The National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd), has stated that beyond the COVID-19 and climate change, terrorism remains the greatest threat to human existence.
He also added that to deal decisively with the complex nature of terrorism and other transnational organised crimes, the international community must see the threat of terrorism to a particular country as a threat to global peace and security.
Monguno said this on Monday at the ongoing Second United Nations High-Level Conference of Heads of Counter-Terrorism Agencies of members states, convened by the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
The NSA said terrorism has continued to manifest itself as a vicious and relentless global threat, recognising no border, nationality and all religions; adding that it has become a contemporary weapon of violence for non-state actors in this era of globalisation.
He said, “I can say with total conviction that apart from pandemics, natural disasters and the climate itself, today the greatest threat to the existence of human race is the global scourge of terrorism”.
Monguno added that preventing terrorist attacks, safeguarding borders, empowering national police, improving the criminal justice system, curbing illicit financial flows as well as hurting the abuse of drugs and hard substances remain extremely daunting challenges for most nations, including Nigeria in addressing the scourge of terrorism.
He said, “The fallout of activities associated with jihadist and other forms of terror have collectively heightened insecurity in the greater part of the African continent with serious economic, social and political implications for its people.
“In the North-Eastern part of Nigeria, the activities of Boko Haram terrorists and the so-called the Islamic State West Africa Province with known affiliation to other international terror networks such as Daesh and Al-Qaeda have continued to undermine the security and livelihoods of the whole of the people, while at the same time overlapping into neighbouring countries of the Lake Chad Basin”
The NSA pointed out that terror groups have leveraged social media to propagate their ideologies, recruit vulnerable youths, radicalise them and instill fear in the target communities, as well as deflate the morale of defence and security forces.
He noted that these terrorists tend to portray the government as incapable of guaranteeing the protection and well-being of the population.
Monguno stated that the Nigerian government has continued to confront these challenges by establishing new structures and national institutions and empowering them.
He added that the federal government has improved the coordination of humanitarian support for Non-Government Organisations by creating the Ministry of Humanitarians Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
Monguno noted that the President’s funding commitment to the first regional organisation for countering insecurity- the Multinational Joint Task Force, has continued to yield results, defusing tensions and curbing the activities of Boko Haram and ISWAP within the fringes of the Lake Chad Basin.