MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Frank Oshanugor
The recent appointment of retired Rear Admiral Yaminu Ehinonem Musa as the pioneer Coordinator of Nigeria’s National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) has been described as putting “a square peg in a square hole” by the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Badinson Security Services, Mr. Matthew Ibadin, just as he has urged Musa to come up with new and workable measures to counter the terrorists.
Speaking with some journalists in Lagos on Wednesday, Ibadin noted that the choice of Musa by President Muhammadu Buhari for the position was hinged on professionalism and experience on the part of the former Naval chieftain.
The NCTC is established in the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) as the coordinating body for the harmonization of all counter-terrorism and terrorism financing efforts in the country.
The NCTC is equally charged with the coordination of counter terrorism policies, strategies, plans and support in the performance of the functions of the National Security Adviser (NSA) as provided in the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022.
According to Ibadin, the enormous responsibility of coordinating issues relating to counter terrorism, in a terrorist ravaged country like Nigeria cannot be entrusted to a man with a lesser pedigree hence “Rear Admiral Musa fits in” because the experience is on his side.
He has therefore advised the NCTC boss among other things to ensure that the porosity of Nigeria’s borders, more than ever; should be seriously checked with possible stringent sanctions against border security agents who compromise their responsibilities.
The security consultant has also advised that as part of measures to nip in the bud, the infiltration of terrorists elements into the civil populace with a view to forming cells, more personnel of the intelligence agencies should be deployed to inter-state motor parks, haulage trucks (trailers/lorries) moving goods from one state to another.
The Badinson Security chieftain has also recommended that there should be more empowerment of local vigilante groups in various communities especially in terror prone areas with necessary logistics and funding so as to generate the necessary intelligence needed to nip in the bud some terror related activities.
He has equally given a useful insight that the new NCTC boss should set up a local intelligence unit just he suggested that they should up their game in the training and retraining of personnel who are saddled with the responsibility of handling sensitive equipments for the detection of terrorists weapon of mass destruction that can cause havoc to the community.
Due to the porous nature of our borders, there is need for a paradigm shift from physical security to electronic fencing as it is practiced in advanced climes.
Prior to his appointment Musa had been the Director of the Counter Terrorism Directorate in the Office of the National Security Adviser since 2017. He was responsible for the review of the National Counter Terrorism Strategy (NACTEST) and the creation of the policy frame work and National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (PCVE) which President Buhari signed into law in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
The retired Naval chieftain had also served as Nigeria’s representative at the Global Counter Terrorism Forum (GCTF) in the last three years.