*Seeks Ghana’s collaboration to tackle arms proliferation
Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj Gen Babagana Monguno (rtd), has called on member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to be vigilant against coup d’etat.
The call is coming against the backdrop of recent military intervention in Mali, Burkinafaso and Equatorial Guinea within the last two years and Monday’s bombing of an Abuja-Kaduna bound train by terrorists as the region battles terrorism.
Monguno also sought greater collaboration between Nigeria and Ghana in order to contain the proliferation of small arms and light weapons.Monguno made the call in Accra, Ghana, where he delivered a lecture at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College titled: “The State of Security in West Africa: Curbing the Spread of Terrorism and Preventing Coup Contagion”.
A statement by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) said Monguno “underscored the importance of countering terrorism and violent extremism, transnational organised crime, climate change, cyber threats, porous borders and piracy/sea robbery in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG). “He further discussed the issue of coup d’états within the sub-region and reiterated the need for vigilance and cooperation”. In his meetings, Monguno conveyed the appreciation of President Muhammadu Buhari to the Ghanaian Minister of National Security for his visit to Nigeria in October 2021.
He congratulated the minister on the successful hosting of the maiden edition of ECOWAS Forum of NSAs and advised that the takeaways from the meeting which included “the need to strengthen collective regional response, developing capabilities to tackle regional threats and the development of regional security be vigorously pursued and implemented”.
The statement affirmed that in the course of his visit, Monguno met with senior Ghanaian and Nigerian officials, including the Minister of National Security, Hon Albert Kan-Dapaah, and Nigeria’s Envoy to Ghana, Ambassador Ibok–Ete Ekwe Ibas. He also paid a courtesy call on the Vice President of Ghana, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.
The NSA also visited the secretariat of the Accra Initiative (ACRI), where he was briefed on the organisation and its activities.
Monguno also discussed with Ghanaian officials the challenges of maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea and intimated them on the successes recorded via the Falcon Eye facility by Nigeria in curbing security threats in the maritime domain.
He underscored the need to deter the expansion of terrorist groups in East Burkina Faso and Southern Mali and suggested that these two axes be discussed in the next Accra Initiative Summit and ECOWAS Forum of NSAs.
Furthermore, the NSA called for cooperation among security agencies in Ghana and Nigeria in tackling the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, herders and farmers’ clashes, cross- border movement of criminals and drug trafficking in the region.