From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday warned security chiefs that he is not prepared to exit office as a failure and was prepared to make fresh changes if necessary to turn things around in the fight against insecurity.
He made this declaration at the presidential villa, Abuja during the National Council on Security meeting, which he presided over at the First Lady Conference Room.
The meeting with heads of security agencies was to allow him receive updates on security operations around the country.
Briefing State House Correspondents at the end of the meeting, National Security Adviser (NSA), Major Gen. Babagana Monguno (Retd), said the President also expressed his readiness to make more changes in the security architecture of the country if necessary.
He revealed that all the issues brought before the President centred mainly on the successes recorded in military operations in the North East.
According to him, large numbers of Boko Haram are surrendering in the North East, noting, “never had such large numbers leave the terrorist camp owing to the relentless activity of security agencies.”
The NSA who stated that there is good cooperation, synergy and intelligence-sharing among the armed forces, said President Buhari was happy with the briefs he received.
Said Monguno: “It is evident that a lot of successes have been recorded. Large numbers of people are surrendering in the north-east as a consequence of the relentless efforts of the armed forces, intelligence and security agencies.
“This is very, very evident. We’ve never had such large numbers of people defecting from the other side, back to the Nigerian side, mainly, as a result of many issues within the theatre, issues of infighting among the various factions of the terrorist groups.
“But the new drive of the armed forces, the police, the intelligence agencies, there’s been greatest cooperation, greater synergy intelligence sharing, as well as our partners in the regional intelligence fusion unit. So the President was briefed, the president is quite happy that there’s been tremendous success, especially with the advent of the new service chiefs and inspector-general of police.
“And he’s also made it very, very clear that he’s not ready to exit government as a failure. He is not going to tolerate that ;he’s made changes and is ready to make further changes if he is not satisfied. He is completely determined to ensure that that a lot has to be done.”
The NSA said the issue of hunger in the country, which he described as an “emergency situation”, was also discussed at the meeting.
He said the president has given directives to address the recent killings in Plateau state.
On the plans for Boko Haram insurgents who are surrendering, he said: “I don’t want to immediately divulge what has been decided on those plans till the president takes a firm decision.”