The Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, has pledged to involve Nigerians in the fight against insecurity in the country.
This is just as he said the armed forces would drive the onslaught against insecurity in line with the laws of the land.
General Musa also identified the thematic focus of his leadership to include people-centric, troops welfare, and inter-agency collaboration.
The CDS disclosed these when he appeared for screening before the House of Representatives ad hoc committee on screening of service chiefs on Monday.
The new service chiefs, it would be recalled, were earlier screened last week by the Senate following the appointment by President Bola Tinubu.
“I recognize the significance of leading the thousands of devoted and distinguished service men and women to provide a secure and peaceful environment for Nigerian people to freely engage in their legitimate enterprise, in line with the constitutional mandate of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.
“In this regard, the AFN under my leadership will be people-centric by prioritizing and safeguarding our people and their legitimate way of life as prescribed by the Nigerian constitution,’’ he said.
On the welfare of military personnel, he said, “Service men and women of the AFN should be reassured of my commitment to their welfare, provision of relevant operational equipment as well as infrastructural development within available resources to enable them to succeed in assigned constitutional roles.
“I shall also promote international military cooperation/collaboration to further expose and provide capacity building to AFN personnel in joint and combined operations outside the shores of Nigeria.
“This measure is required to consolidate on AFN welfare priorities in order to effectively deploy, fight and win our nation’s wars by providing ready, prompt and sustained land, sea and air dominance by the AFN across traditional as well as asymmetric conflict settings as part of a joint force,” he said.
On his part, the Chief of Army Staff, Major Gen Taoreed Lagbaja, promised to make the most of his appointment.
Lagbaja said: “I consider my nomination as a call to higher responsibilities and I am determined not to betray the trust and confidence reposed in me.
‘’It is an open secret that our country has faced a challenging security environment in the past two decades. It has impacted adversely on our socio-economic and political lives.
“The episodic crises of the past have now become enduring, thereby making governance and the rule of law more challenging for successive administrations.
“Today’s painful reality is that insecurity has distressed our developmental plans and aspirations for a strong, prosperous, globally competitive and influential nation.
‘’Never in recent times is the requirement for proactive, adaptive and inclusive leadership more needed than in Nigeria’s security environment of today.
“These requirements are what I intend to do as COAS if confirmed. I am mindful that the Nigerian Army, which I am being screened to lead, is a crucial component of our military instrument of national power. “It is not only the largest, but the most complex, most geographically spread, most sought after during crises and often most misunderstood.
“I believe that for the Nigerian Army to grapple with the demands of the contemporary security environment, it would consistently transform to be a step ahead of its time.
“For this reason, I conceptualize my philosophy of command as to transform the Nigerian Army into a well-trained, equipped and highly motivated force towards achieving our constitutional responsibilities within a joint environment.
‘’I intend to partner with the National Assembly and other stakeholders in achieving this command philosophy.’’
Speaking earlier at the meeting, chairman of the committee, Babajimi Benson, charged the armed forces to synergize with sister agencies in the bid to rid the country of insecurity.
“The House of Representatives is delighted with the successes recorded so far, especially in the last one year. We acknowledge these robust achievements which is a proof of the level of professionalism often displayed by our military in the discharge of their duties. Collaboration with sister agencies crucial’
“We urge you to effectively collaborate with sister security agencies to ensure that all security threats are completely neutralized, and Nigerians can live peacefully.
“The world of security is dynamic and ever-changing. New security threats are emerging across the globe. Today, wars are not only fought on land, sea and air but also in cyberspace.
“Consequently, the art of warfare must, therefore, be a step ahead. This is why Nigeria must tap into and harness the potential of having a Defence Space Force, like in the United States of America.
‘’While acknowledging the immense contributions of the Defence Space Administration, there is a need for a full-fledged Defence Space Force to adequately handle potential threats from cyberspace and provide intelligence support to other services
“We must, therefore, work collectively to deliver more on the goals of this administration to drastically reduce cases of insecurity across the country.
“While the House will continue to support this vision through our legislative activities, we shall also embark on rigorous oversight exercises, beginning from this screening, to ensure that the Armed Forces of Nigeria adhere strictly to the provisions of all Appropriation Acts as will be eventually passed by the National Assembly and accented to by Mr. President,” he said.