The NSA, National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno has alleged that undue interference by President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, on matters of national security has slowed down meaningful gains that Buhari had sought to achieve.
In a leaked memo to the service chiefs, which was published yesterday by an online platform, Premium Times, NSA Monguno directed them (service chiefs) to desist from taking further directives from Kyari.
According to NSA Monguno, in the memo, Kyari’s directives to service chiefs were sometimes issued without the knowledge or approval of the president, a practice he said had added to the government’s failure to contain insecurity.
The memo reads, “References A and B were sent in response to the request for Presidential intervention to sustain internal security operations of the police within the shortest possible time.
“However, the contents of the two references were in variance with Mr President’s verbal directives. Consequently, NSA scrutinised the documents further and sought clarification from Mr President who has directed that Reference B be disregarded by all parties as it was sent without his endorsement.
“While it is expected that all heads of security agencies having spent many years in service would understand the means of passing directives from the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, it may be necessary to remind all in the face of glaring breaches to that procedure. For clarification, other than direct verbal directives from the President, written directives emanating from Mr President would be conveyed with a copy of his manuscript directive or at minimum bear his signature.
“Additionally, Mr President may convey directives to the heads of defence and security apparatus through the NSA who Intelligence Community Committee, Joint Intelligence Board and General Security Appraisal Committee on behalf of the President and supervising Ministers of Defence and security agencies.
“It should be noted that the Chief of Staff to the President does not direct the security apparatus of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, his job as it relates to security stops at conveying Mr President’s written directives.
“Similarly, you are reminded that the Chief of Staff to the President is not a presiding head of security, neither is he sworn in an oath of defending the country. As such, unprofessional practices such as presiding over meetings with service chiefs and heads of security organizations 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 continuous meddlesomeness by the Chief of Staff have not only ruptured our security and defense efforts but have slowed down any meaningful gain that Mr. President has sought to achieve.
“As professionals, you are aware that the security of the Federal Republic of Nigeria requires concerted and centralized effort taking into account internal, external and diplomatic factors.
“It is, therefore, detrimental to our collective security that the Chief of Staff who is a non-supervising minister holds meetings with diplomats, security chiefs and heads of agencies.
“Pursuant to the foregoing, you are by this letter directed to desist from these illegal acts that serve nothing but the continuous undermining of our national security framework. Any breach of this directive will attract the displeasure of Mr President.”