Nigerians have commended the Federal Government on its move to draw a new security template to further strengthen the security apparatuses of the country. The new template will shift emphasis to intelligence gathering on which security reports would be based as opposed to taking action based on incident reports.
Maj.-Gen. Sardauna Davies, the Acting Chief of Defence Intelligence, announced in Abuja on Monday at the opening of the 2016 training conference for Deputy Defence Advisers/Attaches and Librarians, that the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) will overhaul of its intelligence gathering and other operational mechanisms is to bring them in tune with contemporary realities.
The DIA is the primary military intelligence agency of the country. Its statutory role include providing an efficient system of obtaining military intelligence for the Nigerian Armed Forces and Ministry of Defence as well as promoting Nigeria’s Defence Policy, protecting the lives of Nigerian citizens, and maintaining the territorial integrity of the country.
The DIA boss noted that the realities of the contemporary society required a change of approach to keep the country and its citizens secured.
“The growing sophistication of our society coupled with increasing violence and attendant losses of lives and property, require a continuous reappraisal of our operational tactics.
“Additionally, our methods of intelligence gathering need to be re-strategised in order to appropriately deal with the emerging security environment.
“We are designing a new template on which intelligence reporting would be based, it is intelligence and not intelligence based on incident report and stale news which is ineffective. We are reviewing the type of briefs we give to attaches,” he said.
Dr. Ona Ekhomu, President of the Association of Industrial Security and safety operators of Nigeria, welcomed the shift and noted that intelligence is supposed to provide information on the intentions such that measures can be taken to plug the loopholes.
He described the current modus operandi of the security agencies based on incident reports as mere post-mortem of incidents that have occurred and added that the shift to intelligence gathering will make a difference in the security infrastructure of the country.
Ekhomu noted that that intelligence gathering should be actionable with the aim of getting information ahead of time with the aim of preventing an incident from happening.
Maj.-Gen. Davies had said that the challenges posed by the Boko Haram insurgency and terrorism in parts of West Africa could have been averted if sufficient intelligence had been conducted.
According to him, Nigeria would leverage on the experience of experts in the intelligence sector to strengthen its security both at the borders and in volatile parts of the country.
“We want to ensure maximum information gathering that could be analysed into intelligence.
“The contemporary security challenges of Boko Haram terrorism that we have in our hands today started about 15 years ago in the Middle East.
“It should have been predicted then as an emerging threat by our own intelligence service, however it was not.
“As such we could not take appropriate preventive measures to nip it in the bud,” he said.