….Holds stormy session with security chiefs
By Lawrence Olaoye
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday met with his predecessor, ex-President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa.
The meeting, held behind closed door, lasted for about thirty minutes.
The outcome of the parley was not disclosed to newsmen as efforts to get assess to the Jonathan for interview were thwarted by the security operatives manning the final gate leading to the President’s office.
Unofficial sources within the Villa however disclosed that the meeting may be for solidarity purpose amidst the current security challenges facing the country.
Meanwhile, following public outcries against pervading insecurity across the country, President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday convened the first Security Council meeting in the New Year at the Presidential Villa.
Those at the meeting chaired by the President include: Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magashi, Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; and the National Security Adviser (NSA) Babagana Monguno (Rtd.).
Others were 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 Dire
Briefing newsmen on the outcome of the meeting, the NSA said the Council, after the assessment of the security situation in the country, resolved on the need for collaboration between government agencies and the larger society.
He said “There were discussions and at the end of the day, the most important thing that we came up with is the need to 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.”
He continued, “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.”
Asked to give a general assessment of the nation’s security situation and judge whether it is stable or critical, Monguno said “The security situation is like a graph; sometimes it goes up, sometimes it comes down and that is why we have to assess it periodically. It will never remain level till we bring the whole situation to an end. Sometimes it could escalate, sometimes, it would down. So there is no perfect answer to that. If I tell you that it has improved and as we walk out of this place and something might happen. There might be an explosion somewhere. These are things that are not predictable; these are things that you cannot actually determine. That is the nature of this type of conflict we are facing.”
Asked to give an insight to what manner of collaboration the government had in mind, he said “The issue of collaboration is 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.”
On whether the Council discussed the resolution passed by the House of Representatives mandating the service chiefs to either resign of be sacked, the NSA said “The issue of the National Assembly resolution does not come up at the meeting.”
The NSA however assured that the government was aware of the enormity of the challenges and was prepared to confront them.