassroots the message of policing the nation as a duty for all citizens and advised that it would be proper to take the seminar to the state and local government levels for more effect and a better secured nation that fosters the peace and development of all.