Buhari to Service Chiefs: Your excuses’ll no longer be tolerated

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Edozie Udeojo

President Muhammadu Buhari has told service chiefs that their “best is not good enough” as regards the deteriorating security situation in Nigeria.

At a meeting with security heads at the Presidential Villa yesterday, he said excuses would no longer be tolerated as he expected them to live up to expectations.

The National Security Adviser, retired Major General Babagana Monguno, who briefed State House Correspondents on Thursday after a meeting with service chiefs, said President Buhari was concerned over the current security situation.

Monguno, said the president was briefed on how the rising security challenges across the country were being tackled.

Monguno disclosed that the President told the service chiefs that his administration came to power on the promise to tackle the security challenge, revive the economy, and deal with the scourge of corruption.

Monguno said the president expressed displeasure over the lack of synergy among the security forces and asked them to work together to solve the nation’s security challenges.

He said Buhari ordered him to meet with governors of the North-West states in order to know the problems in their states and to find strategic solutions to them.

The NSA, who said he submitted that the current effort to tackle security challenge would not take the country to promised land unless the government put an end to the use of unregistered SIM cards.

He said the President had directed him to work with the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, to tackle the issue.

“A meeting was just concluded between Mr. President and heads of the security agencies, that is, the operational heads, consisting minister of defence, the service chiefs and, on the other hand, the intelligence components, that is, consisting of myself and the intelligence heads,” Monguno said.

“Today’s meeting basically focused on recent developments. Mr. President has expressed great concern over the declining security situation in the country. He is extremely unhappy about what is happening and he feels that, even though the security agencies are doing their best, their best is not good enough for him and wants and immediate reversal of the current trend and immediate reversal of our misfortunes in all their dimensions.

“Mr. President also told us clearly in no uncertain terms that he and indeed the administration campaigned to power on the platform of three issues, fighting insecurity, overcoming our economic difficulties and dealing with the scourge of corruption. More so, he noted that it takes common sense for anyone to understand that, without security, the pursuit of the other two will just be an exercise in futility.

“He, therefore, warned the security agencies to take into consideration the wider implication of the gradual decent of the security of this country, he is not going to accept any further escalation of the security situation. He also stated that no one was forced on him, he selected everyone individually based on what he feels their records had revealed and, therefore, it is up to individual organisations to live up to expectations.

Security challenges

Nigeria has witnessed an increase in crime especially in the Northern part of the country in the last few months as Boko Haram Terrorists and bandits carried out killing spree in communities at will.

Last week, multiple attacks by bandits on many villages in three local government areas of Faskari, Sabuwa and Dandume in Katsina State led to the death of over 60 people.

Borno State governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, confirmed that 81 civilians were buried following the attack by suspected Boko Haram insurgents in the northern part of the state on Tuesday 9th June, 2020.

Nigeria Daily had reported that Boko Haram insurgents killed at least 69 persons at Foduma Kolomaiya village, 11 kilometres away from Gazaure town of Gubio Local Government Area of Borno State.

The terrorists reportedly went back to the village the next day and inflicted more havoc on the people.

Governor Babagana Zulum, who visited the village, said he was devastated.

As a result of the spike in attacks, youths this week protested in Katsina, asking for the resignation of President Buhari and the governor of the state, Aminu Bello Masari.

The youths, under the auspices of Coalition of Northern Groups, CNG, said that the federal government and the North West state governors had failed to tackle the spate of killings by bandits in the region.

Similar protest was launched in Niger State where the protesters called for action by the federal government to stem the rising insecurity.

“Again, Mr. President has also said that it is extremely important that we in the security agencies must ensure that we justify the leadership by not disappointing the populace. He also pointed out the immediate areas of concern and these areas are also interlinked and we must find a way out, especially the issue of proliferation of drugs, small arms and light weapons. These two issues also go hand in hand with the major issues of criminality in this country, be they banditry on one hand in the North-West of Nigeria or terrorism in the North-East.”

The meeting took place amid calls on the President to address Nigeria’s rising security challenges.

Different groups have protested against the persistent attacks in the North, calling on the President to sack the service chiefs and to take decisive steps to address the security challenges.

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