..Holds closed-door meeting with senators
..Says no central coordination of security apparatus
..Adds DSS D-G, CDS ignore invitations to meetings
ABUJA— National Security Adviser, NSA, to President Muhammadu Buhari, Major-General Mohammed Babagana Monguno (retd), yesterday, blamed insecurity in the country on insubordination by other security chiefs who have continuously ignored invitations to meetings in his office.
The NSA, who held a closed-door meeting with senators in the hallowed chamber on proliferation of firearms, spate of killings by terrorists and kidnapping by hoodlums across the country, said the uncooperative attitude of the security chiefs has led to lack of central coordination of other security agencies in the country.
Vanguard gathered that senators were told that the Office of the NSA, which is saddled with the responsibility of coordinating other security issues and offices, was being neglected because the office is not respected by other security agencies.
The NSA, it was learned, told the senators that in line with National Security Agencies Act Cap N74 LFN 2010, his office had the powers to control and coordinate other security agencies on behalf of the President, but lamented that the office was not respected by security chiefs.
DSS D-G, CDS ignore invitation to meetings
Vanguard also gathered that Monguno particularly accused Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin, and Director-General, Department of State Services, DSS, Lawal Daura, of not honouring his invitations to attend meetings presided over by him.
The NSA was said to have told the senators that following frequent shunning of his meetings by security chiefs, he reported the matter to President Muhammadu Buhari, who assured him that he would look into the matter, to no avail.
Against this backdrop, Monguno was said to have presented before the senators, National Security Act, which should be amended, just as he was said to have complained of the police force, which requires adequate training and experienced manpower if it must carry out its responsibility of providing the nation with first line security.
Following his presentation, the Senate assured that it would initiate moves for the Amendment of National Security Agencies Act Cap N74 LFN 2010, with a view to giving powers of control on national security over the agencies on behalf of the President.
The Senate, Vanguard gathered, promised to critically look at the existing laws pertaining to the nation’s security system, with a view to amending them where necessary, to assist in the effective operations of security agencies in the country.
Senate asks NSA to submit funding request to NASS
Meanwhile, the Senate at the end of the meeting, asked the National Security Adviser to submit a funding request to the National Assembly for approval, for more effective tackling of security challenges in the country.
It would be recalled that the Senate had earlier invited heads of security and some paramilitary agencies, following a motion sponsored by Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi on the above subject matter, which was adopted by the red chamber three weeks ago.
Those invited to brief the chamber were National Security Adviser, Chief of Defence Staff, Inspector-General of Police, Comptroller-General of Nigerian Immigration Service, Director-General of Department of State Services, and Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service.
However, only Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, and Director-General of DSS, Lawal Daura, were physically present, while others sent representatives.
Monguno apologises to Senate
It was gathered, yesterday, that when he appeared, the NSA apologised to the Senate for his failure to appear on the first day of the invitation due to the clash of the invitation with the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting in the villa.
In his remarks after the meeting, Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, said Monguno personally came to his office to tender his apology for his non-appearance last week, while asking for a fresh appointment to come personally and brief the lawmakers.
While admitting the NSA into the chamber for the security briefing, Saraki said: “Distinguished colleagues, we have before us the National Security Adviser. We want to take a briefing from him in a closed session.
“Distinguished colleagues, you will recall that following a motion by Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi, we resolved to invite all the heads of security agencies from the Chief of Defence Staff and Army, Navy, Air Force, DSS D-G, Inspector-General of Police, National Security Adviser, heads of Immigration and Customs, following our concern on the proliferation of dangerous firearms, spate of killings by terrorists and kidnapping by hoodlums across the country.
“We had the opportunity of receiving briefing from the Chief of Defence Staff, Director-General of DSS, representatives of the Comptroller-General, Immigration, Inspector-General of Police and Comptroller-General of Customs.
“The National Security Adviser was not present, but he later came to my office personally to make his apologies that there was a clash with the executive council meeting because the briefing was on Wednesday. He then said he was prepared to come and make the briefing at a short notice.”
At the end of the meeting, Saraki said: “The NSA answered questions from the Senate bothering on terrorism, kidnapping, coordination of security agencies and killings generally in the country.
“We directed that he submits a funding request similar to that of other security chiefs. We also discussed consideration for amendment to existing laws regarding security.”