By Egena Sunday Ode
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday ordered the security chiefs to urgently undertake an overhaul of the nation’s security apparatus .
National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno who disclosed this to State House Correspondents after a meeting of the security council said the President also directed that the security chiefs must rejig their strategy both in terms of operations and intelligence to further prevent catastrophes.
“We must bear in mind that we owe a duty to the people that elected this government and at the end of the day, without securing the nation all other things such as revamping the economy and fighting corruption cannot be addressed,” the NSA stated. .
He said that the security chiefs attributed the precarious security situation in the country to rampant drug abuse.
The NSA also alleged that illegal aliens who currently dominate the mining sector were colluding with bandits and kidnappers to worsen the current state of insecurity.
According to Monguno President Buhari at the meeting restated his earlier stand that the security chiefs needed to do more in order to stem the tide of insecurity in the country .
He said “what he said today was virtually a reaffirmation of what he said the first time. Yes Mr President said you are doing your best, as far as I’m concerned, but there’s still a lot more to be done.
“I’m more concerned about the promise we made to the larger Nigerian society and I am ordering an immediate re-engineering of the entire security apparatus. This is something that I believe will be done in a very short time, but I just want us to keep hope alive.
“I know how everybody feels, I know how Nigerians feel, definitely the President is not oblivious of the fact that securing the nation is a primary responsibility of government.
“ I believe in his sincerity, but again, since he’s not an octopus, since he’s not a spirit, if he delegates to people, then the onus is on them to actually fulfil the legitimate expectations of the larger Nigerian society.
Stating that drug abuse had taken on a worrisome dimension, the NSA said Nigeria’s perception on the drug trafficking index has changed from the status of a transist hub to a production center.
Accordingly, he did that that there was a nexus between the reckless use of these substances and the insecurity confronting the nation .
“But on the issues of drug trafficking and abuse of drugs, basically, what I told council was that this has taken on a worrisome dimension.
“Nigeria’s perception on the drug trafficking index has changed from the status from a transist hub to a production center.
“Between 2011 and 2019, approximately 17 manufacturing laboratories of metal and metulin substances were located by the various security agencies and destroyed. That is a large number. At the same we have had increasing activities of illegal cultivators of Canabis in Nigeria,” he said.
He stated that those people basically used extremely large space of arable land to cultivate this illegal substance, employing militia men to protect their farms and also their storage facilities.
The NSA said there was hardly any violent crime this day in Nigeria that was not propelled by the use of these hard substances adding that these hard substances had been coming in from all nooks and crannies.
According to him “What is worrisome is that the report we have received the chairman NDLEA, show that the numbers keeps increasing, despite the closure of borders we are still having to contain with the influx of these drugs.
“The problem here is that the reckless use of these substances are directly linked to the insecurity we are confronted with. Unless there is a collective, concerted effort to deal with this problem, it’s will only result in this country going down the bottomless pit of self destruction.
“We don’t want that to happen and one of the ways of dealing with this issue is by using a whole of society approach in conjunction with the whole or government approach to achieve the whole of the nation approach.
“The substances that are in use, again the problem is that dealing with such an issue as the proliferation of drugs is not as easy as it looks even for the most developed country, because it is not a one sided affair.
“You have a minimum of three parties operating at the same time, the drug peddler (the supper fly), the consumer (the junkie) and that person in the center who has been entrusted with denying these drugs access into the country.
“It is important to note that if there is a compromise then things become tedious and problematic.
So what we did was to invite the chairman of NDLEA based on his report that all security agencies are studying, the president has resolved that we must wrestle this problem.
“This problem is directly linked.
If you look at the criminality, the colouration of each crime, especially kidnapping, banditry and terrorism, it is not the killing of the people but the way people are killed, goes to show one thing.
“It is extremely abnormal, inhuman and these acts can only be perpetrated by people who are out of their mind.
“One thing we in the security and intelligence arm have been able to trace, is that there are certain drugs of choice that have saturated the entire landscape of the country.
These drugs basically are condone, opiums, cocaine, tramadol and pertamines and of course cannabis sativa.
“The popular drug of choice is tramadol, it is easily acquired. Tramadol has been the drug of choice for terrorists, bandits and kidnappers. And if we don’t approach we are going to be immersed great problem by virtue of the fact that he who resides in the town, urban or rural area must be able to collaborate with agents of government in revealing these abnormalities.
“I know it has not been easy, there has been a gradual loss of confidence over the years and the president is determined to restore confidence.
“So, for the issue of drugs, it is basically related to every form of violence crime in which these criminals just at the touch of a button give bent to homicidal instincts and go on a murderous rampage killing people.
“The office of the national security adviser in conjunction with other security agencies will work on a blueprint in a short, medium and a long term to address this matter,” Monguno added .
On the rising incidences of kidnapping and banditry, the NSA said:
“Where you have a lot of illegal aliens working just like what you see in the mining sector, illegal miners working with bandits and kidnappers. Of course there are also other issues of fully equipping the security agencies.”