Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye and Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has told services chiefs that their best is not good enough as regards the security challenges in the country.
At a meeting with security heads at the Presidential Villa yesterday, he said excuses would no longer be tolerated as he expected them to live up to expectations.
Addressing state house correspondents at the end of the meeting, Babagana Monguno, National Security Adviser (NSA), said the president was briefed on how the rising security challenges across the country were being tackled.
Monguno said the president expressed displeasure over the lack of synergy among the security forces and asked them to work together to solve the nation’s security challenges.
He said Buhari ordered him to meet with governors of the North-West states in order to know the problems in their states and to find strategic solutions to them.
“A meeting was just concluded between Mr. President and heads of the security agencies, that is, the operational heads, consisting minister of defence, the service chiefs and, on the other hand, the intelligence components, that is, consisting of myself and the intelligence heads,” Monguno said.
“Today’s meeting basically focused on recent developments. Mr. President has expressed great concern over the declining security situation in the country. He is extremely unhappy about what is happening and he feels that, even though the security agencies are doing their best, their best is not good enough and wants and immediate reversal of the current trend and our misfortunes in all their dimensions.
“Mr. President also told us clearly in no uncertain terms that he and indeed the administration campaigned to power on the platform of three issues, fighting insecurity, overcoming our economic difficulties and dealing with the scourge of corruption. More so, he noted that it takes common sense for anyone to understand that, without security, the pursuit of the other two will 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 this country, he is not going to accept any further escalation of the security situation. He also stated that no one was forced on him, he selected everyone individually based on what he feels their records had revealed and, therefore, it is up to individual organisations to live up to expectations.
“Again, Mr. President has also said that it is extremely important that we in the security agencies must ensure that we justify the leadership by not disappointing the populace. He also pointed out the immediate areas of concern and these areas are also interlinked 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 they banditry on one hand in the North-West of Nigeria or terrorism in the North-East.”
The meeting took place amid calls on the President to address Nigeria’s rising security challenges.
Different groups have protested against the persistent attacks in the North, calling on the President to sack the service chiefs and to take decisive steps to address the security challenges.