Nigeria’s national security adviser, Babagana Monguno, has accused President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, of undue and dangerous interference on national security matters.
Consequently, Mr Monguno has fired a warning memo to all service chiefs to desist from taking further directives from Mr Kyari, according to documents seen by PREMIUM TIMES.
Mr Monguno said Mr Kyari’s directives to service chiefs were sometimes issued without the knowledge much less approval of the president, a practice he said has added to government’s failure to contain insecurity.
“Chief of staff to the president is not a presiding head of security, neither is he sworn to an oath of defending the country,” Mr Monguno, a retired major-general, said in the December 9, 2019, letter.
“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.
“Such acts and continues meddlesomeness by chief of staff have not only ruptured our security an defence efforts but have slowed down any meaningful gain that Mr President has sought to achieve.”
Mr Monguno’s letter comes as insecurity returns to centre stage as a major cause for worry among Nigerians.
Violent attacks linked to bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers and vandals have continued to claim multiple lives and properties across the country.
The president has repeatedly promised to curb the crises, many of which he met in office, but has largely failed like his predecessors.
Security experts, opposition and federal lawmakers have responded by advising the president to fire his service chiefs.
The service chiefs have been unable to rein in Boko Haram insurgents since 2015 when Mr Buhari named them to take charge of various arms of the nation’s security architecture.
While previously held swathes of land have been taken back from terrorists, deadly attacks on civilians and military targets have worsened since 2018.
The Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, said in recent media interviews that the military has degraded insurgents’ capacity to attack Abuja and other cities outside the war-ravaged northeast.
National security sources told PREMIUM TIMES on Monday that the fresh memo showed how Mr Kyari has helped in keeping the service chiefs in office despite overwhelming call for their ouster.
It also underscored the frustration faced by Mr Monguno and others who found Mr Kyari’s influence over the president too domineering for national benefit, sources said.
Mr Kyari and two presidential spokespersons, Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu did not return requests for comments about the memo Monday afternoon.
See Monguno’s letter below:
Lockdown Will Be Extended If Nigerians Don’t Behave Themselves — Lai Mohammed
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has stated that the lockdown currently experienced in some parts of the country may be extended if Nigerians don’t behave themselves.
The minister, who is a member of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, disclosed this in Abuja when he featured in a forum to give an update on government efforts at containing the pandemic, NAN reports.
“If we don’t behave ourselves, there is a likelihood that the lockdown will be extended, but if we behave ourselves, there might not be an extension and I hope we do so.
“If we stay at home for two weeks and we are doing everything we are supposed to do, we should be able to effectively contain the disease.
“Therefore, my appeal to Nigerians is that they should obey the directive on social distancing, personal hygiene and shun gatherings; after two weeks, we will resume our normal life.
“But if they think it is a joke, then we may have to stay at home more than the two weeks.”
There are 210 COVID-19 cases in Nigeria including four deaths.
The pandemic, which has infected about one million people globally, has paralysed economic and socio-religious activities in most parts of the West African country.
COVID-19: FG To Evacuate Nigerians Abroad — But Not For Free
The federal government has begun moves to bring back Nigerians who are stranded abroad amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), asked those willing to return to notify the Nigerian missions in their respective countries.
She added via a statement on Friday that the missions will subsequently forward their names to the ministry of foreign affairs for action.
Dabiri-Erewa, however, said the financial implications of such evacuation will be borne by the respective individuals “who will be compulsorily quarantined when they return.”
“The interested Nigerians are advised to inform the missions in the various countries they are in, who will then collate and coordinate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” the statement signed by Abdur-Rahman Balogun, NIDCOM spokesman, read.
“To this end, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa urged Nigerians stranded abroad willing to return home to key into this Federal Government gesture by providing their information to the mission in their respective host countries.”
She said while embassies in several countries are also on lockdown, Nigerians willing to return should fill a form here.
Some countries have been evacuating their citizens from Nigeria amid the pandemic.
BREAKING: Nigeria Records 20 New Coronavirus Cases, Two Deaths
Nigeria has recorded 20 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of confirmed infections in the country to 210.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control made this known via its Twitter handle on Friday.
NCDC also announced that the country recorded two deaths in Lagos and Edo States.
The NCDC tweeted, “Twenty new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Nigeria; 11 in Lagos, three in the FCT, three in Edo, 2 in Osun and one in Ondo.
“Two new deaths have been recorded in Lagos and Edo States.
“As of 10:30 pm on 3rd of April, there are 210 confirmed cases of #COVID19 reported in Nigeria.”
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