Security Expert Recommends Collaborative Intelligence To Secure Schools

Security Expert Recommends Collaborative Intelligence To Secure SchoolsA security consultant, Flight Lieutenant Terry Ajobena (Rtd), says there is a fundamental problem in the way Nigeria goes about policing as there is need for a scientific and pragmatic approach to security.

He was speaking on Sunrise Daily, on the kidnapping of some students and staff of the Tulip International School in Lagos at the weekend.

He argued that it is not enough to hire trained security personnel, build high fences and install access control processes in schools.

“It has to be holistic,” he said, explaining that the perpetrators of acts of kidnapping on schools usually do proper assessment of the facilities they intend to attack well ahead of the attacks.

This, he expects to be the same approach “from the preventive side” as “security is in layers”.

“It is one layers to say we are protecting the schools. Come up with initiatives because people need to be educated and know what to do when something goes wrong.

“But when you cannot handle things at that level, what happens next? How do you trigger the next layer? How does the Police come in? What is the interaction between the response force and the target?

“Those things need to be carefully analyzed and then come up with a system that can holistically take care of security from the initial level of the assets you want to protect.”

Student Education

Flt. Lt. Ajobena also emphasized the need for every child in school to be aware of security issues and be conscious of ways to stay safe.

“You have seen something out of the norm, you should know what to do and how to respond. Something in you should tell you that this is not right.

“It is that type of education that needs to happen.

“In certain countries where there are natural disasters, down to schools they educate them. If there is going to be a tornado or a hurricane, everybody knows what to do.

“It is the same thing. We have a situation where schools have become a target for criminals. Children are children, the school authorities need to educate the children and be educated themselves.”


He also commented on the recent attacks by Boko Haram in northern Nigeria as the interview came barely 24 hours after explosions in the University of Maiduguri claimed four lives, including that of a professor.

He was of the view that there needs to be a more dynamic approach to curbing terrorist activities as the terrorists do not deploy a specific method is carrying out their attacks.

In spite of having been badly hit lately, he noted that the terrorists “have an objective and whatever, means is available to achieve that would be what they will do”.

Going by their mode of operation, the Boko Haram insurgents have proven to be very dynamic, although he believed that the military might have the capacity to out-think the enemy.

He, however, warned that “any group of people who are that focused and determined to prosecute their own activities will naturally seek for other ways to carry them out”.

He explained that being proactive to put in place measures that will limit the attacks from happening is what the security agencies need to focus on.

Security Consultant Insists Chibok Girls’ Release Was An ‘Exchange’ Deal

sunday-adobaSecurity consultant, Sunday Adoba, has expressed belief that the Nigerian government made an exchange deal with members of the Boko Haram group for the release of the 21 Chibok girls.

The Federal government has insisted that there was no exchange agreement reached prior to the girls’ release but the statement has been greeted with varying opinions from Nigerians.

Mr Adoba holds the belief that the government “works in a mysterious way” and explained why he had this belief.

He said that it was a surprise to him that “there were other rescue operations ongoing somewhere else while the Chibok girls were released at another angle, within that same period”.

“I don’t think the entire actors within the operational area were carried along,” he said, and this, to him, shows that there was a special arrangement involved.

He insisted that the known face of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau had gone broke and would not miss the chance of using the Chibok girls’ release to raise funds.

‘Money Has Changed Hands’

Mr Adoba opined that since there has been no record of prisoners released, then the exchange would have involved cash.

He further questioned: “Can any right thinking man sit down and say the Chibok girls were released by Shekau of all people, without a price?”

“There was a conflict between Shekau and Mahmoud Mamman, which was as a result of money.

“Shekau had given him money to go and procure equipment and they took off. So definitely he is in need of hard currency.

“Money has definitely changed hands because nobody was returned to the Boko Haram group,” he insisted.

‘Hope For Others’

He, however, stated that the most important thing was the successful release of the girls, which he believes the government has made significant progress with.

“For me the girls are out, no matter what procedure was carried out to get them, all I am interested in is that we have saved lives.

“For the girls to come out of the bondage, it means at least there is hope for others. And I believe with the efforts of the government, more of them will be rescued,” he stated.

On April 14, 2014, over 270 school girls were abducted from their hostel, in Chibok town, Maiduguri borno state.

While some of them have managed to escape, and the additional 21 were recently released on October 14, 2016, a larger number still remain in the terrorists’ captivity.

The insurgence brought Boko Haram into international spotlight, with many using the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag to raise awareness for the campaign to find the abductees.

Convener of the movement, Oby Ezekwesili, however praised the military for its efforts so far, while also promising to join efforts with government to help in the quick recuperation and rehabilitation of the girls.

FG Must Dialogue With Militants From A Position Of Strength – Gbanite

Max-Gbanite-Government-MilitantsA strategic security consultant, Max Gbanite, has challenged the Nigerian government to ensure it engages in dialogue with Niger Delta militants from a position of strength.

Mr Gbanite made the call on Monday while giving his opinion about the reports that the Federal Government had struck a deal with the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), to end the crisis in the Niger Delta region.

“Whether you are going to negotiate, talk or discuss, any reasonable government must do that from a position of strength,” he said on Sunrise Daily.

Element Of Believability

While the security expert supported government’s dialogue with militants, he expressed concern at the position of the government in the matter.

“It is good to negotiate with MEND, it is good to negotiate with the Avengers, it is good to negotiate with the IPOB (and) it is good to even rehabilitate some Boko Haram people (after all they are all Nigerians), but the issue is what is government’s position?” Gbanite questioned.

While emphasizing the need for Nigerians to be aware of the progress, he insisted, “Until government comes out to say we have indeed negotiated and these are the outcomes of the negotiation, then there is believability”.

He challenged the spokesmen for the President, Mr Femi Adesina and Mr Shehu Garba, to “come out and say we are indeed (negotiating)”, insisting that “there must be an element of believability”.

Terrorists Have Always Been In Cyberspace – Max Gbanite

Max GbaniteA security consultant, Mr Max Gbanite, has thrown his weight behind the Nigerian military’s recent announcement that it was moving the war on terror to the cyberspace.

Mr Gbanite noted that the terrorists have always been in the cyberspace but much attention was not paid to it because getting them “off the ground” had been the priority all the while.

“Look Boko Haram has intelligence, they have brilliant people working with laptops taking money from banks, financing their operations. It is just that we need to migrate to that fight.

“But do we have enough intelligence and commitment to fight the war in the cyber? That is another question. Is the military funded to take this war into the cyberspace?

“They (terrorists) have proven that they can hack into any system in this country and show private documents of any Nigerian to the media and pretend it is an expose or investigative journalism.

“So it is proper for the Nigerian military to look into this. It is an innovation and part of the new development all over the world.”

In analyzing the gains in Nigeria’s fight against terrorism, Mr Gbanite acknowledged the improvement since the appointment of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Tukur Buratai.

He recalled that the situation was bad enough to force the then Nigerian government to postpone the 2015 general elections but a more determined effort; new strategies and operational activities, have led to the improvement.

New Strategies

Mr Gbanite agreed with the claims by the military that it has succeeded in ensuring that the Boko Haram have become unable to lay claims to holding any Nigerian territories.

“We no longer see Boko Haram taunting our military. Our military have become the hunters and Boko Haram have become on the run,” he said, commending the rescue of several captives of the terrorists.

However, the implication of the success, according to the counter-terrorism expert is that the insurgents have also devised new approaches to their operations and this requires that Nigeria also changes tactics.

“Boko Haram is like a chameleon, they have gone back to asymmetry.

“They have developed new shaheeds. A shaheed is a suicide bomber. So we must attack their mindsets, we must change the narratives to degrade the recruitment of shaheeds in the Boko Haram,” he said.

He called on the media to further support the efforts of the security agencies by making their platforms available to publish the names and faces of suspected terrorists.

He also expressed hope that the newly appointed Acting Inspector-General of Police would build on the improvements recorded by former IGP Solomon Arase in the area of intelligence policing.

Motivation Remains A Challenge For Security Services – Dan’Iyan

Dan'IyanA Security Consultant says financial motivation remains a major challenge of security services in Nigeria in spite of efforts by the government.

Mr Mukhtar Dan’Iyan said this on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily where he discussed the spate of kidnapping in Nigeria.

“It is very difficult for people to put their lives on the line when they feel that their welfare is not being properly taken care of,” he said.

He pointed out that when things go wrong for security agents in service, their families lose out completely most of the times and this affects their commitment to the fight against kidnapping and other crimes.

The security consultant also advised that in order to resolve the cases of kidnapping, there should be opportunities for young people to be gainfully employed either through the government or private enterprise.

“A lot of studies have shown that young people who are engaged in their communities via commerce or other enterprise are less likely to engage in crime,” he said.

Asides advising the government to ensure that youths are able to work and make money legitimately, he also advised the Police to involve more in community policing.

Dan’Iyan went further to say that the Nigerian Police needs to be looked into, claiming that the challenge with the Nigerian Police Force is “a large number (of Policemen) are involved in duties that have nothing to do with policing, including providing security to very important people.”

Mr Dan’Iyan, however, admitted that the nation is making some headway with the recent partnership of the Nigerian Police with United Kingdom, China, Italy and the United States of America to address the challenges of kidnapping and other organised crimes.

He explained that “the fact that the Nigeria Police Force is ruled under the Interior Ministry is a very positive step” because internal security, outside of the military, has been brought under same management.

The security consultant also commended the Interior Minister, Abdulrahman Dambazau, for being focused on reorienting the internal security services in the nation.

He added, “The fact that the Police is now going to be involved in operations in the northeast more than ever before, is a step in the right direction.”

Expert Recommends Upgrade In Nigeria’s Market Security System

Expert Recommends Upgrade In Markets Security System

A Security Consultant, Captain Umar Aliyu (Rtd), has called for an upgrade in the security system of markets in Nigeria.

Speaking on Sunrise Daily on Thursday, Mr Aliyu expressed worry over the current situation in which markets in the northeast have become easy targets for suicide bombers.

“There will be incidents like that, depending on what you know and what you have done about what you know.

“If you juxtapose the positions and took the side of a suicide bomber, I have been able to see across these major incidents of Kano Central Mosque, Kano Motor Park, the last one and all of the major ones. I have been able to see that they actually exploit loop holes that we look at as trivial,” Aliyu said.

He also decried the rate at which the Boko Haram insurgents use girls and women to carry out the nefarious acts, calling for measures to curtail such incidents.

“The frequency with which girls are being used now is such that at any security post, a young woman, a female in hijab should start blinking red. I hear people say they came in SUV, they were four or six, they dropped two; that shows you that something happened and people took note up till the time they came.

“They even know the car that bought them, who dropped them, but then, how would we not have done something that should have informed of if they were carrying something or not?” Aliyu questioned.

Criticizing the poor state of market security in the country, he said, “Basically, we are looking at a situation where the markets have to actually need to upgrade.

“We run our market pretty much how it was run probably when my grandmother was a trader, nothing has changed but do not forget that the crime trends have upgraded,” he said.

He called for security measures that would be driven by traders in the markets, adding that law enforcement agencies would be regulators.

The security expert’s statement came after a suicide bombing killed 11 in Kano and another blast in Yola killed 34, while 80 others were left injured.

President Muhammadu Buhari subsequently stressed the need for increased vigilance among the civilian population to help ward off suicide terror attacks on soft targets around Nigeria.

Nigeria Lacks What It Takes To Rescue Kidnap Victims – Ubani

chigozie ubani on kidnapA Security Consultant says he doubts if Nigeria has what it takes to successfully rescue kidnap victims.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Friday, Chigozie Ubani, said that the Police has little or nothing to do about the issue of kidnapping, because training, equipment, manpower, intelligence among others are lacking in the area of solving kidnap cases.

Mr Ubani sympathised with the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae who was recently kidnapped but released after four days.

“My sympathy to Olu Falae, not because he has been a Federal Minister, but because of his age.

“It is even good that this happened to a man of his pedigree so that national attention would be drawn to the menace of kidnapping.

“People have been paying ransom and these young men and those behind them have been making money. So, kidnapping is an economic crime.

“The earlier the Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, and other security agencies begin to understand this, the better for us”, he said.

Giving his opinion on the rescue of Falae by the Police, Mr Ubani said that “there are no policies in the country” as it took an order from the President for the rescue effort to be intensified, “President Muhammadu Buhari gave an order and everything was deployed,” he said.

Ubani demanded that the Inspector General of Police should disclose if a ransom was paid for the release of Chief Olu Falae, adding that, “if government pays kidnappers to rescue high profile citizens, it means we are in trouble.

“If Falae was rescued, I will gladly walk on the street knowing that if I’m kidnapped, the Police will come to rescue me,” he stressed.

He also attributed some kidnap cases to politics, “I see political actors who engage the services of these young men in the course of protecting themselves, intimidating their opponents, electioneering, and soon after, the kidnappers are dumped.”

Mr Ubani also suggested the use of technology to curb the trend, warning that “kidnappers are not lazy people” and “they think and act fast ahead of security agencies”.

“I am a practitioner and an advocate of security technology and I am aware that we can use technology to bring this down, but it will take a lot of money, and power on the side of the government to get these things put to use,” he said.

“Politicians have to purge themselves; government has to take it hard on politicians who recruit and engage the kidnappers, the law has to be strong enough,we need to equip the Police with training, human capacity and we also need to look at the society in terms of our value systems,” he said.

Army Sends Advance Team To Maiduguri For Military Command

Military CommandThe Nigerian military has sent a reconnaissance and advance team to Maiduguri, Borno State for the establishment of the Military Command and Control Centre (MCCC) for ‘Operation Zaman Lafiya’.

This is in compliance with the Presidential pronouncement and the Chief of Army Staff’s directive for the fight against terrorism and insurgency.

The Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Sanni Usman, said, “The team, which is led by a 2-Star General, has already commenced work in earnest and it is comprised of elements of the Office of the Chief of Army Staff, all the relevant Army Headquarters Departments and other combat support components.”

The Centre, according to Col. Usman, will serve as a forward command base for the Chief of Army Staff and other Service Chiefs.

He added that the Military Command Centre is essentially an elaboration of an already existing Army Headquarters Command and Control arrangement which will monitor, coordinate and control the fight against terrorism and insurgency would be coordinated and controlled from this centre.

He said that the MCCC would not create another layer of command structure but would add renewed vigour to the ‘Operation Zaman Lafiya’.

He also said that an alternate command centre is also being established in Yola.

Opinions Differ On Relocation of Command Centre To Maiduguri

Command CentreBorno State has been on the receiving end from Boko Haram attacks but there are high hopes of a turn of events as the Command Centre relocates to Maiduguri.

The Nigerian President announced the planned relocation of the Command Centre to Borno State during his inauguration on Friday, May 29 and Nigerians have continued to comment on the directive given by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The former Minister of Education and leader of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign organisation, Mrs Oby Ezekwesili says Nigerians should just wait to see how that speech will be translated into action.

Mrs Ezekwesili, who spoke to Channels Television in Abuja, described the speech as inspiring as it is loaded with action, one of the attributes of a good speech.

She, however, noted that translating the speech into positive results is what would determine if it was indeed a great speech, starting with the rescue of the Chibok girls.

A security expert, Capt. Aliyu Umar, is also one of those who believe that the decision to move the Command Centre to Maiduguri was a good one.

He said that the relocation would give the military the edge to fight the militants, recalling several instances where similar decisions had yielded positive results.

Capt. Umar said that the Nigerian Army might not have had a high number of soldiers running away from battle if their commanders had been around.

The retired Nigerian Army officer also frowned at times in the past when military chiefs have had to stay back in Abuja waiting to be told what was happening in the North-east, highlighting the constant breakdown of communications as a major set back in Nigeria’s fight against insurgency.

Vulnerable And Attractive Target

Another Security Consultant, Dr Onah Ekhomu, however, believes that moving the military command centre to Maiduguri may not yield the desired results in the long run, because of the transformation of Boko Haram’s tactics into pure terror.

He said that the decision would make the command centre a vulnerable and attractive target for the insurgents, recalling the spirited attacks that the insurgents have launched on the Giwa Barracks in Maiduguri in the past.

According to him, it takes one IED to destroy an entire facility.

Dr. Ekhomu also stated that effectively combating the group’s terror would require more of intelligence assets, more planning and a strategic assessment of Boko Haram’s capabilities.

A command centre is any place that is used to provide centralised command for some purpose.

It is sometimes considered to be a military facility, but the centre enables an organisation to function as designed, to perform day to day operations regardless of what is happening around it, in a manner in which no one realises it is there.

The command cenrtre is a source of leadership and guidance.

Stan-Labo Commends Army For Rescuing Kidnapped Girls

Nigerian TroopsA Security Consultant, Colonel Hassan Stan-Labo (rtd), has praised the Nigerian troops for the rescue of some Boko Haram captives from the terrorists in Sambisa forest on Tuesday.

He said he was quite elated with the news about the liberation of 200 girls and 93 women in Boko Haram’s captivity, and commended the government for their support.

Speaking in an interview on Channels Television, during a daily breakfast show, Sunrise Daily on Wednesday, Colonel Stan-Labo said it is a welcome development to all.

He noted that the military should be given break to sort out the rescued Boko Haram victims, in order to know the number of Chibok girls among them.

The security expert further said Nigerians should recall that it was not only the Chibok girls that were held captive, adding that the girls for now, serve as the picture of all captives of the terrorist group.

When asked if the insurgents would ever come to an end, he said “it will, but not at the pace we would want this to end.

“Every Nigerian is anxious including those of us in the military, or with some military background are anxious to see this coming to an end.

“The reality is that when you are into an asymmetry battle, the end never comes too quick as you would want to have,” Colonel Stan-Labo said.

He however, said the war against the Boko Haram insurgency is not a conventional war where a diplomatic relationship is established, noting that the adversary does not play by the rules.

Insecurity: Funding Of Military Is Key To Ending Insurgency – Max Gbanite

Max-Gbanite2A Strategic Security Consultant, Mr Max Gbanite, has reiterated the need for the Nigerian government to adequately fund the military to empower them in the counter-terrorism operations in the north-east.

Mr Gbanite’s statement is coming days after the Boko Haram terrorist group declared a town in Borno State, Gwoza, an Islamic caliphate.

The government has dismissed the claims as untrue, but the security consultant on Tuesday stressed that the military’s  effort would not yield much if the hazardous materials of the military and its cyber security remained in its infancy.

He cautioned that the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease could become a weapon in the hands of the terrorist group if an urgent action was not taken in equipping the military.

“Imagine Boko Haram getting their hands on any diabolical material that can be containerised and exposed to the atmosphere, we are finished,” he said.

Despite military efforts to quell the insurgency in Nigeria’s north-east, the Boko Haram sect had continue to carry out attacks, one of the latest attacks resulting in the declaration of the Islamic caliphate.

Their source of funding has become an issue and many Nigerians have stressed the need for the government to track the funding and stifle it.

However, Mr Gbanite stated that identifying the source of funding was as important as identifying their spiritualist, motivator – Imam, chief trainer and suppliers of arms.

Mr Gbanite pointed out that the Boko Haram sect was beginning to change its tactics, moving from asymmetrical war to that of convention by believing or having the impetus to occupy a particular area, capture a particular area, hoist a flag and get repelled.

“They are looking at convention and this is what the military is looking for to make it easier for them to battle. But I hope the Finance Minister will be as optimistic as I am by releasing security budget timely enough so that they can go about and do their businesses. Security is a very expensive thing and you cannot play with it. You do not go to battle holding your private part but holding a weapon,” he said.

The security consultant stressed that what emboldening the terrorists to think they could fight the military was the presence of ungoverned spaces, explaining that some local government headquarters in the state were not functional.

“Be Mindful Of Stephen Davis’ Assistance”

A recent report by an Australian, Dr Stephen Davis, negotiating with the Boko Haram on behalf of the Nigerian government, had fingered some Nigerians as financiers to the Boko Haram sect.

But Mr Gbanite stressed the need for Nigeria to be mindful of the assistance that Mr Davis claimed he was  providing, saying “Mr Davis is a consultant to the National Center Intelligence and Security, the same group that predicted the break up of Nigeria in 2015”.

“He claimed to be very important in the negotiation of the Niger delta militancy. That is yet to be proven but whatever his intendments, it does not augur well for the nation. He has put in a bill of almost 15 million dollars.”

He said that Mr Davis was not contacted by the government to negotiate on its behalf and could just be doing his best to ensure that the prediction comes true.

Information On 54 Identified Girls From Borno Governor Is Out Of Place – Gbanite

Max GbaniteA security consultant, Max Gbanite on Wednesday said the Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima was out of place for divulging information on the number of girls identified in the new video released by the Boko Haram terrorist group.

54 girls had been identified by parents and guardians of abducted schoolgirls in Chibok, Borno State, North-East Nigeria.

On Tuesday, Governor Kashim Shettima told #BringBackOurGirls’ protesters that the girls were identified by their parents in a video released on Monday by members of the Boko Haram sect.

“I have my reservations regarding the manner, with which this particular governor says one thing, (but) his body language means something other than what he said,” Gbanite said while appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.

On conflicting figures of the number of girls identified by members of the Chibok community in the new video released by the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, Gbanite faulted the Vanguard Newspaper for quoting 77 girls while the Borno Governor, Kashim Shettima had revealed 54 as the figure.

“The identification of these children should be left to the people of Chibok and the security agencies,” he said, faulting the governor’s disclosure as being hasty and out of place.

He further stated that the security agencies should oversee the identification exercise and not the governor, stressing the possibility that some of the girls may be from other tribes or neighbouring countries.

“The governor is in a hurry to give out information. This is not Nollywood nor Kannywood. We are at a very serious junction,” he said, noting that the media centre set up by the Federal Government should be allowed to divulge such information to avoid conflicting reports by all concerned.

He raised several questions as to why the Governor did not provide security for the school where examinations were taking place, as promised.

Gbanite also submitted that a conspiracy was in place in the scheme of things as the combined intelligence of Nigeria’s security agencies and the experts from the international community should have identified the location where the video of the girls was recorded. “Somebody is holding back information and we can’t just accept it all in totality.”

He mentioned that persons, who have been giving information to the public about activities of the sect, even before videos are released, should be invited for questioning on the method through which they obtain information.

He further linked the prevalence of terrorist activities to the prediction that Nigeria would disintegrate in 2015 and wondered what the government was doing to ensure the prediction was foiled.

The security expert further advocated for a system to monitor the activities of Nigerians online which he believed would help in tracking the location of those working with the terrorist group.