…We can’t overcome security threats in short period—NSA
…NGF hires lawyers against EFCC on security votes
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA — National Economic Council, NEC, has set up a committee in the six-geopolitical zones of the country to decentralise operations of Nigeria Police Force.
This came as National Security Adviser, NSA, Babagana Monguno, said ongoing security challenges in the country were asymmetric, which cannot be overcome within a short period.
This is even as Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, has hired the services of lawyers to challenge intrusion in the security votes of state governors.
Briefing State House correspondents after the monthly NEC meeting presided over by Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo at Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday, the NSA also said the Federal Government was looking at security issues coming from outside the country.
He explained that the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, will head the decentralisation of the operations of the committee.
He also stated that the security heads, while briefing NEC, harped on the need for states to collaborate and support the Federal Government in the determined efforts to deal with each security threat even as he decried lack of synergy among security heads.
He, however, noted that in the last few weeks, there has been some understanding among the security operations, adding that the improvements in the security situations in the country in recent times has nothing to do with the forthcoming general elections.
Monguno said: “I briefed on behalf of the security agencies, both operational and intelligence. I gave a general overview of the security situation in the country, the current situation and the trends and also the challenges that we are confronted with.
“These threats are increasingly asymmetric in nature and I stressed upon the need to deal with these problems in a more collective manner.
“It is true that it is the responsibility of the security agencies to deal with these threats, but the complexities of insecurity in the 21st century are such that you need a whole of government and a whole of society approach in dealing with these issues.”
On lack of coordination among security agencies
On why there was no coordination among security agencies on the invasion of Benue State by policemen and that of the National Assembly by operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS, he said, the issue was being addressed.
He said: “On lack of coordination, it is not easy to coordinate. Yes, all security agencies are supposed to be centrally coordinated but sometimes we have issues. But these issues are being addressed right now and that is probably why we are beginning to see some improvements.”
FG probing alleged missing 17,000 Nigerians
Also fielding question on what government was doing on the report by Red Cross that over 17,000 Nigerians were missing, he said the allegation was being looked into by relevant agencies of government.
He said: “That report is being looked at by different agencies of government and we are awaiting their report before we can comment on that.”
NGF hires lawyers against EFCC on security votes
Also answering question on EFCC’s investigation of security votes of some governors, Governor Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State said the matter was discussed at the governors forum meeting.
“It was discussed at the governors forum and the position is that we will have our lawyers see the legality of doing that. After giving us the report, then we will see the next line of action to take,’’ he said.
He also said that the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, briefed NEC and stated that states were owing N41 billion on Value Added Tax, VAT, and appealed for the indebted states to pay up their debts.