By Yushau A. Shuaib
Air Vice Marshall Sayo Olatunde, the Commandant of the Nigerian Airforce War College, Makurdi, Benue State, is an glorious host any time I am in the faculty as a visitor lecturer on disaster communication and social media engagement.
We usually talk about extensively on up to date points on the exhausting and mushy energy insurance policies of the army, as properly as the place of the media in psychological operations.
In October, he requested me to assessment his new e-book, “Analytical Frameworks for Applying Critical Thinking To Operational Planning and Resolving Insurgency With Net Assessment.” Since I am a author, I gladly accepted to write and have the press publish a critique of his very essential and vital mental intervention to the rooting out of a debilitating nationwide malaise.
A a number of award-wining officer, AVM Olatunde is a member of 39 Regular Courses of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), and he holds a First Class Bachelor of Science diploma in Chemistry. His Master’s is in Public and International Affairs from the University of Lagos. He began out as an engineering officer earlier than changing into a pilot in the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).
This amiable engineer-cum-fighter pilot is very obsessed with the utilisation of internet evaluation in counterinsurgency technique and operations. Although the notion of internet evaluation might sound like an financial, monetary or political time period, it is really the comparative evaluation of army, technological, political, financial, and different components governing the relative army functionality of nations.
The goal of internet evaluation is to determine issues and alternatives that deserve the consideration of senior defence officers. In looking for to include insurgency by means of internet evaluation, Olatunde recommends related analytical instruments with a view to selling anticipatory relatively than reactive operational planning and administration in the Armed Forces of Nigeria, as an important anchor of counterinsurgency operations.
A few weeks after our dialogue, I obtained a replica of the War College commandant’s e-book, whose Foreword was written by the Defence Minister, Major-General Bashir Salihi Magashi (rtd).
The extremely admirable 337-web page e-book is structured into three sections, comprising, “Harnessing the Potentials of Analytical Frameworks with Critical and Analytical Thinking”; “Resolving Insurgency With Net Assessment” and “Communicating Operational Plans Effectively.” These fascinating sections consist of 12 chapters dealing the “Habits of Mind in Critical and Analytical Thinking”; “Techniques for Making Analysis”; “Skills with Analytical Writing, Theoretical Frameworks for Insurgency and Counterinsurgency”; “Overview of Net Assessment and its Methodology in Counterinsurgency”, and “Environmental Scanning.” Also, there are the “SWOT Analysis and Short-term Strategies”; “Scenario Planning and Long-term Generations” and “Communicating Operational Plans Effectively: Avoiding Common Errors in Writing.”
Besides the articulate Foreword of General Magashi (rtd.), this vastly insightful e-book is additionally recommended and praised by the prime brass of the army, together with Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Oladayo Amao; Chief of Defence Intelligence, Major General Samuel Adebayo; and Commandant of Nigeria Defence Academy, Major General I.M. Yusuf. The e-book has been additional acclaimed by the Commandant of National Defence College, Rear Admiral M.M. Bashir; the Commandant of the Army War College, Major General B.A. Alabi, in addition to a raft of senior officers, lecturers and communications strategists.
As I subsequently congratulated the writer on his no imply accomplishment, he knowledgeable me of his preparations to current the e-book to the public.
“Next week, I will unveil the book at the Army War College, Abuja, and the Defence Minister, Chief of Air Staff and General Buba Marwa (rtd.) have all agreed to grace the occasion.”
“This is great news”, I replied, expressing my delight at the data given. Then he added: “You have been selected to be the book reviewer at the event!”
WHAT?!!! I, a reviewer of a e-book on army technique and operations on the revered grounds of a army faculty and in the midst of army generals? I was fairly alarmed and tried to duck this, as I reeled out a listing of excuses. AVM Olatunde merely pointed out that a quantity of officers had really really useful me as the one to do the assessment.
Although I had made displays in interactive periods between army/safety officers and senior editors in the media, particularly in the presence of the present charismatic Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor and additionally earlier than the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.), I had then by no means addressed a purely army gathering.
I cautiously accepted the invitation on the broader consideration that the e-book is not a purely army literature but equally a managerial handbook on management that can additionally improve the vital and analytical pondering capabilities of technique planners, political workplace holders and different choice-makers, whereas equipping them with the requisite competencies for artistic downside-fixing.
To information my assessment, I checked out the main key phrases used in the e-book, and surprisingly found that Boko Haram is talked about solely as soon as, ISWAP twice, and terrorism 17 instances in the e-book. Meanwhile, insurgency is talked about 217 instances; internet evaluation, 182 instances; army, 225 instances; authorities, 212 instances; issues, 129 instances; and resolution/remedy (45/62) 107 instances.
In addition, I sought an understanding of the context of utility of the operative ideas in the e-book. When I checked on the notion of ‘insurgency’, which is merely outlined as “an active revolt or uprising,” but a scholar quoted in the e-book urges that “an insurgency should not be confused with a peaceful demonstration that might evolve into acts of civil disobedience, even if the demonstration leads to riots, looting, destruction of property and physically challenging law enforcement.”
Quite curiously, I was to discover out that some students categorise insurgency on the foundation of objectives. In reality, some of them provide descriptions such as revolutionary, reformist, separatist, resistance and commercialist insurgencies, amongst the utilisation of different seemingly optimistic and candy nomenclature. These categorisations made me marvel underneath which classes the actions of IPOB operatives, Oodua nationalists, Boko Haram members and even EndSARS protesters would fall into inside this kind of methodology.
A day to the occasion, I was reminded that the Chief of Air Staff and NDLEA Boss would be gracing the event! Hence, that night time, I slept with the e-book and my laptop computer on each side of the mattress… I had candy nightmare, whereas intermittently waking up, studying and typing.
In this e-book, AVM Olatunde lists and explains how the army and non-army elements might be deployed for counterinsurgency technique and operations.
On the army elements, the writer factors to: the high quality management of the army; techniques and methods; army intelligence; troops’ behaviours; air and naval help to the floor troop; civil-army relations; and the widespread militia, which I feel might be comparable to Civilian JTF in the North-East.
Meanwhile, the non-army elements of counterinsurgency actions embrace police operations, civilian intelligence, psychological operations (media/data), political framework, enchancment of rural circumstances (mushy-method programmes) and authorized reform, which can embrace particular legal guidelines and laws particularly designed to counter and suppress insurgency.
I slept off once more but rapidly woke up thereafter. To beat the vehicular visitors on the roads, I left dwelling very early in the morning and arrived the venue at precisely 9 a.m. and was the first particular person to register at the occasion. I used the ensuing time to assess the corridor and the seating association.
“Today Na Today!” I breathed gently.
I checked my presentation over, and once more, whereas contemplating the doubtless feedback to make outdoors the textual content. I considered the books that my organisation had produced on “Boko Haram Media War: An Encounter with the Spymaster,” as properly as “101 Fake News on EndSARS,” which gained Africa and Golden World Awards, and whether or not these might excite the viewers.
While ruminating on the kind that my opening remarks ought to take, the arrival of General Abubakar Ndalolo of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Dr Peter Afunanya of Department of State Services (DSS), and AVM Kingsley Lar (rtd.), the quick Chief of Administration in the Air Force, disrupted my ideas.
After exchanging pleasantries with some of them, I retreated to the excessive finish (backstage) of the corridor to reexamine the main contents of the new e-book to be unveiled. I am conscious that there are some analytic frameworks employed in choice-making processes in the Armed Forces of Nigeria, with the widespread ones together with downside-fixing methods, the estimate course of, marketing campaign evaluation, joint operational planning, and strategic estimate.
While there are many books on these frameworks, the emphasis in Air Vice Marshal Olatunde’s e-book is not to repeat what is already out there, but on how to make efficient use of them by means of the utility of vital and analytical pondering abilities.
Olatunde subsequently reinforces the seven optimistic vital pondering habits, comprising reality-looking for, open-mindedness, analytical reasoning, systematic evaluation, confidence in reasoning, inquisitiveness, and considered method to issues for believable options.
I might then hear the voice of the MC asking us to rise up in respect at the arrival of the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao; Chairman of NDLEA, Brigadier General Buba Marwa (rtd.); Major General A T. Jibrin, representing the Minister of Defence, and different prime army officers from the Army, Navy and Air Force.
As the nationwide anthem was being rendered, I rapidly scanned the venue once more and realised that greater than half of the viewers had been serving and retired army generals.
“Please can the book reviewer come forward,” the MC rang out by means of the microphone.
As I strutted in direction of the place reserved for me, I seen on the entrance row seats, my uncle, retired General Wahab Garba who is the Director General of the Nigerian Army Resource Centre (NARC), alongside Air Commodore Darlington Abdullahi (rtd.), the present President of the Alumni Association of National Defence College, Nigeria, who beamed an encouraging smile at me.
The instruments of the paparazzi, the cameramen, which momentarily took the kind of AK 47 rifles, appeared so intimidating as they took my footage and movies even after I sat down.
General Buba Marwa made a really articulate opening speech, which strengthened the writer’s perspective on vital and analytical pondering, involving the questioning and reflection upon concepts. An writer of many army books, Marwa reiterated the argument that army officers and choice-makers are anticipated not solely to perceive what they learn or hear but additionally to dissect, query and assess such issues. He consequently exhorted army officers to write books such as Olatunde’s.
Even although he provided some views on the e-book, like the skilled that he is, he summed up that, “I am very sure that our distinguished reviewer and writer here will do justice to the book when he come on stage.”
For me, if Marwa had elaborated any additional, I might have used that as an excuse to inform the viewers that the NDLEA Chairman had already completed the e-book assessment, after which I might simply thank him and return to my seat.
Immediately the MC completed a quotation on the writer, AVM Olatunde, he known as me to mount the podium. I thereafter seemed to the left, proper and centre and noticed ALL eyes skilled on me throughout the army color spectrum – white, inexperienced, darkish blue – as if I was dealing with a firing squad.
Luckily sufficient there have been many good faces that I might look into to brace up and energize for the job known as on to. I began by publicly acknowledging the NDLEA Chairman for the alternative of nonetheless being regarded as a reviewer, regardless of the glorious appraisal of the e-book and its essential themes he had already completed.
I then set off by usually agreeing that the pervasive insecurity in the nation calls for the want to suppose outdoors the field to resolve it successfully, by means of a renewed emphasis on vital and analytical pondering at the particular person and institutional ranges.
I reiterated the reality that there is a necessity to rethink the technique at the moment being employed in prosecuting the counterinsurgency campaigns, as the troops sort out violent social unrest evolving from restive youths, coupled with the inside aggression of bandits, terrorists, and militias, amongst numerous prison components.
As a safety and disaster communicator, I emphasised my conviction that Air Vice Marshal Olatunde’s work will go a protracted way in equipping commanders and leaders with the know-how to proactively resolve insurgency by means of internet evaluation, in a fashion that enhances our nationwide safety. And extra profoundly, it will increase their capacities for the efficient communication of operational plans in each verbal and written varieties.
In the finish, this ‘bloody civilian’ managed to converse to counterinsurgency in Nigeria in a fashion that drew the applause of army Generals.
Yushau A. Shuaib
Author of An Encounter with the Spymaster and Award-Winning Crisis Communication Strategies