Amidst the growing calls from several quarters for the sack of the military service chiefs over failing national security, President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday convened a national security council, but opted to keep all security chiefs in office.
At the meeting were Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magashi; Minister of the Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; and the National Security Adviser (NSA) Babagana Monguno (Rtd).
Others are the Chief of Defense Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar; Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rafa’i Abubakar; and the Director-General of the Directorate of State Services (DSS) Yusuf Magaji Bichi.
The NSA, who briefed journalists after the quarterly meeting at the Aso Rock Villa, said that the resolution by the House of Representatives a day earlier demanding the removal or resignation of the service chiefs, was not discussed.
ExpressDay reports that instead of a purge, the security meeting resolved to seek better collaboration among the security agencies on one hand, and the larger Nigerian society on the other.
According to the NSA; “the meeting basically made an appraisal of the current security situation in the country and took a look at the possibilities and opportunities available to government in addressing most of the recent challenges.
“There were discussions and at the end of the day, the most important thing that we came up with is the need for collaboration both between governmental agencies and the larger Nigerian society because of the type of the insurgencies we are faced with, the complexities, the multiplicity of all kind of issues.
“There is a need for both parties- governmental agencies on one hand and the larger society to collaborate more vigorously. There is a need for us to deal with these problems in a comprehensive manner.
“Therefore, Council has decided to take a closer look at issues that will help us not just at the federal level or at the state level, but right down to the local government level. But this is going to be done after due consultations with the relevant stakeholders.”
“This issue of collaboration, it’s not something that I can disclose right now. We just concluded the meeting and we have to look at the issues before coming out with whatever decision. For collaboration I want to think that everybody understands the need for a whole government approach in collaborating with the whole of society approach to achieve a lot.
“This situation requires everybody in the country to work together to deal with these challenges. So where there are gaps, we need to close these gaps. That is what I mean by collaboration.”
Reminded of his propos for the phasing out of almajiri Islamic education system as part of measures to curb insecurity, Monguno said that “the Almajiri thing is not a situation that the National Security Adviser on his own may deal with.
“I said it was one of the root causes of these overlapping problems and needs to be addressed. Addressing it will require not just a federal and state but right down to the local government. Something is being done about that right now.”