Insecurity: Nigerians tired, gravitating towards self-help – NSA

Members of the security council, who met at the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, at the Presidential Villa Abuja, have reflected on the prevailing security situation in the country and came up with a number of resolutions that they hope will ameliorate the problem.

Part of the resolutions which came out of the meeting was a review of existing strategies in fighting the insecurity scourge.

Stakeholders at the meeting, however, acknowledged that Nigerians are getting tired of the situation on ground and are beginning to gravitate to other places for self-help.

Recall that in the past few weeks, Nigerians have been living on the edge, over heightened terrorist activities, especially in the nation’s capital, Abuja, and volatile states like Kaduna, Zamfara, and Borno among others.

Beyond Thursday’s security meeting being the third in the month of July, Nigerians woke up to a midnight attack on Kuje Correctional Centre Abuja, where over 60 terrorists and other detainees escaped into thin air.

Terrorists that master-minded the Abuja-Kaduna train attacks have also come out to threaten the Presidency directly, a situation that has generated a state of hopelessness in the country.

At the meeting which lasted over four hours and was attended by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari; and the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (retd), indirectly blamed Nigerians for laxity in the wave of crimes plaguing the country.

National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (retd) who briefed State House Correspondents on the outcome of the meeting, said if citizens were forthcoming with relevant information to security personnel, men of the presidential guards brigade which suffered some casualties in an attack in Bwari would have been averted.

According to the NSA, Buhari was equally worried about the worsening security situation and would stop at nothing to change the tide.

NSA said, “Today’s meeting was convened by the President, as a continuation of the meeting that took place last week to discuss the technical issues and the taskings that were given to the various security agencies. The meeting deliberated on all those issues, after the brief by the National Security Adviser, which is usually the procedure.

“Again, Council dim it necessary to inform the general public, that fighting this type of asymmetric conflict is a collective effort. It’s not something that should be confined to only the security, intelligence, and law enforcement agencies. When we keep saying the whole of society approach, the whole of government approach, to get a whole of a national approach, what it means is that everybody has to partake in this enterprise.

“The truth is that no country can ever overcome the difficulties of an asymmetric conflict by virtue of the fact that the enemy of the state is embedded within the population within the wider society. It is true that the local people are averse, they’re scared, they’re worried and there’s no confidence.

“That is understandable. But without their support without the cooperation in terms of giving information, it makes it very hard for the operational elements. A few days ago, troops of the guards brigade were ambushed and decimated. Had there been a collective effort by way of just snippets of information we might have averted that incident, that is not to say that the responsibility is for those outside the security domain. It’s a collective responsibility”.

He blamed the media for allegedly tilting their report in favour of the terrorists, saying it was indirectly fueling the resolve of the bandits.

The political elites, including leaders of thought, were equally not left out of the bashing.

“Furthermore, Council is also concerned about the nature of media reporting incidents with regards to insecurity. It is important for the media to understand that certain reports being generated by the media, either the way or the manner in which they report can also aggravate this delicate situation.

“So Council is urging the media to be very careful in whatever it reports, whatever gets out to the public space, can have a debilitating effect on the population.

“Equally, the political elite is also urged to take into account the consequences of utterances, especially from people who have established a reputation, people who are considered leaders of thought, people who are considered to have some kind of influence in society, whatever goes out, may be harmful, not just to the government, if that is the intention, which I doubt may not be a deliberate thing, but at the end of the day, it will affect the wider society”.

Confirming how the President is reacting to the situation, he said, “We are in a very difficult situation. And Council understands. Mr. President understands people’s concerns about the growing insecurity. But I can assure you that there’s no straight cut and dried method of dealing with this thing unless all of us embrace each other.

“I know people are weary people are tired people are beginning to gravitate to other places for self-help. The truth is that help is rooted in everyone working for the other person.

“Again, the members of the armed forces have also made a commitment that in the coming weeks, they have already started working on a new strategy to deal with these snippets of violence. And they’ve given their word their commitment to the President, that there will be a change in momentum, regardless of the fact that there might be certain institutional limitations which they face. But they understood the enormity of the responsibilities that they have.

“Again, Council is in the process of winding up the special investigative panel on the Kuje incident. And the idea is to come up with recommendations, hold those who are supposed to be held accountable for their deeds and to ensure that this type of thing never ever, ever happens again in this country.

“In a nutshell, that was what Council deliberated on”.

Others in attendance are the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema; Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Maigari Dingyadi; Minister of Defense, Major General Bashir Magashi (Rtd).

Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Farouk Yahaya; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo; the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao; and the Chief of Defense Intelligence, Major General Samuel Adebayo, were also in attendance.

The Inspector-General of Police, Alkali Baba Usman; the Director-General of the Department of State Service (DSS), Yusuf Bichi; and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufai Abubakar equally participated in the meeting. 

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