President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has warned the service chiefs and heads of other security agencies against working at cross purposes under his administration.
He charged them to work together in a coordinated manner to achieve one single purpose of tackling the challenges of terrorism, insurgency, banditry, oil theft, sea robbery and piracy among others.
The National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, told reporters after the first meeting, which the president had with security and intelligence chiefs at the State House, Abuja, yesterday.
The meeting lasted over two hours.
The NSA said Tinubu also demanded frequent consultations and timely actions on reports at the meeting of the general security appraisal committee. Monguno said Tinubu told heads of security and intelligence agencies that he would not tolerate incidents of oil theft. He said the president also said his administration would embark on reforms of the security architecture.
Monguno said: “The president has revealed that in moving this country forward, he needs the security agencies to redouble their efforts. And he’s also pointed out that his own philosophy is one of contemporary security measures dealing with the requirements of the time.
“He has made it very clear that he will not accept a situation in which our fortunes keep declining. And his own trajectory is that national security has to be coordinated, there has to be wherever, whatever it says whether it is a basket system, but there must be a clearing house.
“All agencies must work to achieve one single purpose. Working at cross purposes and colliding with each other is not something that he will condone.
“He has made it very, very clear that all the security agencies must comply with the demands of coordination, with the demands of frequent consultations and also timely reports which must be acted on.”
He added: “Having been briefed by the participants of the meeting, Mr. President, addressed prevailing issues confronting the nation in terms of insecurity and also mentioned his own philosophy towards dealing with national security issues.
“He (Tinubu) appreciated the armed forces and intelligence agencies and the wider paramilitary agencies for the work they have been doing in the past couple of years. Their sacrifice, their loyalty and he also paid tribute to those who died defending this country, from the great, big menace of terrorism, insurgency, banditry, oil theft, sea robbery, piracy, etc.”
“He is going to embark on a lot of reforms in terms of our security architecture, he is going to take a closer look at our misfortunes in the maritime domain, focusing particularly on the issues of oil theft that is not going to tolerate. Wherever the problem is coming from, it must be crushed as soon as possible.”
The NSA said the president told the security chiefs of his determination to build on gains made so far, reverse misfortunes and turn the tide in favour of the country.
He said Tinubu noted that Nigeria should not be on its knees struggling while other countries were walking and achieving greater heights.
He said: “He (Tinubu) has already mandated the security agencies to come up with a blueprint as far as he knows, as far as it’s concerned, he doesn’t have the luxury of time. And whatever changes will be made have to be done as soon as possible.
“The president also has decided that whatever ventures the armed forces are going to be engaged in, they must carry along those operatives in the theatre. They must be well fed, well kitted, motivated and given all that they require.
“President has said clearly that he will do whatever is within his powers to enable the operational elements but the intelligence agencies must also make their work easy for them by providing the type of intelligence that they require to carry out the assignment.”
While speaking, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, said the security chiefs had received new instructions on how the president wanted security to be pursued, assuring the team was already inspired to carry out the new tasks
“The meeting went very well. What we’ve done is to give the President, Commander-in-Chief, the situation of the security across the country and even beyond our borders of what the current situation is.
“We also got a mandate from him as to how he wants the security disposition across to be. “So we have left Mr President fired with that mandate and to realign our intervention to fit, not just the expectation of Nigerians, but with the mandate that Mr President has given to us”, he said.
The security chiefs, who were led to the meeting by Irabor, included the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Farouk Yahaya; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo; the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Isiaka Amao; and the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba.
Others were 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.