Of Monguno, Abba Kyari and national security

Yusuff Abdulrasaq

Nigeria’s security situation is getting more serious, causing uproar among the citizens who are concerned about the management of security in the country and the measures deployed to address in the face of insecurity.

Of course, this would be a matter of concern to Nigerians; having almost defeated the terrorist groups and saw all territorial extensions returned to the sovereignty of the nation. Yet being objective, we cannot deny that as critical as the situation is today, it is still better than what it was in 2014 when 17 LGAs in Borno alone carried the Boko Haram flag.

More so, we must commend everyone that ensured the reversal and helped the President achieve a significant beat back of the terrorists including, especially the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno and the Service Chiefs.

Maybe the time of the Service Chiefs may be up or not, we expect Mr President to sort that out. But we must commend the courage of the NSA for calling out the perceived all-powerful cabal arrowhead, the Chief of Staff, for his meddlesomeness in the affairs of National Security.

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It is indeed a patriotic duty to be so resolute and insist like the NSA has done that at a time like this the Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, ought not to be messing with affairs of National Security because Nigerians expect results, not the interloping obstacles of a power-drunk Chief of Staff.

In a memo by the National security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno, sent through the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari capabilities of the Service Chiefs and the security chiefs were exposed, did I just say exposed? Yes, the issues with orders to the security chiefs were called to order, so it could be curtailed, because of the sensitivity of the National Security Adviser.

Even when Security experts, opposition and lawmakers had advised the president to fire his service chiefs. The NSA’s memo showed the side of professionalism, beating our imagination by pointing out the loopholes, obviously, the one that got to the public knowledge is that addressed to the Chief of Staff to the President.
Although the memo was confidential until it was leaked, it kept us abreast of the efforts and energy put in by the National Security Adviser.

For the country’s best interest, it is important to be apolitical in addressing a very sensitive case, as it should be in security matters.

The NSA, Babagana Monguno, accused President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, of undue and dangerous interference on national security matters.

If not for the expatriate knowledge of the former, such issues may have gone unnoticed, justifying the rightfulness of President Buhari’s Choice of the National Security Adviser.

From records, General Mohammed Babagana Monguno is a renowned security expert and a retired Nigerian military general. He was the Chief of Defence Intelligence from July 2009 to September 2011; and the Commander of the Brigade of Guards from 2007 to 2009.

Monguno as the National Security Adviser from 2015 to date, acted in his best capacity, recovering the Local Governments controlled by the Boko Haram Terrorist group, and ensuring that Nigerians put the nightmare of the Boko Haram before them, not until recently.

Looking at the provision of the constitution, Major General Monguno had said in the December 9, 2019, letter, that the “Chief of staff to the president is not a presiding head of security, neither is he sworn to an oath of defending the country.”

“As such, unprofessional practices such as presiding over meetings with service chiefs and heads of security organizations as well as ambassadors and high commissioners to the exclusion of the NSA and/or supervising ministers are a violation of the Constitution and directly undermine the authority of Mr. President.

“Such acts and continues meddlesomeness by the chief of staff have not only ruptured our security an defence efforts but have slowed down any meaningful gain that Mr President has sought to achieve.”

This detailed and well spelt out address carries a vital point important in addressing the insecurity in Nigeria as it comes back to the stage. And again, it is one of the most courageous steps to take against the indicted in for the best of the country.

What should happen is a national outrage on why a Chief of Staff should be preventing an NSA from doing his job? How long has this been going on? And definitely, there is a need to end such shenanigans.

And what NSA has done is an indicator that Chief of Staff has been meddling with other people’s jobs, from the Vice President to the ministers. It is believed the Transport Minister, Works and Housing Minister, former Agriculture Minister, Education Minister and many more have had to protest the meddlesomeness of the Chief of Staff.

When the President of the United States of America fired the then National security adviser, John Bolton, over foreign policy challenges, Mr Trump and his aides privately blamed the national security adviser for news reports describing Mr. Bolton’s opposition to the deal.

The National Security Adviser of Nigeria may have been scared not to be ousted too by aligning with the acclaimed orders of Kyari, but he never did, rather he was courageous to call to order a man that was supposed to be his boss as the chief of staff.

This is the greatest height of Professionalism and it could be said of the National Security Adviser, Babagana Mugono, to be the best choice of President Muhammadu Buhari, for courageously pointing out the breaches in the security as against the constitution.

It is NSA’s courage that has now brought the matter out in the open and the expectation of the nation now is enough, Mr. Chief of Staff!

Yusuff Abdulrasaq writes from Abuja



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