Inter-Security Agency Rivalry as an Impediment to National Counter Terrorism Strategy (NACTEST)

The emergence of Boko Haram as a terrorist group in Nigeria considerably changed the country’s security milieu. From a quiet religious group in the early 2000s, the group had risen in 2015 to become the deadliest terrorist group. As a security challenge, however, the Government’s counter terrorism policy appears unsuccessful. This article reveals flaws in the policy directions, noting that Government’s military-centric approach was not guided by any documented national strategy until the release of National Counter Terrorism Strategy (NACTEST) in 2014 ostensibly coordinated by the Office of the National Security Advisor (ONSA). Even at this, NACTEST is observed to be fraught with gaps that question its suitability as a counter-terrorism policy document for Nigeria. Among the observed policy gaps is included the animosity between and among Nigeria’s security agencies and their unwillingness to share intelligence hampering efforts at effectively combating the Boko Haram insurgency in the country’s North-east. This is an exploratory study aimed at probing the seeming perennial conflicts between and amongst the various security agencies in Nigeria with a view to creating a new path to inculcating tolerance for enhanced synergy towards optimal service delivery and national security. To this end, data were generated from both primary and secondary sources. The study concluded by recommending that there is the need for intensive collaboration amongst the relevant security agencies in Nigeria, as a tonic for achieving national security.