- Govt: Security threats beyond arms, ammunition or robbery and gangsterism
- Jonathan expresses concern about poor security
Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
The federal government thursday called for the collaboration of Nigerians with the federal government and its agencies in the fight against the rising wave of insecurity threatening peace and stability in the country.
Briefing journalists at the end of the first Security Council meeting in 2020, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in the State House, Abuja, National Security Adviser, (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd.), described the security crisis as complex, external, internal and multi-dimensional.
The meeting came a day after the National Assembly had called for the resignation of the service chiefs and on the president to sack them if they fail to heed the call.
Both the Senate and the House of Representatives, at their respective plenary on Wednesday, had decried the spike in the country with the Senate calling on the president to declare a national security emergency.
The Senate summoned the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, to appear before it on Wednesday to brief the legislature on the modus operandi of the introduction of community policing in the country.
Also thursday, former President Goodluck Jonathan expressed worries over the rising wave of threats to lives and property in the country.
Giving further details about yesterday’s Security Council meeting, Monguno said they appraised the general security situation in the country and took a critical look at the challenges with a view to exploring the avenues of addressing them.
He explained that the meeting resolved that in view of the complexities of the country’s security crisis, the collaboration of Nigerians with the federal government was necessary in the overall efforts to comprehensively combat insecurity.
According to him, given the trend of the security challenges, every citizen needs to understand the necessity for all and sundry to work together to deal with the problem.
He added that the meeting explored various ways of tackling security challenges facing the country, adding that the modus operandi will be spelt out after consultations with all critical stakeholders.
Monguno said: “The meeting basically made an appraisal of the current security situation in the country and took a look at the possibilities of the opportunities available to government in addressing most of the recent challenges. There were discussions, and at the end of the day, the most important thing that we came up with is the need for collaboration both between governmental agencies and the larger Nigerian society because of the type of the insurgencies we are faced with, the complexities, the multiplicity of all kinds of issues.
“There is a need for both parties – governmental agencies on one hand and the larger society to collaborate more vigorously. There is a need for us to deal with these problems in a comprehensive manner. Therefore, council had decided to take a closer look at issues that will help us not just at the federal level or at the state level, but right down to the local government level. But this is going to be done after due consultations with the relevant stakeholders.”
Asked to describe the nature of challenges confronting security operatives, Monguno said they were not only multi-dimensional, but also external, internal and defence-related.
He said the nature of security challenges confronting the world in the 21st century were beyond the use of arms and ammunition or robbery and gangsterism. Rather, they will only take the decision of everyone working with various departments and agencies of government to prescribe solutions to the menace.
“The major challenges are multidimensional. In terms of security, challenges are both internal, external and defence-related as well as diplomatic as well as economic. So, you will begin to appreciate the extent to which we need to work. These major challenges, every ministry, department and agency is aware of the aspect it has to deal with.
“The issue of security in the context of the 21st Century is not an issue of just arms and ammunition or robbers and gangsters. It’s a multiple situation. The canvass is very very expensive and we are looking at it in a comprehensive manner.
“The challenges, all of us are aware of, and that is why in a nutshell, I said there is a need for this government and the larger society to work together to find a solution to this problem. No one is oblivious of the enormity of the problem at hand. Government is aware and that is why we had this meeting at the highest level,” he added.
Asked if the call on Wednesday by the National Assembly for the sacking of service chiefs was considered in the meeting, Monguno said such matter did not come up for discussion.
He also said the call for the declaration of emergency over the country’s security situation by the federal legislature was also not discussed.
Present at the security meeting were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Abubakar Sadique.
Others were Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu; Minister of Police Affairs, Mr. Abubakar Dingyadi and Minister of Interior, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, among others.
Jonathan Expresses Worries over Insecurity
Also thursday, Jonathan expressed worries that so many people are increasingly being killed, kidnapped or become victims of other violent crimes in Nigeria.
He told members of the executive of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) who visited him in Abuja to commiserate with him over the December 24, 2019 attack on his country home in Otuoke in Bayelsa State, that the killing of a soldier in the Christmas eve attack was condemnable.
He said: “I thank you for coming to sympathise with me and my family. The fact that a soldier lost his life in that attack traumatised me. That young man wouldn’t have died the way he did if he was not protecting me.
“Whenever people come to me, just as you people have come, to talk about that attack, I feel worried about the general society.
Whenever I consider that people could do that to a former president who has reasonable security guarding him, my mind reaches out to the rest of Nigerians who do not have that level of protection. I am worried that so many people are becoming victims of sporadic shootings, kidnappings and so on. I believe that the country will get over the kind of insecurity it currently faces.”
Speaking earlier, NANS President, Mr. Danielson Akpan, had said they came to sympathise with the former president over the attack in his house and to thank him for his legacies in the education sector.