Security: Excuses Will No Longer Be Tolerated, Buhari Tells Service Chiefs

President Muhammadu Buhari with the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, at the State House in Abuja on June 18, 2020. Inset: the service chiefs.

 

 

The President is not pleased with the way insecurity is being handled in many parts of the country and is not mincing words about it.

This indication came after President Muhammadu Buhari met with the Service Chiefs on Thursday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

He warned the heads of the nation’s security agencies that excuses would no longer be tolerated and asked them to do more to secure the nation and its people.

While the service chiefs are trying their best to tackle the issue of insecurity in the country, President Buhari insisted that their best is not good enough.

The National Security Adviser (NSA), Retired Major General Babagana Monguno, disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of the meeting.

He added that the President has ordered him to meet with the state governors in the North-West and that of Niger State, in other to identify the problems and find solutions to them.

President Buhari met with the service chiefs against the backdrop of bandit attacks on communities in the region, including those in his home state – Katsina.

The attacks have left several people dead and many others injured in the affected states, while lots of properties were destroyed by the bandits.

This sparked criticism over the worsening insecurity in the country, especially the North West where the armed men have wreaked havoc in recent times.

As part of efforts to address the situation, Monguno, in company with the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu and others had embarked on a fact-finding mission to Katsina and Sokoto States.

Thursday’s meeting had in attendance the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar; the Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai.

Others included the police boss; the Chief of Defence Intelligence Agency, Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Usman, the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mr Yusuf Bichi; and the Director-General Nigeria Intelligence Agency Ahmed Abubakar.

President Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, and some other members of the President’s cabinet were also at the meeting.

They included the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; Minister of Defence, Retired Major General Bashir Magashi; and Monguno.

Highlights of the meeting are captured in the pictures below:

President Buhari Meets With Service Chiefs

President Muhammadu Buhari with the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, at the State House in Abuja on June 18, 2020. Inset: the service chiefs.

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday held a closed-door meeting with the nation’s service chiefs.

The meeting took place at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

Earlier, the service chiefs, led by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, arrived at the seat of power at about 8:50am and proceeded straight to the Council Chambers.

President Buhari joined the service chiefs about 10 minutes later and the meeting immediately went into a closed session.

The meeting had in attendance the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar; the Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok Ekwe Ibas; the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai; and the Chief of Defence Intelligence Agency, Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Usman.

Others included the Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu; the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mr Yusuf Bichi; and the Director-General Nigeria Intelligence Agency Ahmed Abubakar.

President Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, and some other members of the President’s cabinet were also at the meeting.

They include the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; Minister of Defence, Retired Major General Bashir Magashi; the National Security Adviser, Retired Major General Babagana Monguno.

Highlights of the meeting are captured in the pictures below:

Buhari Meets With Service Chiefs, Assures Nigerians Of Safety

President Muhammadu Buhari presides over a meeting with the service chiefs in Abuja on May 14, 2020.

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has reassured citizens in the country of his commitment to securing the lives and property of all.

He gave the reassurance at the National Security Council meeting held on Thursday at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, revealed the President’s position while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the meeting.

He said he briefed the council, along with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, on the security situation and the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the country.

READ ALSO: Recovered COVID-19 Patients In Nigeria Surpass 1,000

The meeting had in attendance, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, heads of various security agencies, and some ministers.

They included the Minister of Defence, Retired Major General Bashir Magashi; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami; and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, among others.

The services chiefs were led to the State House by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin.

Also present were the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar; the Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and Army’s Chief of Policy and Plans, Lieutenant General Lamidi Adeosun.

Others included the Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu; and Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mr Yusuf Bichi.

Highlights of the meeting are captured in the pictures below:

President Muhammadu Buhari with the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, at the State House in Abuja on May 14, 2020.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari presides over a meeting with the service chiefs in Abuja on May 14, 2020.

 

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, at a meeting with the President in Abuja on May 14, 2020.

 

The Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok Ekwe Ibas, at a meeting with the President in Abuja on May 14, 2020.

 

The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, at a meeting with the President in Abuja on May 14, 2020.

 

PHOTOS: Buhari Holds ‘Special’ Meeting With Service Chiefs, IGP

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday held a special meeting with  Service Chiefs and the Inspector-General of Police.

The meeting was held at the council chambers in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Those at the meeting include the Chief of Defence of Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant Tukur Yusuf Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar and Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammad Adamu.

RELATED: Presidency Keeps Mum Over Kyari, Monguno Dispute

Details and purpose of the meeting are still unknown at the time of this report.

Meanwhile, the national security adviser, Babagana Monguno was absent at the meeting.

It will be recalled that Monguno in a leaked memo accused the Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari of undue interference on national security matters.

Moguno in the memo also alleged that Kyari issues directives to the service chiefs without the prior knowledge or approval of the president.

See photos from the below…

 

VIDEO: ‘You Don’t Sack People Like That,’ SGF Reacts To Calls For Service Chiefs’ Removal

A file photo of the Service Chiefs at a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on January 17, 2020.

 

 

The Federal Government has explained why the service chiefs cannot be removed yet amid calls that they should be sacked.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, made the position of the government known to reporters on Tuesday in Abuja.

“You don’t sack people like that; there are processes and I believe that at the opportune time, those processes … if need be,” he said.

According to Mustapha, Nigeria is in a difficult situation; hence synergy is needed within the intelligence community to address insecurity.

He spoke on the sidelines of the public presentation of a book entitled ‘CAN, Religion and Power in Nigeria’ held at the National Christian Centre in the nation’s capital.

The book was authored by a former general secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Mr Samuel Salifu.

Watch the video below:

Planned Protest Against Service Chiefs Aimed At Embarrassing Buhari – Presidency

 

The Presidency has accused the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of planning a protest for the removal of service chiefs over poor security on the country.

According to the Presidency, the protest is an effort is to embarrass President Muhammadu Buhari.

“The Presidency wishes to caution a section of the political class against misleading the public and inciting protests against the heads of military institutions.

“This has become necessary in view of received reports that about two thousand men and women have been hired to demonstrate against Nigeria’s service chiefs on Monday,” the statement which is signed by the senior special adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu said.

Shehu in the statement added that “this imminent gathering is the latest in a series of demonstrations orchestrated by the opposition to embarrass the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.”

READ ALSO: Insecurity: Presidency Has No Power To Stop Peaceful Protests – Falana

He added that PDP had earlier commenced a march from one embassy to the other in protest against the Buhari administration and the nation’s highest court of justice, the Supreme Court.

“They are keen to give the impression that Nigerians are in support of them as they take to the streets, and they will go to any length to promote this false narrative.”

Speaking concerning the recent incident in Maiduguri, Borno State, where a group of people were recorded booing President Buhari, Shehu said this is a part of PDP’s ‘elaborate scheme.’

“It is misleading, as some analysts have tried to do, to read this as the verdict against President Buhari, who emerged winner with 94 percent of the votes cast in the Presidential election in the state in February last year.”

Shehu, therefore, stressed that the people in the video were hired few all just to embarrass the President.

President Buhari Is Breaking The Law – Falana

 

 

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana on Monday said President Muhammadu Buhari is running afoul of the law in his decision not to terminate the current crop of security Service Chiefs.

Mr Falana, who appeared on Sunrise Daily, argued that the laws regulating military officers require the retirement of military officers who have served for 35 years or have reached the age of 60.

He added that a lawsuit would be filed this week in respect of the matter.

In an interview that lasted more than 20 minutes, Mr Falana also said President Buhari “must be prevailed upon” to acknowledge the possibility of “internal sabotage” within the military in the war against insurgency.

READ ALSO: Presidency Has No Power To Stop Peaceful Protests – Falana

Responding to statements from the Presidency cautioning against public protests against the government, Mr Falana said such comments should be “embarrassing” to the President who, before he took the country’s reins, had led public demonstrations.

What Falana Actually Said

“Under the public service rule, under the harmonised rules for military officers in Nigeria and under Section 6 of the armed forces act, which empowers the President to make rules and regulations for the military, there is no provision for extension of tenure (for Service Chiefs) beyond the period stipulated by law. It has been done in the past, but that does not make it right. There is equality before the law, so you can’t extend the service of certain officers while you ask others to go after 35 years of service or the attainment of 60 years of age. 

“To the best of my knowledge, a suit will be filed during the week, in respect of this matter. 

A file photo of human rights lawyer, Femi Falana.
A file photo of human rights lawyer, Femi Falana.

 

“The President must be prevailed upon to appreciate that we may also be undergoing what you might describe as internal sabotage (in the fight against insurgency) by many members of the armed forces who simply feel since these are the people who can stop insurgency or terrorism, let them go ahead. Because the Chief of Army Staff himself has had an occasion to accuse members of the armed forces of not doing enough. 

“The Service Chiefs are retiring officers who have served for 35 years or have reached the age of 60 – it is their fault not to appeal to the President for them to go or to resign. 

On Caution Against Public Protests

“Is the Nigerian state telling us that a protest by 2,000 people cannot be managed? What on earth is going on? We have to recognise the right of Nigerians to protest for or against the government. And just last week in Abuja sponsored agents of the government staged a protest asking the government to expel Amnesty International from Nigeria. Even against me, the government had sponsored some elements to demonstrate in Abuja. I have evidence. If the government can mobilise support and get its agents to demonstrate in favour of its own policies; Nigerians must also be given the opportunity to demonstrate against policies of the government considered inimical to their interest.

“I want to believe that some of these statements oozing out of the Presidency are meant to embarrass the government, particularly President Muhammadu Buhari. Because the case of ANPP and Inspector General of Police decided by the Court of Appeal in December 2007 on the rights of Nigerians to demonstrate without police permit, without the fiat of the government, was handled for the former leaders of the ANPP, who are now in the APC, by my humble self, from the High Court to the Court of Appeal; and that is the law today.

“Following that judgement, the National Assembly in 2015 amended the Public Order Act by imposing a duty on the police to provide security for Nigerians who wish to demonstrate. That is the law today. 

“Whenever I have had cause to lead a demonstration or participate in one, we have always written to the police for protection, not for permit. And I must confess, so far, I have not had any case where we have been told not to demonstrate. The only time, I think, was last year when Professor Soyinka and I were supposed to address a meeting and the police said it won’t take place; I said no, call the authorities, this is the right we have fought for and won. And in fairness to them, we were allowed to have the program. 

“What is particularly embarrassing is that on the 20th of November 2014, the Presidential Candidate of the APC, General Muhammadu Buhari, now President Muhammadu Buhari, the then APC Chairman, Chief John Oyegun, two current Ministers, Dr. Sylvester Onu and Rotimi Amaechi, led others to demonstrate in Abuja against insecurity in the country, and they were more than 2,000. Heavens did not fall and heavens will not fall this time around.”

Beneficiaries Of Boko Haram Insurgency Paying People To Protest Against Service Chiefs – Presidency

A file photo of the Service Chiefs at a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on January 17, 2020.

 

 

The Presidency has cautioned those it described as “a section of the political class” against misleading the public and inciting protests against the heads of military institutions in the country.

The President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, gave the warning in a statement on Saturday.

He said, “A group of politicians and beneficiaries of the Boko Haram insurgency is right now paying for people to join their planned protest against our country’s service chiefs.”

This follows the various calls by prominent citizens in the country for the sack of the service chiefs over the spate of killings and crimes recorded recently.

Also worried about the security situation, some lawmakers in the Senate and House of Representatives chambers of the National Assembly recently called for the replacement of the service chiefs with those with fresh ideas.

 

A False Narrative?

In Saturday’s statement, Shehu raised an alarm that the Presidency had received reports that about 2,000 men and women have been hired to protest against the service chiefs on Monday.

He also accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as being one of the sponsors of the demonstration, but the opposition party has yet to respond to the allegation.

The President’s spokesman said, “This imminent gathering is the latest in a series of demonstrations orchestrated by the opposition to embarrass the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“As part of this overall scheme, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, with its belligerent politics, has been marching from one embassy to the other in protest against the Buhari administration and the nation’s highest court of justice, the Supreme Court.

“They are keen to give the impression that Nigerians are in support of them as they take to the streets, and they will go to any length to promote this false narrative.”

 

Cheer Vs Boo

Following the killing of 30 travellers along the Maiduguri – Damaturu Road in the North East, President Buhari had paid a condolence visit to Borno State.

There were reports that a crowd of residents trooped to the streets and booed the President, supposedly over the recent attacks by the insurgents in the state.

President Buhari with Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, and Shehu of Borno, HRM Abubakar Umar El-Kanemi, at the Shehu’s Palace on February 12, 2020.

 

 

Although Shehu did not deny that his principal was booed, he insisted that those jeered him were ‘a handful’ while the President was cheered by a crowd.

He claimed that the incident was part of the elaborate scheme of the opposition and criticised those who termed to be a verdict against the President.

“This was clearly a hired few, but the news was promoted by the opposition who had, of course, positioned themselves to record the booing – all just to embarrass the President,” he said.

The presidential aide, however, urged the media to remain unbiased and discerning in their reporting.

Polytechnic Students Issue Three Weeks Ultimatum To Sack Service Chiefs

A file photo of the service chiefs during a meeting with the President in Abuja.

 

 

The National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS) has decried the heightened insecurity in many parts of the country.

They, therefore, called for the sack of all the service chiefs and demanded that they should be replaced with new officers with new ideas.

The President of NAPS, Sunday Asuku, made the demand on behalf of the students while addressing a news conference at the end of the union’s meeting on Friday at the Kaduna Polytechnic in Kaduna State.

According to him, the students have threatened to embark on a peaceful protest if the Federal Government fails to sack the service chiefs after three weeks.

Asuku stressed that the government led by President Muhammad Buhari allocated a huge sum of money for security in the budget, in addition to the borrowings to acquire equipment.

Despite this, he decried that banditry, kidnapping, terrorism, and other related crimes were still on the increase.

The NAPS president noted the recent killing of the chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State by insurgents in the North East.

He added that a student of the University of Maiduguri and several others also lost their lives to the activities of Boko Haram insurgents and bandits in the northern region of the country.

The students, according to Asuku, faulted the National Assembly for failing to recommend the immediate replacement of the service chiefs who they said have passed retirement age.

They threatened to embark on a peaceful protest after three weeks if the government fails to sack the service chiefs and protect the lives and property of the citizens.

Security: Take The Battle To These Criminals, Gbajabiamila Tells Service Chiefs

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, speaks during a meeting in Abuja on February 5, 2020.

 

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has asked the armed forces to take the battle to the criminals in their hideouts, in a bid to tackle the security challenges in the country.

He stated this on Wednesday when he met with the service chiefs and the joint House Committees on ‎Defence, Army, Navy and Air Force at the National Assembly complex in Abuja.

Those present included Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.

The meeting comes one week after the House and the Senate dedicated a whole day to debate the issue of insecurity in the country, with the lawmakers calling for the resignation of the service chiefs.

According to the speaker, security is a priority of the 9th House of Representatives and will be addressed frontally.

He told the service chiefs that Nigerians were on the necks of their representatives in the House over the security situation in the country.

Gbajabiamila noted that although the service chiefs were doing a lot, the anxiety among Nigerians was enough reason for the military commanders to redouble their efforts.

He said, “I thought I should be here to encourage everybody that we’re all on the same page. We all know the situation in Nigeria today, we can’t hide from it; we can’t shy away from it, we cannot pretend that it doesn’t exist.

“We spent practically the whole day on Wednesday (last week) discussing the security situation in Nigeria as expected. Simultaneously, the Senate was doing the same thing without us comparing notes.”

The lawmaker decried that people were dying daily in such a way he said could only be found in countries without security forces.

He stressed, ‎”We must think outside the box; we must take the battle to these criminals whatever they are‎.

“As I said at the State House the other day, Nigerians are anxious, but I do understand the limitations of the Armed Forces.”

Gbajabiamila, however, commended the service chiefs, as well as men and women of the Armed Forces for doing their best and sacrificing their lives for the country.

He promised that the House would continue to engage the armed forces to find a lasting solution to the security challenges.

The speaker assured the service chiefs of improved support of the lawmakers, highlighting funding, equipment, and recruitment of personnel as some of the challenges they face.

“I believe the committee is well equipped to handle these issues. This is our priority. It’s the government’s priority, and it should also be our priority in the House.

“It’s major in our legislative agenda and we must address it frontally, squarely,” he said.

UPDATED: Buhari Meets With Service Chiefs Amid Calls For Their Removal

Less than 24 hours after lawmakers in the National Assembly called for their resignation President Muhammadu Buhari is holding a meeting with the service Chiefs in the council chambers in Abuja.

The meeting kicked off at 10:00 am with the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo in attendance.

READ ALSO: National Security: Senators Ask Buhari To Fire Service Chiefs, Demand IGP’s Resignation

Also in attendance is the Chief of Defence Staff, Service Chiefs, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Chief of Staff to the President, Ministers of Interiors, Defence and the Heads of the DSS, NIA and the DMI.

The meeting which holds on a quarterly basis appraises security situations with a view to determining options available.

At the end of the meeting, the National Security Adviser, Mohammed Monguno told journalists that the resolutions of the House of Representatives yesterday on the service chiefs did not come up for discussion.

The major outcome of the meeting according to him is the resolve to deepen collaboration between government agencies and the bigger society.

The Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Samson Ayokunle, and lawmakers are among those that have called for the removal of service chiefs in recent weeks.

Some senators on Thursday asked President Buhari to sack the Service Chiefs and also called for the resignation of the IGP, Mohammed Adamu.

The lawmakers made the demands in their respective contributions to the discussion on the security situation in the country during plenary yesterday.

Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe in his contribution called for the resignation of President Buhari. He explained that his call for the President to resign was because he had failed to solve the security challenges in the country, years after Nigerians voted the APC government into power to address the problem.

Members of the House of Representatives during plenary on Thursday also called on the service chiefs to resign their positions.

According to a member of the House, Abubakar Fulata, it will be to the detriment of the country “if these men keep doing the same thing repeatedly and expect a different result in tackling the security challenges Nigeria is grappling with.”

UPDATED: House Of Reps Asks Service Chiefs To Resign

A file photo of the service chiefs during a meeting with the President in Abuja.

 

 

Members of the House of Representatives have called on the service chiefs to resign their positions.

This formed part of the resolutions reached after the lawmakers had a debate on the nation’s security during Wednesday’s plenary in Abuja.

A member of the House, Abubakar Fulata, had informed his colleagues in the chamber that the service chiefs had outlived their usefulness.

According to him, it will be to the detriment of the country if these men keep doing the same thing repeatedly and expect a different result in tackling the security challenges Nigeria is grappling with.

The lawmaker stressed the need for the service chiefs to resign since President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to sack them.

He also called for the redeployment of soldiers serving in various theatres of war in the North-East region of the country.

The military personnel, Fulata noted, have stayed too long at the war front and were exhausted.

He added that the soldiers should be replaced to improve the onslaught against insurgents in the region.

Presiding over the plenary, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila put the question, as moved by Fulata, to the lawmakers whether the service chiefs should resign and leave their offices.

Although there was a divide among the members in their response, a majority of the lawmakers answered in the affirmative and the resolution was passed.

While the performance of the service chiefs became a focus at the House chamber, national security formed a major discussion in the Senate.

Like the green chamber, the red chamber asked President Buhari to declare a national security emergency.

Some lawmakers – Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, as well as Senators Musa Sani, Betty Apiafi, and Solomon Adeola, asked the President to sack the service chiefs.

They also called for the resignation of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu.

The service chiefs include the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar; and the Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok Ekwe Ibas.