From Fred Itua, Abuja and Sola Ojo, Kaduna
Hundreds of aggrieved persons protesting festering insecurity in the country have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd) and Defence Minister, Maj. Gen. Bashir Salihi Magashi (retd) for allegedly abdicating their duties.
The protesters who are members of the Guardians of Democracy and Development Initiative (GDDI) commenced their march from the Abuja Unity Fountain wielding placards and banners with inscriptions like: “Defence Minister is incompetent, sack him now”, “Magashi must go”, “We say no to incompetent NSA and Defence Minister” to register their anger over the worsening security situation in the country.
Danesi Momoh who spoke on their behalf threatened to join those calling for resignation or impeachment of President Buhari if he failed to heed to their call for sack of Monguno and Magashi.
Supported by co-convener of the group, Mr. Igwe Ide-Umanta, he explained their grievances with Monguno and Magashi thus: “We wish to start with the statement credited to the National Security Adviser himself, Monguno, where he was quoted as saying: “People are getting tired and are beginning to gravitate into other means of self-help. Truth is that Nigerians are not just getting tired; we are suffocated, frustrated, threatened, apprehensive and completely uncertain about our safety and that of our loved ones. We cannot continue this way, and both the NSA and the minister of defence know that.
“We have had to tolerate a National Security Adviser who has no record of achievement in his seven years in office. And right under his supervision, intelligence has been ignored, as has now been exposed by the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives.
“There is no proactivity and no evidence of any practical input from him in addressing national security before its total collapse status.
“On the part of the minister of defence, he has no innovation, inspiration and the right professional touch to lead such important ministry at a critical time like this. In fact, he appears too frail, tired and out of touch with contemporary security realities and defence strategies. Thus, he has no business being there. Mr. President should show mercy to the citizens and deploy a better hand and brain. Back to the National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd), we must also note that his statement as quoted above suggests that he too is tired, frustrated and has no idea of what to do. He has never done anything before and cannot be expected to do anything other than the same seven years old recycled rhetoric. Things can only worsen under such abysmally poor NSA.”
Besides asking for sack of the NSA within 14 days over his inability to give counsel that can lead to an improved security situation in the country, Northern group, Arewa Youths Assembly, yesterday, asked President Buhari to seek foreign help to make Nigeria a safer place.
According to the group, the NSA has overstayed his positive thinking thereby making him no longer worthy of occupying the most sensitive office in the Presidential Villa.
In a statement by its Speaker, Mohammed Salihu Danlami, the group claimed there were “saboteurs” in government deforming or misinforming Buhari about the true state of the national security thereby making the country to be degenerating into a resemblance of Afghanistan.
According to the group, the recent spate of killings and attacks in the Federal Capital Territory which ought to be the last place to fall in the case of any war was an indication that things have fallen apart in the most populous black country in the world.
“We urge Mr. President to seek foreign help in his bid to make Nigeria a safer place, as available evidence point to the fact that our numerous generals without war experience can’t fight the ragtag terrorists who have taken charge of rural areas and are now threatening the nation capital.
“We can’t continue to fold our arms and watch our people being killed with little or no effort from the powers that be and if this continues unabated, we will be forced to mobilise our members in the Northern part of the country to resort to self-help.
“By this, we wish to reiterate our call on Mr. President to sack the NSA who has run out of ideas with immediate effect failure of which we will be forced to occupy the NSA’s office in the next 14 days.”