By Gabriel Anuku
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, came hard on his security chiefs, saying their performance in tackling insecurity in the country was nothing to write home about.
It is probably the first time the President may be openly criticizing the services chiefs over their performance in the battle to check insecurity, especially insurgent crisis, banditry and kidnapping.
National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj. Gen. Babagana Mungonu (rted), gave an inkling to what transpired when Buhari met with the service chiefs.
According to the NSA, the President gave a stern directive that excuses will no longer be tolerated,hence he expects everyone to live up to expectations going forward.
Addressing State House Correspondents at the end of the meeting, Mungonu said the President also ordered him to meet with all northern governors including that of Niger State, in other to know what the problems are and find solution.
The meeting held inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja, where Buhari was briefed on how the increasing security challenges across the country are being tackled.
Mungonu said, “the 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.
“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 an 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 campaign 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, warns 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 Organisation to live up to the expectations.
“Again, Mr. President said that, it is extremely important that we in the security agencies, must ensure that we justify the leadership by not disappointing the populace”.
Mungonu said the President 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 there banditry on one hand on the north west of Nigeria or terrorism in the north east.
“Now, added to this, is also another area which rises concern, is the use of unregistered SIM cards. In my own brief, I dwelt on that issue and I raised concern that whatever we intend to achieve, we will not be able to get to the promised land unless we wrestle this issue of unrestrained acquisition of unregistered SIM cards.
“Mr. President has directed that I, as the National Security adviser should link up with the honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, to workout a blueprint to ensure the end of the irresponsible use of any SIM card.
“Of course, I urged my colleagues the Inspector General of Police and Director General of Department of State Services to help in this issue.
“Again, my office is going to call on, certain governors starting with the governors of the north west zone including the governor of Niger State, to come over into Abuja, so that I meet with them and my colleagues in intelligence and security.
“Finally, is about the issue of lack of synergy within the security sector. This has to be addressed also and has left us in no doubt that unless we address this issue and form a single front, the convergence of efforts, the confluence of all ideas be there operational or intelligence, must be achieved so that we no longer if at all there was this notion that groups were working in silos or stockpiling , they desist from that with immediate effect.
“We must have a central platform to coordinate all the efforts, all operations and security”.
In the final analysis, Mr. president has said, everyone is doing his best but his best is not good enough, that should send a signal to all of us. But again, it is also incumbent on the wider Nigerian population, to key into whatever the security agencies are doing.
“Understanding that there has been issue of lost of confidence, lost of trust, abuse or whatever, these issues will have to be addressed by a discuss between security agencies and the political leadership and of course the judiciary will come in.
“I, the National Security Adviser, wants to reassure Nigerians that each and every department or agency or component, will redouble its efforts and ensure that we reverse our dwindling fortunes for the betterment of this country in the remaining period they have in the life time of this administration”.