President Muhammadu Buhari may have come hard on the nation’s service chiefs on Tuesday following a meeting he held with them at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to the National Security Adviser, Major-General Babagana Monguno, the president is believed to have given a marching order to the service chiefs to reverse the state of insecurity.
Beyond this, the meeting resolved that a new security strategy must be put in place, especially for the South-East and South-South geopolitical zones, which have witnessed unprecedented level of insecurity in the last one month.
But stakeholders’ privy to the latest meeting hinted that a decision was adopted not to reveal the strategies to be deployed to tackle insecurity in the country henceforth so as to ensure a more effective result.
Monguno said he tabled all the remote causes that propel crime in the country, especially issues of drug abuse, how to make the criminal justice system much more effective, as well as looking at issues of unemployment, which of course, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had given an approval, through previous memos on how to get 100 million people out of poverty.
Similarly, the lack of an effective crime reporting system was also tabled at the meeting which lasted for a reasonable period at the Presidential Villa.
“Council has agreed that the level of insecurity in the country, especially in the last one month must be reversed,” those privy to the meeting stated.
The acting Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, who briefed State House correspondents alongside the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd), and Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, noted that President Buhari gave the approval during the security meeting he presided over on Tuesday.
The security chiefs were also joined by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, who noted that President Buhari presiding over the Security Council three times in two weeks “shows the premium the president and the administration has placed on security issues.”
According to the presidential aide on Media and Publicity, he disclosed that the president at the Security Council meeting, which has taken place three times during the last 11 days, assessed the situation in the country, particularly the South-East and South-South, as it affects law and order.
He said: “We have some measures that have been approved by the Council to check insecurity. We have some measures which we have outlined and have been approved by the Council and we’ll see how we can change the narrative within the quickest possible means to restore law and order and restore peace in that area.
“We solicit all law abiding citizens to work with us to identify and deal with the situation. That is that, I may not go into the details of how we will do that.”
Monguno said the meeting stressed the need to address the security challenges in the country particularly those that have arisen in the last few months.
He said president gave marching orders to deal with the emerging problems physically.
The NSA said: “The first two meetings were inconclusive, but today’s meeting is the final in the three meetings. Again, Mr. President’s concern at the growing trend of insecurity has been highlighted and the meeting, basically, was briefed by the National Security Adviser, the Chief of Defence Staff and the Inspector-General of Police.
“I briefed the meeting on strategic issues in relation to security, while the Chief of Defence Staff briefed on operational issues, and Inspector General of Police briefed on constabulary matters. On my part, I briefed Council on the enablers of crime and the need to find quick responses with a view to mitigating the growing threats to society.
“These enablers are discussed in detail and Mr. President has already given direction on how to deal with them, specifically issues of drug abuse as propellants for crime, how to make the criminal justice system much more effective, as well as looking at issues of unemployment, which of course, the Federal Executive Council had given an approval through previous memos on how to get 100 million people out of poverty, that was also discussed. Then, again, the lack of an effective crime reporting system.
“Again, the president has given direction on how to make these things effective. Already, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has been given certain instructions on how to deal with this, but by and large Council has agreed that the level of insecurity in the country, especially in the last one month, is something that has to be addressed with the immediacy that it requires and at the operational level, of course, the Chief of Defence Staff has been working with the service chiefs and the recommendations they’ve made to the Council were already being handled.”
Irabor on his part said far reaching decisions have been made that will boost the operations of the security agencies.
The CDS said: “No doubt, far-reaching decisions were made. On our part, just as the National Security Adviser indicated, I briefed on various measures that the Armed Forces, in partnership with other security agencies, the measures we’ve taken to stem the tide of insecurity across the country.
Recall that in the last few months, no day passes by without one form of crime or another, particularly issues of kidnapping and banditry.
While the number of internally displaced persons keep increasing, there had been indications that most citizens of Nigeria now live in fear of attacks.