Colonel(rtd)Sambo Dasuki, National Security Adviser

Colonel(rtd)Sambo Dasuki, National Security Adviser

Monday, 19 November 2012


As plans are underway for joint border patrol between Nigeria and Niger Republic, the Nigerian government is reported to have concluded plans for an extensive electronic monitoring of her long northern borders just as controversy rages over an alleged execution of captives by Nigerian military in the ongoing war against Boko Haram.

Muslim clerics from five countries including Nigeria have formed a new group with the objective of combating extremist Islamic ideology across the Sahel region at a recent meeting, held in Algiers, the capital of Algeria.

The Nigerian Tribune gathered from administration source that the electronic monitoring system is an advanced project that will take off in the new fiscal year, to monitor the borders and secure entries used by terrorists and smugglers to infiltrate from the Sahara. It was learnt that the system will operate through the deployment of electronic surveillance points, alarms and radars to detect infiltration attempts by people and vehicles alongside the launch of intensive aerial operations along the border.

The project will include radar coverage, additional patrols, modern surveillance systems, as well as the possibility of using airborne traffic control and other measures. The Ministry of Interior had earlier proposed similar border patrol plan but it was learnt that the new project is an advanced one capable of making the porous border water-tight.


About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies


  1. profafrica says:

    Ya! this is really good for our country. I which this will be a reality and also all security agents in Nigeria should have access to this.

  2. peccavi says:

    Wither Nigeria? Always with the expensive, unsustainable complicated solutions to simple problems.
    Well i guess some ministers and contractors will get a new mansion and private jet out of this one

  3. profafrica says:

    But what about the cessna citation cj4 surveillance jet?

  4. duduboi says:

    Sorry to sound pessimistic but knowing our poor record in sustaining big and complex projects I am afraid for this particular initiative.

  5. Gritsmiles says:

    How do these muslim clerics intend to combat armed fanatics like the Boko Haram and AQIM? By asking for weapons to set up their own militias? Afterall, these insane militants are a product of sermons by clerics like themselves.

  6. gbash10 says:

    Instead of thinking about this capital intensive project,the FG should acquire more long-range surveillance aircrafts, UCAVs and spy satellites as well as patrol vehicles!

  7. Solorex says:

    Hmm… I am not an overt pessimist, but electronic surveillance of such a wide border will pose lots of challenges over our head at the moment. Maybe what he meant to say if electronic surveillance of border post, that is electronically cataloguing faces and randomly selected biometrics of all people crossing into and out off the country like its done in Dubai and several countries which stand to loose a lot to extremists; for the purpose of easy tracking of criminals and their movement.

    Honestly what we need is as optimally functional DMI and SSS, by now there should be SSS moles in Boko Haram,AQIM nest. UAV and CCTV will see people but will not eventually tell you they are extremist or suicide bombers. The emphasis at this point should be developing a working network of spys,highly mobile rapid response squads,information sharing system( personally I believe we have one of the worst information sharing models amongst forces when countries of our calibre is sampled) and tracking technology. UAV,CCTV,Patrols should be taken seriously but it should be secondary to the main things.

  8. Saints says:

    And what should be the main thing.our dear delicious brainy…

  9. beegeagle says:

    Gentlemen and naysayers, what is the PLAN B?

    I believe that the success of the coastal radar stations, jointly put together as the RMACC by PICOMSS and the US Navy, inspired this idea. The coastal radar stations are working well as they should and are detecting security nuisance.

    Could this be one of the manifestations of the planned US-Nigeria Intelligence Fusion Centre?

  10. Solorex says:

    For oil thieves and illegal arms importers of Niger delta, there is simply no better plan or replacement for good surveillance and joint patrols as stated by Oga beegs, however my comments is for for Boko haram and cross border treats in the north generally
    Cross border terrorism is real and big in Nigeria, no doubt about it; Surveillance will also help a lot (if it does not take 10 years to commission and not awarded to dumb company-saw the quality of CCTV by a Chinese company and new Lagos airport terminal and felt highly disappointed and embarrassed). However it’s a fraction of the problem, there is also a large in house fraction due systematic indoctrination (locally bred terrorist that is aided and abetted by cross border guys). JSTF keeps weeding them and planters just go back to the field with more manure (indoctrination) and grow others to join the vegetation daily. Eventually we can’t weed them all. We have to rework the soil to ensure that only good plants come out of it.

    It will take military, social, media and political plans to achieve this and a long time also. We have not been able to sway the opinion of people in the troubled areas in our favour- Boko guys are actually scoring better PR points at the moment and JSTF is always on the defensive.

    I have not seen a great documentary detailing the evils of extremism and Boko haram on TV, There are no plans to infiltrate religious centers with pro-peace, pro-government sermons, the airwaves is not awash with great regret speeches of defectors(whether staged or not), there are no stories of how wonderful moles are rewarded. There are no pamphlet drops. It’s called drawing sympathy for government cause from its citizen; it’s a power greater than a thousand soldiers. This works even for the most evils of government. Maybe the reason why we keep fighting in the fields is because we keep losing the battle for the minds of those young indoctrinated boys.

    Secondly and even better, is improvement in intelligence works. Face it, if you are having 20 guns battles in a month within the same city with the same sect then clearly you don’t know what they want to do till they have started to do it. The beauty of intelligence is not in confrontation but sorting out issues before they result in confrontations.

  11. beegeagle says:

    That was why I said that the JSTF/JTF/STF all have to vigorously engage with the people DIRECTLY.

    YOUTUBE, TWITTER, FACEBOOK – let us see videos, even if of hooded troops going about their work. As it is, too much has been left to conjecture and that is why rumours and hearsay thrive. It is true that the JSTF are always on the defensive. They can change that by becoming the accusers. You cannot really imagine what videos of busted hideouts with terrorists caught redhanded wielding rifles and IEDs would do to sway public opinion and take the wind out of the sail of the upcountry media and their minions in the Hausa language service of some foreign broadcasters who tend to make an innocent civilian of every terrorist.

    Let me give you an example. In February this year, the JSTF busted a hideout in Kano of a man who was clearly a terrorist and a financier who used to deal in rug carpets. Rather than wonder why the man was able to personally engage security forces in a four hour gunbattle before he was eventually killed, BBC Africa dwelt on the fact that his pregnant wife got killed in the circumstance. Was it really impossible for a totally innocent wife to have prevailed on the man to surrender and thereby avoid putting their lives at risk? Was she suicidal?

    It did not matter that people in the neighbourhood stated that he regularly hosted “bearded youngmen” who only visited after dark.

    Well, if the JSTF have been doing an arbitrary job, it does not show because from a dubious position of having been the scene of the most devastating attacks ever staged by Boko Haram – on January 20th, 2012 – Kano has now arrived at stage where the security situation is comparable to any everyday Nigerian big city.

    Using a string of consistent search-and-bust ops, the security situation in Kano, the second biggest city in West Africa, has been improved to a level whereby not only terrorism but armed robbery and murder have become majorly curtailed.

    Our military information managers need to engage directly with the people. Our journalists are mostly clueless and are at sea in the absence of handed-down press releases.

    Why do JSTF/JTF/STF not have websites? The STF used to have one where they posted operational photos – no more. Ditto the JTF. Imagine the spinoff of people being able to pose questions directly to military media managers on TWITTER?

    For goodness sake, they need to go on a real media offensive – videos to Youtube, photos on their websites, updates posted on Twitter and packaged documentaries on Radio Nigeria and NTA.

  12. peccavi says:

    The issue of border security has been discussed it is clearly a pertinent issue, I would say it is economically and militarily strategic, we are leaking refined and crude fuel from our land and sea borders, losing custom duty through smuggling and local industry cannot compete with smuggled goods. Arms are being freely imported through our porous borders, both at land and sea.
    However there is a vast difference between a coastal radar and a land based sensor system.
    A coastline is clearly defined. On one side is land, the other is sea.
    How defined is our land border? Particularly in the heavily junglified areas to the west, mountains and swamps to the east and desert to the north.
    That is the first stage.
    What method do we use to record access and egress from this country? What records are taken? those who have flown in and out of Nigeria’s international airports or had the punishment to try and clear goods know what a farce that is so this is where technology come into play. Use it at existing border posts to record the passage of people, the entry and exit of goods and products, record and automatically upload data to a central database accessible both to customs, the military, police and revenue. At airports we do not need 5 people to check and stamp one passport. One person is enough, at ports you do not need to go to 20 desks to clear one container, it can be done remotely, the cargo inspected and good cleared, because it takes so long, ships sit at anchor so long making them easy targets for pirates. Dredge the entry to the ports, get dedicated secure railways that can take goods straight of the ships to secure bonded warehouse compounds where they can be inspected and clear congestion at the ports. This is where technology comes in, with fibre optic and satellite uplinks fro data transmission at ports airports and border crossings, cameras, X rays, electronic and ‘smart water makers for goods etc. Concentrate the technology where it can give best effect.
    There are several smuggling hotspots. Ignoring the coastal areas which are a different wahala, the North, West etc have specific areas renowned for smuggling. It is inevitable that once you crack down there they will move elsewhere but a key military maxim is concentration of effort.
    Define those areas as Targetted Areas of Interest and develop an action plan to neutralise the smugglers. I’ve covered several points in this before but for a limited area you need to find a natural barrier or defensive feature and concentrate your efforts between them (this may not always be possible) but if the key method of smuggling is by truck you need to identify all the motorable roads and shut them down.
    I’ve mentioned previously how to secure desert regions, a string of border posts with patrolling on foot, vehicle, horse/ camelback in between them, backed up by larger bases, rapid reaction forces and aircraft with helicopters surveillance craft and ISTAR assets.
    In the jungle areas, secure all the habitations and motorable roads and tracks with border posts with long rang patrols between them, i.e. patrols that will move through the bush for 22-4 weeks identifying smuggling routes, with info passed back to regional command posts who will put in raids, ambushes, VCP’s based on these patrols and intel from aerial surveillance.
    Mountain areas, secure the passes with bored outposts, again patrol in between, with aerial support.
    Prosecute smugglers, not just the small boy driving the truck or carrying a jerrycan of fuel on his head, but his oga, chase all the way up the chain. Set up a special Border Police and Border courts. Those caught will be fast tracked through the system. Suspects will be classified in tiers, with Tier 1 being the money men/ ogas, Tier 2 being their immediate underlings, Tier 3 being the local smuggling Oga, Tier 4 being the small boys.
    Anyone giving evidence leading to the conviction of a Tier 1 will have his sentence reduced or commuted to a suspended sentence and relocated under a witness protection scheme.

    None of this will take place all at once, it will take place in a gradualist manner, while Border police/ customs are retrained/ reorientated.

    Or we could buy a lot of expensive lit from Israel and China and watch it rot in a container somewhere

    1) Define the Border: joint border commissions with all neighbouring states. Use GPS technology, place border posts every 10 or 50 or 100km whatever. Establish a mechanism whereby all sides verify border positions every 5 years
    2) Use technology at the border post for identification and recording
    3) Man, the borders, physically secure it with armed proactive human presence
    4) Arrest and prosecute suspects rapidly. Reward turncoats, harsh punishments the higher up the chain
    4) Retrain and reorientate Customs and police for the task

  13. enitan says:

    Nigerians only knw hw to complain nd can nt b satisfied. just tell me wat u guys want if anytin d government do u go against. WHAT DO YOU GUYS WANT THE GOVERNMENT TO DO OOO?

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