Tukur Buratai, has advised civilians to be proactive in providing timely information that will assist his men in combating insurgency.
Buratai gave the advice at a conference on Peace, Security and Military Relations to commemorate the United Nations World Peace Day on Wednesday in Abuja.
The theme of the conference is:“ Civil Society, Media and Military Synergy in the Sustainability of Peace and the Generation of Objective Narratives“.
He said that the battle against insurgency and militancy was the business of all, adding that concerted efforts needed to be undertaken by all and sundry to succeed in the fight against insurgency.
Buratai, represented by the Chief of Civil Military Affairs, Maj.-Gen. Peter Bojie, said assisting the military with timely information would enhance operational successes of the ongoing fight against terrorism in the North-East.
“ Therefore, the civil populace could complement the efforts of the military in security management in the area of provision of timely and actionable intelligence and spearheading campaign for counter insurgency,“ he said.
He said that conferences and town hall meetings were other means through which civil society leaders could create strategies and slogans against terrorism.
The chief of army staff stressed the need for civil society organisations to mobilise support among various associations and groups on the need to eliminate extremism in the country.
“ For example, in the North-East, when terrorists were initially gaining ground, town hall meetings amongst all stakeholders in the region helped to educate the populace on the prevailing circumstances and security challenges.
“ In the same vein, Christian clergymen and Imams were used to de-radicalise insurgents who had surrendered and laid down their arms to the security forces,“ Buratai said.
He urged secular groups, trade unions and political parties to initiate programmes that would promote peace, moderation and unity as well as use one voice in support of military operations.
Similarly, Buratai advised the youth to play an increasingly visible role in raising awareness among students, and young professionals to challenge the influence of extremist and cultist groups on youth psyche.
Earlier, the President of Coalitaion of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Mr Bassey Williams, restated the commitment of CSOs in the actualisation of peace, adding that there was no substitute to peace.
Williams commended the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari in the restoration and maintenance of peace through the instrumentality of the Nigerian Military in some troubled spots, especially the North-East.