Written By Edesiri Vuevu

Security experts have suggested the involvement of civilians as part of intelligence in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria.

The suggestion was made by Security Consultant COL. HASSAN STAN-LABO (RTD.) while appearing on the popular programme, “Today On STV” on Tuesday.

According to him, terrorism is not a war it is an asymmetric conflict embedded in communities. 

He said there is the need for high level intelligence, which of course will come in form of information before been scrutinized by authorities.

As he put it, “Though gathering intelligence is highly capital intensive and resource intensive, it needs time to be able to get done with.”

He noted that in this scenario, where a society will have to fight terrorists, the enemies that are not known, the battle space is not well defined.

“All actions geared towards it must be people based or citizen driven whereby the citizen must be seen taking ownership of the process. The important thing is people in the community must be ready to play a huge role,” he said.

Speaking on synergy between the military and other humanitarian organisations, Stan-Labo explained that most international organizations that are involved in humanitarian assistance can only work together in the area of safety and welfare for the Internally Displaced Persons.

 “Then the humanitarian’s aids can move in, then also the IDP’s will be able to assess them and I don’t think there has been complaint from any of these organizations that the military is not cooperating,” he posited.

He also spoke on the National Security and Defense Strategy architecture, which he said would need a complete overhaul. 

“We are leaving out certain segments within the society that would have been able to serve as grassroots informants and work in close consonance with the police. These segments includes the private security sector where we have all these security guards which can work closely with the police.

“They also serve as information providers, just like vigilantes. We need to bring private security sectors, as well as vigilantes on board more so with the situation on ground now. Also, they have to bring the man power for both the police and the armed forces.

This, to him, will increase tremendously and also expand the military, adding that when the military is expanded, it gives room for more intelligent minds in the army to man the country. The military also needs to be further enhanced which means that they should be able to fight in three or four different fronts at the same time.”