NATIONAL security adviser Retired major General Babagana Monguno has warned President Muhammadu Buhari’s chief of staff Alhaji Abba Kyari to stay clear of all security matters from now on as his continued meddling is creating insecurity.
Although not a constitutional position, the chief of staff to the president has assumed increased importance under President Buhari, with Alhaji Kyari becoming one of the most powerful men in government. Even ministers now have to go through him to get to the president and the development has paralysed many facets of government, including security.
General Monguno has accused Alhaji Kyari, of undue and dangerous interference on matters bordering on national security. He has thus written a memo to all service chiefs asking them to stop taking further directives from Alhaji Kyari, pointing out that his orders are often issued without the knowledge much less approval of the president.
In a letter dated December 9 2019, General Monguno said: “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 national security adviser and/or supervising ministers are a violation of the constitution and directly undermine the authority of Mr President.
“Such acts and continued meddlesomeness by 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.”
General Monguno’s letter comes as insecurity returns to centre stage as a major cause for worry among Nigerians. Violent attacks linked to bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers and vandals have continued to claim multiple lives and properties across the country of late.
President Buhari has repeatedly promised to curb the crises, many of which he inherited but has largely failed like his predecessors. Security experts, opposition and federal lawmakers have responded by advising the president to fire his service chiefs as they have been unable to rein in Boko Haram insurgents since 2015 when President Buhari assumed office.
Apparently, Alhaji Kyari has helped in keeping the service chiefs in office despite overwhelming calls for their ouster. Exasperated with this, General Monguno and other senior government officials have found Alhaji Kyari’s influence over the president too domineering for national development.