Insecurity in Nigeria: Aso Villa Hosting Alleged Criminals Raises Concerns – Col. Stan-Labo


President Bola Tinubu Holds Meeting with New Service Chiefs; Security Expert Calls for National Security Sector Reform

In a recent development, President Bola Tinubu engaged in a meeting with the newly appointed service chiefs. Subsequently, the service chiefs outlined their objectives and goals for their respective appointments, sparking discussions and debates among Nigerians. While some individuals perceive these promises as repetitive, others are engaged in lively conversations about the qualifications of the appointees, with particular attention to the appointment of a retired policeman as the National Security Adviser.

To address these concerns and shed light on the matter, Col. Hassan Stan-labo, a respected security expert, appeared on Arise Television. During the interview, he expressed his endorsement of the appointments, asserting that the selected individuals are highly qualified from various perspectives. However, Col. Stan-labo emphasized the importance of observing how these appointees leverage their extensive experience to tackle the multifaceted security challenges faced by Nigeria. These challenges encompass terrorism in the North East, North West, and North Central regions, as well as banditry, kidnappings, agitations for self-rule in the Southeast, and oil theft in the South-South region, involving those responsible for safeguarding the nation’s resources.

Delving into the statistical analysis of security incidents, Col. Stan-labo observed a downward trend, indicating a positive development. He noted that in May, there were 332 incidents compared to April’s 382 incidents, resulting in a 13.1% decrease in security incidents.

Col. Stan-Labo emphasized that the current situation in Nigeria serves as proof that the country is effectively engaged in a state of war, whether acknowledged by all or not. He commended President Tinubu, the Commander-in-Chief, for appointing new commanders and highlighted the significance of providing them with clear job descriptions, defined timelines, and sufficient resources to effectively address the prevailing security challenges. The security expert emphasized that the paradigm has shifted, and it is imperative to support the new commanders in their mission.

As a way forward, Col. Stan-labo proposed a comprehensive reform of the national security sector. Such reform, he argued, would be instrumental in addressing the wide range of challenges within the security landscape. Key aspects of this reform would include funding, manpower, logistics, equipment, training, operations, welfare, motivation, border protection, and intelligence surveillance, among others.

Furthermore, Col. Stan-labo recommended the establishment of robust monitoring and evaluation departments within the military, free from corrupt elements. He suggested that these departments be managed by the defense headquarters, ensuring effective oversight of operations. He also emphasized that oversight functions should primarily rest with the National Assembly, rather than internal entities.

In conclusion, Col. Stan-labo’s insights emphasize the urgency of comprehensive reforms within Nigeria’s national security sector. The appointment of new service chiefs presents an opportunity for transformative change in addressing the nation’s security challenges. By implementing necessary reforms and providing adequate support, Nigeria can make significant strides in ensuring the safety and well-being of its citizens.

“I think we haven’t achieved much due to what I call corruption. We don’t want a situation where you allocate money to Defence for equipment to be bought and people go and bring in refurbished equipment; and those who I call monitoring and evaluation, have collected their own cuts.”

Highlighting the importance of a strong collaboration among the service chiefs, Col. Stan-Labo emphasized the need to diminish the influence of non-state actors who challenge the authority of the state through force. He emphasized the significance of employing non-kinetic approaches to address the prevailing security challenges, particularly by appealing to the hearts and minds of the people. He acknowledged that these belligerents had exploited the gap in the government’s approach, taking advantage of the populace by providing what the government had failed to deliver in the past. He called on the government to demonstrate astuteness and intelligence in countering such tactics.

Expressing his dissatisfaction, Col. Stan-Labo highlighted the need to establish dominance over every forest in Nigeria, including the infamous Sambisa forest. He deemed it unacceptable that after a decade of fighting terrorism, it is still being claimed that Boko Haram controls Sambisa forest. He urged the Nigerian Armed Forces to strive for better outcomes.

Addressing the issue of non-state actors overseeing critical national assets, the security expert expressed his disappointment and concern. He viewed it as a regrettable situation where those who should be held accountable are entrusted with safeguarding the nation’s resources. He considered this as an indication of the system’s failure and stressed the urgency to reevaluate and rectify the prevailing circumstances.

Col. Stan-Labo further bemoaned the pervasive nature of corruption in Nigerian society. He acknowledged that corruption has permeated every facet of life and every department, eroding trust and leaving individuals uncertain about whom to rely on.

Highlighting the issue of oil theft, Col. Stan-Labo expressed deep embarrassment, stating that such large quantities of oil cannot be moved without the involvement of responsible individuals who are entrusted with safeguarding the nation’s resources. He questioned the approval process and suggested that it must have been authorized from higher levels of authority.

Addressing controversial statements made by certain individuals, he dismissed allegations that 99% of the actions were solely the responsibility of the military. He urged a broader perspective, questioning the accountability of the presidency, top officials in the NNPC, and international oil companies (IOCs). He criticized the fact that individuals who should have been prosecuted long ago are now being hosted even in the presidential villa.

Col. Stan-Labo stressed the importance of applying the right rules and fixing Nigeria for the benefit of patriotic Nigerians who have not had the opportunity to contribute positively due to prevailing circumstances. He expressed his belief that Nigeria has lacked effective leadership in recent years, noting his disappointment as a voter who feels that his vote was wasted. However, he acknowledged that within a short period, the current President has taken actions that were not achieved in the previous four or five years. He questioned whether there was a hidden agenda being pursued while the country was focused on other priorities.

Expressing his frustration, Col. Stan-Labo highlighted the lack of quality leadership in the past, which left the nation without proper guidance. He lamented the situation, describing Nigerians as sheep without a shepherd, lacking the strong leadership needed to address the country’s challenges effectively.

In addressing the security situation in the southeast, he emphasized the need to prioritize bringing Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), out of incarceration. While acknowledging that some of Kanu’s actions and statements were offensive to the Nigerian state, he emphasized the importance of engaging in dialogue. Drawing on his perspective of Nigeria as a family, he suggested that just as parents would sit down with an offended child to understand their concerns, the government should initiate conversations with Kanu, IPOB, and other relevant groups. He believed that engaging in dialogue with these groups would play a significant role in resolving the underlying issues and promoting peace and stability in the region.

Col. Stan-Labo emphasized the importance of employing a balanced approach when dealing with the situation in the southeast. He advocated for the use of both carrots and sticks, indicating that a combination of incentives and consequences would be more effective in resolving the issues at hand.

He expressed concern that continued incarceration of Nnamdi Kanu would only elevate his status and make him more relevant in the eyes of his supporters. Acknowledging that Kanu has already gained hero status in the southeast, he warned that further imprisonment would only heighten his popularity. In fact, Col. Stan-Labo suggested that if Kanu were to be released, he could potentially run for governorship in any of the southeastern states without facing opposition based on his regional hero status.

By advocating for dialogue and offering incentives, Col. Stan-Labo proposed a strategy that aims to reduce tensions and bring about a peaceful resolution. He believed that a shift in approach would help to deescalate the situation and address the underlying grievances in the southeast region.

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