Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Gen. Olukolade flays lack of synergy among security, intelligence agencies unhealthy

Former Director of Defence  Information (DDI), Maj-Gen. Chris Olukolade (Rtd), has identified inadequacy in the level of cooperation among security agencies in the country as having serious negative impact not just on their operations but on the nation’s collective interest, most especially on national security and economy.
According to him, “
recent events in the country serves as a pointer to the fact that there are still traces of disharmony, lack of cooperation and synergy in operation and information management among security agencies.
For instance, allegations leading to court ruling on alleged media trial as reported by Col Nicholas Ashinze and consequent embarrassing ruling against another government outfit could certainly have been avoided.”
Speaking through
a paper titled ‘Achieving Synergy Between National Security And The Economy: The Place Of Effective Public Relations’ delivered at the Second Quarterly Lecture of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, Oyo State Chapter, in Ibadan, the former Army spokesperson examined the place of effective PR practice in the effort to achieve synergy between national security and the economy in Nigeria.

He made a case for harmonized information dissemination system within the security agencies which he said led to the establishment of the Forum of Spokespersons in Security and Response Agencies (FOSRA) in 2013 as part of the counter terrorism drives of the country.
Gen. Olukolade stressed that the existence of government hinges on two factors; national security and the economy, hence the need for every country to pursue both economic and security goals in a coordinated manner.
H
e said “the application and practice of PR being an indispensable tool in building relationship, achieving synergy and creating mutual understanding between individual and between organizations, stands a very good chance in helping to attain the necessary synergy between national security and the economy.
Along with advocacy and legislation, PR has often come in handy as a component of the lobby processes towards achieving the required smooth synergy among state institution interests or entities. Lobbying is not easy, neither is it for everyone.
According to him, the security situation in Nigeria for the past ten years has remained a challenge for the security agencies and he identified the major sources of threats to the nation being bordered mostly on the activities of militants, socio-political/ethno-religious violence and proliferation of small arms.
The spread of activities of militants, terrorists and bandits poses a serious challenge to the nation more so as such activities often go beyond Nigeria’s borders, with serious diplomatic implications and consequences. The capacity of the military and security agencies to perform in handling the challenges will continue to be of interest locally and abroad.
Militants and terrorist are noted for aiming their activities towards achieving psychological point or advantage. By this they hope to attract the attention of the Federal Government and the international community through the huge economic loses that often result from the success of any of their activities, strikes or attacks. Meanwhile the activities and the attacks by the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) and other militant groups continue to negatively affect oil production as well as the security of lives and property in the Nigeria Delta region.
It is just obvious that Insecurity has impacted negatively on our quest for national development, impoverished the citizens, created tensions, frightened off foreign investors and created a state of instability that only aids underdevelopment and insecurity. The fact that National security and economic security are intricately linked as one cannot exist without the other has been proved in the nation’s situation as elsewhere.”, he said.

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