The Honourable Minister of Defence, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar CON, mni has opined that in leveraging Defence Diplomacy and effective regional collaboration for enhanced national security, nations should act within the confines of International law.
The Minister who stated this during the opening ceremony of the CHIEF OF DEFENCE INTELLIGENCE Annual Conference 2023 held in Abuja, said that acting within the confines of International law would foster equality, guaranty mutual respect, enhance peaceful coexistence and ultimately enhance national security.
He said the Defence Attache system is a veritable Defence Management for solving many problems of a nation, stressing that Nigeria must rise to the occasion and lead the way in these efforts. “In doing so, I urge you, the participants to respect principle of sovereign equality and non- interference in internal affairs of other nations. You must emphasize cooperation rather that competition and act within the confines of international law,” he charged them.
Furthermore on Diplomacy, he said that for any country’s defence strategy to succeed, it must recognize the critical role of diplomacy in reducing military risks as well as fostering shared understanding for enhanced national security.
Badaru therefore urged the Defence Attache / Advisers who are the participants of the conference to pay attention to the global and regional challenges as diplomats and continue to positively represent the DIA, the Ministry of Defence and the nation in general.
In his remarks, the Honourable Minister of State for Defence, Dr Muhammed Bello Matawalle MON, called on the participants to utilize the opportunity to re-energize their resolve in developing strategies that would continue to improve security, political, economic and diplomatic efforts of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
He charged the Defence Attaches/Advisers to build strong relationships with their host country’s Defence establishments, Government officials and Defence industry stakeholders.
In his keynote address, the National Security Adviser, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, stated that the objective of the annual conference is to provide an avenue for participants to review progress made during the receding year, assess current and emerging challenges, leverage on past efforts and strategize for the future.
He assured that the Federal Government would not rest on its oars in ensuring a robust and viable Defence Management and security apparatus to address contemporary challenges.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr Ibrahim Abubakar kana mni who delivered the progress report on Defence Attaches 2022 communique called for the full implementation of the recommendations of the 2022 conference as contained in the communique.
He said the implementation of the recommendations was very crucial as the nation is witnessing disturbing conflicts of different magnitude from the North East, North West and South East to other African Countries.
“This is why our full efforts should ensure that our use of diplomacy to sustain peace and preserve human lives is sustained,” he said.
Dr. Kana called on the DEFENCE ATTACHEs to play their roles in the Defence Diplomacy Management in intelligence gathering and sharing and provision of security policy capable of helping in times of troubles in order to create favourable atmosphere that would be beneficial to Nigerians.
Earlier, the CHIEF OF DEFENCE INTELLIGENCE, Major General EAP Undiandeye, said that the theme of the 2023 Annual conference: “Leveraging Defence Diplomacy and Effective
Regional Collaboration for Enhanced National Security” was carefully chosen following recent developments confronting the West African Subregion and Africa at large.
Speaking on milestone achievements of the Military, he said Nigerian Military has recorded considerable successes in its effort to confront Nigeria’s security challenges.
He said that the Military onslaught against insurgents is evident in the massive surrender of the Boko Haram, Islamic State West African Province Terrorists and the containment of the Lake Chad Region.
“Similarly, intensified anti banditry operations in the North West and North Central Zones are yielding the desired results,” he said.
The CDI said that there is the need to sustain the collaborative efforts at all levels of Defence diplomacy in order to consolidate the records gained.
He called on the Defence Advisers and Attaches to live up to expectations saying that their roles were key in ensuring effective regional collaboration in order to strengthen mechanisms to address identified threats.