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NSA absent as service chiefs meet Buhari, Kyari

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President Muhammadu Buhari (right) and the Service Chiefs during a special meeting in his office at the State House, Abuja… yesterday. PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA


• CDS urges security agencies to synergise on nation’s security
• President okays committee on humanitarian action

The National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj.-Gen Babagana Monguno (rtd.) was absent from yesterday’s meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari, Service Chiefs and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu.

Others who attended the meeting, which held behind closed doors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, were the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Abayomi Olonisakin, Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar and Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas.

Monguno was also absent from last Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Buhari. It could not be immediately ascertained whether Mongonu’s absence had anything to do with the power tussle between him and the Chief of Staff (COS) to the President, Abba Kyari.A report, which followed a leaked memo in the presidency, had revealed a subtle battle for supremacy between Monguno and Kyari, both President Buhari’s men from Borno State.

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After the meeting with President Buhari, the service chiefs proceeded to Kyari’s office, where they had another meeting with the COS.The development is coming on the heels of calls for the removal of the service chiefs following the deteriorating security situation in the country.Besides, Olonisakin has charged officers and men of the security forces to drop their ego and unnecessary rivalry and work together to secure the country.He stressed that synergy and effective collaboration between security forces was imperative to succeed in securing the nation against terrorism and insurgency.

Olonisakin gave the charge, while speaking as the guest of honour at the maiden Joint Counter Terrorism and Counter Insurgency (CTCOIN) seminar for participants of Senior Course 42 of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC), Jaji, Kaduna State.He said the seminar with the theme, “Enhancing Joint Action in CTCOIN Operations Through Collaboration”, was apt and timely considering the enormous roles the Armed Forces and other security agencies play in confronting the security challenges in the country. He said, “There is no doubt that our security forces require synergy and effective collaboration to succeed in the task of securing the nation.

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“The required synergy transcends the three services of the armed forces to the paramilitary and even NGOs and other stakeholders in our various theatre of operations. “The synergy is essential and vital to achieving our common objective of securing Nigeria and it will also help in formulating policies that will assist the armed forces in its operations.”

Addressing the students in the rank of major and its equivalent, Olonisakin said as future field commanders, it was essential for them to recognise the need for effective synergy among all stakeholders. “Therefore, you must all display maturity and jettison all the hindrances to synergy and cooperation, such as ego and rivalry,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, the President has approved the constitution of a National Humanitarian Coordination Committee (NHCC) to oversee all humanitarian activities in the country.The committee to be inaugurated by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on a later date would provide a national vision for humanitarian actions and advise on coordination between the security services and humanitarian actors. Others include settling of disputes that may arise from interactions between security services and the humanitarian community.

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The committee will also propose policies that enhance coordination and seamless delivery of humanitarian aid to affected communities, facilitate delivery of humanitarian interventions to vulnerable persons and promote transparency and accountability in all aspects of humanitarian delivery in the country.Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, explained that Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development will head the committee, while the NSA will be co-Chairman.

Other members are Chairman, Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), ministers of Defence, Interior, Justice, Minister of State for Budget and Planning, service chiefs, as well as governors of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.

Commandant General, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), United Nations Resident Coordinator, Permanent Secretary, FMHADMSD (Secretariat), Chairman, Non-Governmental Organisations Forum and others nominated by chairman of the committee are also members.

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