Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State, says the relative peace being enjoyed in the state in spite of its central position in the North East is a result of strategic planning.
Yahaya stated this at the roundtable on the crisis situation in Afghanistan and its implications for Nigeria and Africa, organised by the Alumni Association of the National Defence College (AANDEC) on Friday, in Abuja.
The roundtable was organised in collaboration with the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and the National Defence College (NDC).
He said that Gombe State being central and shared boundaries with all other five North Eastern states was vulnerable to security infractions.
The governor disclosed that the government decided to adopt a holistic approach by enhancing its internal security architecture to prevent the state from being overrun by insurgents.
He said that the insurgents had made several attempts to make in-road into Gombe State but failed because of the nationalistic disposition of the people of the state.
“In Gombe State, we imbibe the spirit of nationalism, patriotism and be our brother’s keepers in facilitating peaceful coexistence.
“Without the basic infrastructure needed for meaningful livelihood to thrive, there would not be peace especially with the youthful population that we have.
“So, we need to empower our youths and provide them vocations and jobs that can make them be useful to themselves and to the society.
Gov. Yahaya said that the discussion on the Afghanistan event was timely considering the fact that Afghanistan and Nigeria share similarities in their security challenges.
He urged the participants to ensure that they discuss explicitly and proffer implementable solutions and recommendations.
He said the development in Afghanistan was worrisome considering the development in Nigeria, saying that the federal, state and local government should be aligned in addressing security challenges.
Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi, represented by his Special Adviser on Security, retired Cdr. Jerry Omodara, said that the activities of terrorists in Nigeria called for concern on the development in Afghanistan.
Bello, who commended the government for the fight against insurgency and other security challenges in the country, said that the recent jail attack in Kogi was an attempt by terrorists to make a comeback to the state.
He recalled that the terrorists were once dislodged from the state, adding that his government was determined to ensure that criminals were rooted out from the state.
The governor warned against playing politics with security, saying that the country would be better if people separate politics from security.
The Commandant, NDC, Rear Adm. Oladele Daji, said that AANDEC had continued to play a key role in national peace and development especially in preferring solutions to national security challenges.
Daji said the discussion on the event in Afghanistan was made possible by a combination of several factors like porous borders, difficult terrain and ethnic affiliations in the country.
According to him, there are shared similarities between the current and projected in Afghanistan and Nigeria like the presence of the fundamentalist, religious ideology and extremism and sympathy for extremists.
Other similarities according to him are environmental impact, difficult terrain and Transborder activities as well as the level of illiteracy in the affected communities.
He said the sudden takeover of power by the Taliban in Afghanistan would also have some consequences such as the proliferation of terrorism with increased terrorism financing around the world.
The commandant added that the Taliban also shared similarities with the Boko Haram terrorists in the North East both in the mode of operation and ideology, hence the need to proffer ways to address the menace.
“It is my belief that the deliberation will present the opportunity to consolidate on NDC outcome of studies through the utilisation of whole of society approach as an all-inclusive process of addressing national security challenges,” he said.