The National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (retd.), has blamed the President’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, for the failures in the war against insurgency.
Messrs Babagana Monguno and Abba Kyari are both indigenes of Borno State and of the same Kanuri tribe. Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau is also of the Kanuri tribe.
Monguno said Kyari was fond of giving orders to the service chiefs without the knowledge of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
The NSA said this in a letter addressed to the service chiefs which was published by an online medium, Premium Times, on Monday.
In the letter dated December 9, 2019, and titled, ‘Disruption of the national security framework by unwarranted meddlesomeness’, the NSA said the chief of staff was neither a security official nor head of any government agency.
“Such acts and continuous meddlesomeness by the Chief of Staff have not only ruptured our security and defence efforts but have slowed down any meaningful gain that Mr President has sought to achieve,” Monguno alleged.
The letter read in part, “While it is expected that all heads of security agencies, having spent many years in service would understand 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 chairs the Intelligence Community Committee, Joint Intelligence Board and General Security Appraisal Committee on behalf of the President and the supervising ministers of defence and security agencies.
“It should be noted that the Chief of Staff to the President does not direct 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 to an oath of defending the country.
“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.”
Monguno told the service chiefs that as professionals, they should be aware that the security of Nigeria requires concerted and centralized efforts, taking into account internal, external and diplomatic factors.
He said it is therefore detrimental to the nation’s collective security that the Chief of Staff who is a non-supervising minister holds meetings with diplomats, security chiefs and heads of intelligence agencies.
The NSA asked the service chiefs to desist from illegal acts that serve nothing but the continuous undermining of our national security framework.
There have been calls for the sacking of the service chiefs due to the spike in bombings recently.
Monguno’s letter of complaint against Kyari comes barely months after the wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, complained about the overbearing influence of a cabal that hijacked her husband’s government.