By Ismaila Chafe
President Muhammadu Buhari is disturbed by the apparent lack of synergy among security agencies in the ongoing campaign against insurgency, banditry and other violent crimes in the country.
The National Security Adviser, retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, said the president made his position known at a meeting with security chiefs at the State House, Abuja.
The meeting was attended by the Minister of Defence, retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi; Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari and the service chiefs.
Others who attended the meeting include the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Muhammed Adamu; Director-Generals of the Department of State Services and National Intelligence Agency, Mr Yusuf Bichi and Mr Ahmed Rufa’I, respectively.
Speaking to State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, Monguno said that the president was highly disturbed on the issue of lack of synergy within the nation’s security sector.
“This has to be addressed and he has left us in no doubt.
“Unless we address this issue and form a single front, the convergence of efforts, the confluence of all ideas be that operational or intelligence, must be achieved.
“We must have a central platform to coordinate all the efforts, all operations and security.’’
Monguno said the security chiefs were in no uncertain terms, reminded that the Buhari administration came to power on the platform of three issues namely: fighting insecurity, over-coming economic difficulties and dealing with the scourge of corruption.
The president stated that without security, the pursuit of the other two would just be an exercise in futility.
He, therefore, warned the security agencies to take into consideration the wider implication of the gradual decent of the security of the country as he would not accept any further escalation of the security situation.
The NSA also cited Buhari to have pointed out other immediate areas of concern to include proliferation of drugs, small arms and light weapons as well as the use of unregistered SIM cards.
Monguno said: “These areas are also inter-linked and we must find a way out, especially the issue of proliferation of drugs, small arms and light weapons.
“These two issues also go hand-in-hand with the major issues of criminality in this country, be them banditry on one hand in the North-West of Nigeria or terrorism in the North-East.
“Now, added to this, is another area that raises concern, which is the use of unregistered SIM cards.
“In my own brief, I dwelt on that issue and I raised concern that whatever we intend to achieve, we will not be able to get to the Promised Land, unless we wrestle this issue of unrestrained acquisition of unregistered SIM cards.
“Mr President has directed that I, as the national security adviser should link up with the minister of communications and digital economy, to work out a blueprint to ensure the end of the irresponsible use of any SIM card.
“Of course, I urged my colleagues, the inspector-general of police and director-general of the Department of State Services to help on this issue.’’
Monguno disclosed that his office would soon initiate a meeting with governors of the North-West geo-political zone, including that of Niger, to find a lasting solution to security challenges in the states.