- Says their best not good enough
By Egena Sunday Ode
Apparently irked by the deteriorating security situation in some parts of the country, President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the security chiefs to sit up and reverse the disturbing trend.
Killings by bandits in the North West of the country have spiked in recent times with the President last week charging the military commands to up their game against them. The trend had also led to protests in Katsina, Buhari’s home state.
At a meeting with the Security Chiefs and heads of security agencies on Thursday at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Buhari told them pointedly that their efforts to keep the citizens safe and secure wasn’t good enough.
Briefing State House Correspondents, after the meeting, the National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj. Gen. Babagana Mungonu (retd), said President Buhari also told them that he would no longer take any form of excuses on security matters, urging everyone to henceforth live up to expectations.
The NSA also disclosed that the President ordered him to meet with all North West governors including that of Niger State to dissect the problems and find immediate solutions.
Mungonu said: “ A 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 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 and 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 campaigned 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 has also said that, it is extremely important that we in the security agencies, must ensure that we justify the leadership by not disappointing the populace.
“He 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.”
According tothe NSA, the issue of unregistered SIM cards was also of great concern to the President noting that “we will not be able to get to the promised land unless we wrestle this issue of unrestrained acquisition of unregistered SIM cards.”
To that extent he said: “Mr. President has directed that I, as the National Security Adviser should link up with the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, to work out a blueprint to ensure the end of the irresponsible use of any SIM card.
Stating that the president also expressed concern over the lack of synergy within the security sector the NSA said “it 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.”
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.
He reassured Nigerians that each and every department or agency or component, would redouble its efforts to ensure that they reversed our dwindling security fortunes.
Reacting to a question on whether there was going to be changes in the leadership of the security team, he said only the President had the prerogative to sack the Service Chiefs .
“These are issues that only the President can address, I’m just an adviser. It’s up to Mr President, he has the prerogative to make any change at whatever time he deems fit,” he said.