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Stronger civil-military relations, key to addressing insecurity – NHRC

The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Tony Ojukwu SAN has tasked the Military to do more in improving Civil-Military Relations (CMR) as this will yield better result in addressing the present security challenges confronting the country.

Mr Ojukwu gave this charge during a two-day training programme organized by the NHRC in Collaboration with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for Security Personnel in Maiduguri, Borno State. The training is one of the activities under the NHRC/UNHCR 2022 Project on Protection of Population of Concern through Human Rights Monitoring in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe States.

While addressing journalists at the event, the Executive Secretary represented by the Director, Department of Women and Children Mr. Harry Obe, said information was very key to the success of any Military Operation anywhere in the world, adding that intelligent information needed for prompt Military Operations could be provided by the civilian population.

He further said the civilian population should be made to feel safe and secure to provide reliable information and that this could only be achieved by stronger Civil-Military Relations.

The NHRC boss stated that if security was everybody’s business, it meant the Military would no be able to provide security alone without the support of civilians.

There should therefore be concerted efforts by members of every community to fish out the alien among them, and the Military on the other hand should give them the encouragement and confidence to provide all necessary information needed for their operations.

He used the medium to commend the Nigerian Military for improved compliance with human rights norms during Counter Insurgency Operations in recent times.

Mr Ojukwu said that the periodic training which started in 2015 had greatly helped reduce the casualty level in conflicts as well as the humanitarian consequences of internal displacement.

Head of UNHCR Sub Office in Borno, Mr. Mohammed Ifran represented by the Protection Officer Mohammed Ali, acknowledged the role of the Military in protecting the population of concern. He said the successes recorded in the fights against insurgency in the North East would not have been achieved without the gallant efforts of officers and men of the Nigerian Military.

He urged participants to step down the training to their colleagues when they go back to their various offices.

Reporting by Bose Ijelekhai, Editing by Omotola Oguneye