CSOs to Tinubu: Don’t Use NSA’s Appointment for Political Patronage

Deji Elumoye in Abuja

A coalition of civil society organisations and community security has advised President Bola Tinubu not to use the appointment of the National Security Adviser (NSA) as compensation for political support.

According to the coalition, the advice became necessary given the critical role the occupant of the office of the NSA plays in the security and stability of the nation.

Giving the admonition at a press briefing in Abuja yesterday, the Executive Director of the People’s Care And Advocacy Initiative (TPCAI), Danladi Isaac, said the coalition was compelled to draw the president’s attention because of the imperative to avoid mistakes.

He said: “The NSA serves as the chief adviser to Mr. President on matters of national security. In other words, he manages national security on behalf of the President and serves as his chief adviser on all matters that are vital to the very survival of the state. In normal times, national security looks to just protect citizens from internal and external threats.

“But this is no normal times. Nigeria’s present security challenges are daunting. The new NSA must be a knowledgeable, innovative, and experienced personality that understands the security architecture of Nigeria.

“A personality that will earn technical support from global security apparatus for new secure Nigeria. There is no room for mediocrity and luke warmness. A tried and tested hand, who has transformed or built a national security and diplomatic outfit will be a good fit.

“There is no time for theoreticians and office workers. It is urgent and critical. There is a crying need for complete transformative change in the security architectures in Nigeria.

“In the last five years, the issues of banditry, kidnapping, farmer-herdsmen clashes, illegal mining and oil bunkering have reached astronomical and intolerable heights that must be handled by not just a competent man in just military security, but a proactive, bold, calculative,  well respected,  and that will be accepted.

“Apart from the aforementioned military security challenges, there are issues of economic security, involving multi-national agreements, mutual inter-dependence and availability of natural resources, with the freedom to exercise choice of policies to develop a nation’s economy in the manner desired by the exigencies of the market forces.

“We cannot also forget cybersecurity. Electronic information systems are vital for maintaining the national security of any nation. Possible unauthorised access to the critical governmental infrastructures by state and non-state entities can create a serious threat and have a negative impact on the entire security landscape of the Nation, Mr. President Sir.

“This is not the time to use the appointment of NSA for political compensation, but for National re- architectures and engineering of security systems.

“President Tinubu is a vastly experienced politician, who judging by his utterances and actions in the last two weeks and more importantly who knows the gargantuan security challenges we presently face as a nation, would not be easily cowed by politically-induced influence but pragmatic consideration in the appointment of his NSA.

“We urge and appeal Mr. President to shun politics in this vital appointment and consult widely for a logical conclusion by putting a round peg in a round hole in his choice as National Security Adviser.

The coalition expressed confidence in the ability of Tinubu to deliver, noting that his first two weeks in office has provided the foundation for dialogue and consensus building.

According to the group, “It is exactly two weeks since the Tinubu’s administration came into being. It is two weeks in which most Nigerians have adopted a let-us-wait-and-see attitude for now. This is largely due to the handling of topical national issues by President Tinubu.

“The removal of the subsidy on petrol, was an issue that could easily have ignited fire amongst the populace, but President Tinubu doused the tension when he promptly intervened by physically having meetings with the stakeholders in the oil industry as well as with the Labour Union, to calm agitating nerves.

“He was also able to convince the health workers to sheath their swords by suspending their strike. He also signed into law the harmonisation of judiciary officers across all levels in terms of their retirement age and pension.

“And just on Monday, June 12, the Democracy Day, he also signed into law, the student loan bill, which basically provides interest-free loans to indigenous Nigerian students to pursue their education with less stress.

“All these in two weeks. While this period is definitely nothing in the assessment of Tinubu’s administration, it is a pointer that he is ready to provide platforms for dialogue and consensus building.”

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