Insecurity: NSA reveals how Buhari’s chief of staff now controls Nigeria’s armed forces

February 17, 2020
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Abba Kyari, the chief of staff to President Muhammadu Buhari has been interfering in counterinsurgency war going on the northeast, thus making the nation’s service chiefs ineffective.

National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (retd.), stated this in a memo to the service chiefs the Premium Times published February 17.

According to Monguno, Kyari was fond of giving orders to the service chiefs without the knowledge of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

In the letter dated December 9, 2019, and titled, ‘Disruption of the national security framework by unwarranted meddlesomeness’, the NSA said, “Such acts and continuous meddlesomeness by the Chief of Staff have not only ruptured our security and defence efforts but have slowed down any meaningful gain that Mr President has sought to achieve.”

He further stated that while it is expected that all heads of security agencies, having spent many years in service would understand means of passing directives from the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, it may be necessary to remind all, in the face of glaring breaches to that procedure.

“For clarification, other than direct verbal directives from the President, written directives emanating from Mr President would be conveyed with a copy of his manuscript directive or at minimum, bear his signature.

“Additionally, Mr President may convey directives to the heads of defence and security apparatus through the NSA who chairs the Intelligence Community Committee, Joint Intelligence Board and General Security Appraisal Committee on behalf of the President and the supervising ministers of defence and security agencies.

“It should be noted that the Chief of Staff to the President does not direct security apparatus of the Federal Republic of Nigeria — his job as it relates to security stops at conveying Mr President’s written directives.

“Similarly, you are reminded 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 organisations 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.”

He urged the service chief to be aware that the security of Nigeria requires concerted and centralized efforts, taking into account internal, external and diplomatic factors.

According to him, it is not proper for the nation’s collective security that the Chief of Staff who is a non-supervising minister holds meetings with diplomats, security chiefs and heads of intelligence agencies.

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