PRESIDENT Bola Ahmed Tinubu yesterday demanded a centralized coordination of security architecture. It was during his maiden meeting with Service chiefs and heads of intelligence agencies at the State House in Abuja.
He unfolded the security philosophy of his administration and warned against agencies working at cross-purposes.
National Security Adviser (NSA) Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd), who briefed reporters after the parley, said the President warned that he would not tolerate economic sabotage.
At the meeting with President Tinubu were: Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor; Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. Gen. Faruk Yahaya; Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo; the Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao and the Police Inspector-General (IG) Alkali Usman.
Also at the meeting were: the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS) Yusuf Bichi and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.
The NSA said the President gave an order to the security agencies to crush oil thieves. According to Gen. Monguno, the President said he would be building on the gains already recorded in the security sector, institute reforms and not accept a situation where the fortunes of the nation continue to nose-dive while other countries make headways.
He said: “This is the very first meeting he’s had with the heads of the security agencies. The meeting lasted two hours. 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.
“First and foremost, he appreciated the armed forces and intelligence agencies and the wider para-military 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 in defending this country from the great big menace of terrorism, insurgency, banditry, oil theft, sea robbery, piracy, etcetera.
“President has made it very clear that he’s determined to build on whatever gains have been made and to reverse misfortunes and turn the tide in our favour.
“As far as he is concerned, this country should not be on its knees struggling, while other countries are working and achieving greater heights.
“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 whatever it is, 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 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 is going to embark on a lot of reforms in terms of our security architecture.
“He’s going to take a closer look at our misfortunes in the maritime domain, focusing particularly on the issues of oil theft. That he is not going to tolerate, wherever the problem is coming from, it must be crushed as soon as possible. He’s already mandated the security agencies to come up with a blueprint.
“As far as he knows, as far as he’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 theater. 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 their assignments.”
The CDS said the security chiefs had received new instructions on how the President wants security should 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 the 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.”