By Taiwo Ajala
President Muhammadu Buhari today continued a pattern of admonishment and pampering for Nigeria’s Service Chiefs despite presiding over the worst security environment since the civil war.
President Buhari while meeting with the heads of all security architecture inaide Aso Rock Villa expressed concerns over insecurity in the land.
Giving the highlight of the meeting, the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (Rtd) told journalists that President Buhari told the Chief their best was not good enough for Nigeria and may plan a “complete re-engineering of the nation’s security apparatus.”
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’m concerned, but there’s still a lot more to be done. I’m more concerned about the promise 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.”
This is not the first time President Buhari would be giving his failed Service Chiefs a pat on the back even as body bags mounted from the North to the South from incessant Herdsmen and Farmers clashes, armed banditry, kidnapping, robbery etc.
Also, the nation’s highways have become death traps with only those pursuing death wishes plying them.
Boko Haram insurgency has also taken a life of it’s own and with the Islamic States of West Africa (ISWAP) regularly murdering soldiers, citizens and aid workers.
Even the President’s home state of Kastina is not spared of the killings while the governor has had to negotiate with killer bandits before he eventually gave up on the security.
Nigerians including the near rubber stamp National Assembly have called on the President to immediately sack the Service Chiefs and commence immediate re-allignment of the security apparatus but the President prefers to stick to his Chiefs.
However, General Monguno has hinted that the President may rejig the security strategy.
“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.
“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 have come 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.”
Those present at the meeting include: Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, (SGF), Boss Mustapha, and the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (retd).
Others are the service chiefs led by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, Director-General of Department of State Services (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 (AGF) and Minister of Justice, 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.