By Adetokunbo Fakeye
Nigeria - The Force Commander (FC) of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), Major General Abdul Khalifa Ibrahim on Thursday 9 March 2023 called for more synergy and concerted efforts to end insurgency in the country.
Gen. Khalifa, who made this call in his lecture entitled "Counter terrorism/Counter Insurgency Operations and National Security in Nigeria: The MNJTF in Perspective’" at the National Defence College Abuja, Nigeria, also presented achievements of the Joint Task Force.
The lecture, which is part of the series of packages lined up for participants of the War College comprising senior officers of the rank of Colonels and their equivalents from Nigeria and other friendly countries from within and outside Africa, according to Lt. Col. Kamarudeen Adegoke, Chief Military Public Information Officer MNJTF N'Djamena Chad, focused on the contributions of the MNJTF towards ensuring Nigeria’s national security.
"It detailed how the MNJTF in collaboration with other national operations have enabled the gradual restoration of peace and security in the Lake Chad Region and Nigeria in particular", he stated.
He added, it has enabled the gradual return of IDPs and refugees back to their ancestral homes across the entire Lake Chad Region. "It has also enabled the opening of major international trade routes like the N’Djamena ( Chad)– Kousseri (Cameroun)– Gamboru (Nigeria) – Maiduguri as well as the reopening of major commercial markets with commercial, agricultural and economic activities thriving.
"This is in addition to the mass surrenders of both the insurgents and their collaborators. The FC also highlighted the challenges of the MNJTF and proffered some strategies to tackle them".
Gen. Khalifa therefore encouraged the participants to utilize the knowledge garnered in the course to contribute meaningfully to national and regional development.
He affirmed that the conflict is gradually coming to an end in the Lake Chad basin area given the significant gains by both the MNJTF and other national operations and therefore called for greater synergy to end it once and for all.
The Commandant of the College, Rear Admiral Murtala Bashir in his closing remarks appreciated the FC for the well delivered lecture.
He extolled the sterling leadership qualities of the FC in taking the MNJTF to greater heights which he said has translated in the relative peace being witnessed in the Lake Chad Region.
He urged the participants to brainstorm and proffer workable strategies to counter the menace of insurgency and terrorism in the region and beyond.
He described the FC as a distinguished alumnus of the college having attended NDC Course 23.
Earlier on, the FC was Guest Lecturer at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC) Jaji Nigeria Counter terrorism/Counter Insurgency Operations Seminar which was held on 1 March 2023 where he delivered a lecture entitled: “The Role of Military Leadership in a “Whole-of Society Approach” Towards Enhancing Counter Terrorism and Counter Insurgency operations: My Experience”.
The FC in his lecture noted that Military leadership in the contemporary CTCOIN environment is a blend of comprehensive civil-military attitude of mind driven by a dexterity for collaboration.
Thus, the effective implementation of a whole of society approach therefore requires a commander to invoke ingenious means to balance the competing requirements from the diverse sensitivities in the operating environment.
He thereafter identified his key thrusts for effective military leadership in a whole of society approach which he identifies as the most effective approach towards combatting the menace of terrorism and insurgency.
The Commandant of the College, Air Vice Marshal EA Wonah also appreciated the FC for his well delivered lecture.
The SGOH who is also the Commander Infantry Corps and Immediate Past Theatre Commander Operation HADIN KAI, Maj Gen Chris Musa in his closing remarks commended the FC for the lecture while also advocating for a whole of society approach in ending the menace of terrorism and insurgency.
He therefore encouraged the students of the College to be proactive,courageous and innovative in their approaches to addressing the menace of terrorism.
Both lectures were attended by very senior officers including the Deputy Commandants of the National Defence College and the AFCSC, Major General LA Fejokwu and Rear Admiral MB Hassan amoung other senior officers and invited guests. Both lectures ended successfully with the presentation of souvenir and group photographs amoung others.