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Published On: Fri, Mar 14th, 2014

In Nigeria everything is upside down

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By Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

The alleged rift in the Nigerian security team follows the “normal Nigerian situation”: insubordination, ignorance, lack of integrity, lack of protocol, unpatriotic action, bloated egos leading to confrontation, and lack of respect. The truth will eventually emerge and the public will know why the defense minister has resigned or threatened to resign. The president has the opportunity to clarify anything that has not been understood among the security team. The command structure in a presidential arrangement runs from the president and commander in Chief through the Minister of Defense to the Chief of Staff Defense Headquarters and down the service chiefs.

The National Security Adviser is not in the command structure directly. His responsibility is akin to that of a coordinating secretary to the security apparatus. He brokers agreements, with departments; informs the president on a daily basis what the security situation of the country is, based on information from the service chiefs and other people in the national security team which includes the police. He also adds information from Minister of Foreign Affairs with regards to foreign threats. There should be no confusion whatsoever about the command structure and anybody who does not understand this ought not to be in the team for security demands strict adherence to the rules or prompt action/reaction during threats would be too much compromised.

It is important to note that what one was in the service in a prior life is of no consequence. If one was a 4-star general and the other was a mere sergeant and if the sergeant is the CIC or the minister of defense, he/she must command the 4-star general. This is how it goes in a civilian government as opposed to what obtains in military government. In a civilian administration the civilian commands the military, and takes salute from the highest military officer. Any security official who does not like this arrangement should resign or be fired. If in doubt go and read about President Truman and his generals and commanders. I think that the problem Nigeria is experiencing is due to our presidential constitution which we copied from the United States without proper training. It might be a good idea during the proposed National Conference to consider returning the country to the parliamentary system which we grew up in. It is much easier to operate. Mr. Jonathan should look into what happened and call somebody to order now or the country could be in trouble later. If indeed some ex this and ex that are messing with Nigerian security they too need to be shown the inside of a detention center and after due process the inside of a prison. The world would not end.

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba wrote in from Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

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