Buhari blasts Service Chiefs over worsening insecurity

*Tips on plans to rejig nation’s security aparatus

By Ralph Christopher, with agency reports

President Muhammadu Buhari has again expressed deep concern over rising insecurity in the country, at a meeting with the nation’s Service chiefs.

The President at an emergency security meeting which held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, reportedly expressed sadness over the poor handling of security issues across the country.

Providing a highlight of the meeting was the National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj-General Babagana Monguno (Rtd), who told journalists that President Buhari was planning a complete overhaul of Nigeria’s security apparatus.

He added that the President told service chiefs, who attended the briefing, that their efforts were not good enough.
Monguno informed journalists that President Buhari was angry about the declining security situation in the countey.

Monguno said: “What he said today was virtually a reaffirmation of what he said the first time. Yes Mr President said you are doing your best, as far as I am concerned, but there’s still a lot more to be done. Y

“I am more concerned about the promises we made to the larger Nigerian society and I am ordering an immediate re-engineering of the entire security apparatus.

“This is something that I believe will be done in a very short time, but I just want us to keep hope alive.

“I know how everybody feels; I know how Nigerians feel. Definitely, the President is not oblivious of the fact that securing the nation is a primary responsibility of government and I believe in his sincerity, but again, since he’s not an octopus, since he’s not a spirit, if he delegates to people, then the onus is on them to actually fulfil the legitimate expectations of the larger Nigerian society.”

On the likely next steps that could be taken by the president, Monguno said: “Mr. President has also directed we must rejig our strategy both in terms of operations and intelligence to further prevent catastrophes.

“We must bear in mind that we owe a duty to the people that elected this government and at the end of the day, without securing the nation all other things such as revamping the economy and fighting corruption cannot be addressed.”

On the tenure of the Service Chiefs, the NSA explained that the Minister of Defence, General Bashir Magashi (rtd) is working out somethings.

“Basically these are operational matters that are best dealt with by the Minister of Defense.

“I know that there’s something that he’s working on, which has led to this meeting being delayed slightly.

“This meeting was actually supposed to take place before the Sallah holiday, but I think one or two things came up that I don’t think I can explain, but I want you to be comfortable that something is being done, following that marching order.”

At the meeting were Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha.

Others included the Service Chiefs led by the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin; the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai; the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.

Others were the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu; Director-General of the Department of State Security (DSS), Yusuf Bichi, and the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufa’i.

Cabinet members in attendance are the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (AGF), Abubakar Malami; the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola; the Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi; the Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi, and the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada.

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